Harcourts fined for rental property gas safety failings

Harcourts Timaru was fined $55,000 and required to pay $12,500 reparation for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of gas appliances and fittings when leasing out a property and for engaging a person who was not authorised to do gas-fitting. Crew Cut franchisee, Larry Warner, was sentenced to 200 hours community work and required to pay $2000 reparation for doing the unauthorised work.

In early June 2014, Harcourts Timaru engaged Crew Cut to remove a gas heater from a property they managed. Larry Warner was not authorised to do this work and the gas supply was left uncapped. A new tenant moved into the property and arranged for new gas cylinders to be delivered and connected. The next day the tenant noted a strong smell of gas. Following an investigation by WorkSafe’s Energy Safety, it was estimated that 35 kgs of gas had leaked into the house.

Energy Safety advice

Energy Safety’s Compliance Officer advises that all landlords, including property managers:

  • have a duty to ensure the safety of gas and electrical installations, appliances, and fittings in properties they lease
  • should always use an appropriately qualified person to do gas and electrical work on any property.

Read about standards that improve the safety of gas appliances and installations.

Summarised from a WorkSafe NZ media release.

Published in energy.