Legionella, Legionnaires’ Disease & Landlords’ Responsibilities – Part Two
In part one of this article, we explored the need to perform a Legionella risk assessment if you are a residential or buy to let landlord. Here, we will delve into whether you are the best person to perform the Legionella risk assessments, and anything else that may be required of you to control the risks associated with Legionnaires’ disease and ultimately comply with the law.
How difficult is it to conduct a Legionella risk assessment?
While compliance with the law is very important in these cases, the Legionella risk assessment required for a simple residential property owned and managed by a buy to let landlord is not the same as that required of many other businesses. For example, if you owned a business that operated its own cooling towers or complex water systems you would have to go through far more steps than you will with a simple rental property that uses a straight forward domestic hot and cold water system.
Typically, there is no need for a residential buy to let landlord to be trained or accredited to perform a simple Legionella risk assessment to consider the risk levels posed by Legionella in such cases. You do not need to have completed one before.
You can get basic advice online from the Health and Safety Executive, among other places, to ensure you cover everything necessary to comply with your legal obligations. If you are in any doubt however, please contact one of our Legionella experts who can advise further.
Of course, there are professionals like Legionella Control International who are qualified and experienced in conducting risk assessments for Legionella and the control of Legionnaires’ disease. Thus, if you do not feel capable of doing the assessment, or you have several properties to cover, you can still hire someone like us to take on this part of the work for you.
Do you have to keep copies of the Legionella risk assessment and the controls you take?
No, if you are a small residential landlord and you are considered to be self-employed or employ fewer than five people then you probably don’t need to keep copies of the risk assessments. However, it is usually a very good idea to keep a record of everything you have done, just so you are fully aware of the steps you have taken and so you can prove this to the authorities should anything happen at a later date.
This can be particularly useful if something changes in the future. For example, if you have a new heating system put in, you should perform a new Legionella risk assessment associated with that particular system or if it affects the wider water systems, a new assessment of the whole system.
Is it really necessary to do all this to control Legionella?
Perhaps this is the biggest question. As a landlord of a simple domestic property, it is unlikely that you will be asked to show evidence of any checks or risk assessments for Legionella or Legionnaires’ disease. Yet this is the only way you can be sure the risks to your tenants are kept at an absolute minimum.
If however, someone were to fall ill from Legionnaire’s disease and it was proven to have come from one of your properties, you could find yourself in court faced with prosecution, so do make sure you follow all the required steps.
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Expert legionella risk assessment assistance for landlords
To find out more about our Legionella risk assessment services for landlords and property owners, our Legionella testing and other specialist Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease control services please contact us on 0161 877 0586 (Manchester) or 0203 637 47 48 (London).
152 City Road
London EC1V 2NX
Tel: +44 (0) 203 637 47 48
Unit B Badex Building
Manchester M17 1AY
Tel: +44 (0) 161 877 0586
For additional information about Legionella risk assessments for landlords … here