One of the most frequently ask questions for Agents at the moment is about and Legionella Risk Assessment.
What is Legionnaire’s Disease?
Legionnaires’ Disease is a pneumonia like illness caused by the Legionella bacteria and can be fatal. The infection is caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria. The disease cannot be passed from one person to another. Legionella bacteria are found in the natural environment and may contaminate and grow in water systems, including domestic hot and cold water systems. They survive low temperatures and thrive at temperatures between 20 – 45°C if the conditions are right. They are killed by high temperatures at 60°C or above.
Do we have to carry out a Legionella Risk Assessment?
The short answer is yes, you do have to carry out a risk assessment in your property, even if you think you are at low risk, if you have a combi boiler for example.
The law is clear that if you are a landlord and rent out your property (or even a room within your own home) then you have legal responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of your tenant by keeping the property safe and free from health hazards.
But who does the risk assessment?
Any competent person can do it, including you!
The grey area is that you do not have to have a written assessment simply that you have carried it out. Which left me thinking… what’s the point in that?
In our opinion as you have a legal responsibility, you should have a written risk assessment carried out by a professional, and the relevant checks, against the control measures identified in the risk assessment, carried out and recorded, to ensure you are completely covered.
We are happy to have these carried out for you, either at each change of tenancy or annually in line with your gas safety certificate (if appropriate). We would appoint a plumbing contractor at a cost of £45 per inspection.
As a landlord, you are obliged to inform your tenants about potential risks. We will be issuing a fact sheet to all of your tenants upon entering the property, which will satisfy your requirement, along side making your risk assessment available to tenants on request. If you would like a copy of this fact sheet, please get in touch and we will make one available to you.
Part of the reason that we are being asked so frequently about this is that when renewing your landlord registration online you will see this:
If you have not carried out a risk assessment your landlord application will be halted until it has been completed.
We will be contacting all of our clients to ensure that they are happy for us to carry out the Legionella risk assessment on their behalf, but if you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Direct Dial: 01382 207770