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A Chigwell landlord has been found guilty of creating false gas safety certificates, with the case gaining further attention due to the fact that his wife was prosecuted last year.
Mr Tariq Hussain, 57 of Millers Lane, Chigwell, who owns 30 properties in the area, asked that gas safety engineer Muhammad Waseem falsify four gas safety certificates for four rental flats in a Chingford property. Both men pleaded guilty at Thames Magistrates Court and Snaresbrook Crown Court. They were each prosecuted.
The fraudulent certificates had the potential to seriously endanger the lives of the tenants in the rental property, who would have assumed that the documents guaranteed that the boilers in their property was safe. The boilers at Mr Hussain’s property had in fact not been adequately serviced. The documents would also have been given to the council to obtain property licenses.
Mr Waseem pleaded guilty to four charges under the Fraud Act at Thames Magistrates Court. He was fined £200 for each offence, as well as £200 costs and a £30 victim surcharge. He also pleaded guilty to four charges under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act at Snaresbrook Crown Court and he was fined £250 for each offence as well as costs of £500 and £100 victim surcharge.
Muhammad Waseem has also been removed from the register of certified Gas Safe engineers.
Mr Hussain’s wife, Nasim Hussain was prosecuted last year for four offences under the Housing Act 2004. She was fined £40,000 plus £1,839.64 in costs after supplying false or misleading information regarding the four flats she let out, claiming that they did not have any gas appliances.
Councillor Louise Mitchell, cabinet member for housing, said: ‘This is a great result for tenants in Waltham Forest. This needless fraud could have cost Mr Hussain’s tenants far more than the price of a safety certificate – it could have cost them their lives. If you are a landlord we expect you to meet basic obligations to ensure your tenants’ safety, and if you are not prepared to meet them we will find out and we will press for the maximum penalty available under the law. This prosecution shows that we are serious about ensuring the safety of private rental tenants in Waltham Forest. The message is clear: do not be tempted to cut corners when lives are at stake.’