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    Clarification of your legal obligations - Updated 06 October 2015.

     

    For the avoidence of any doubt the House of Commons have issued a new paper on the 1st October making the requirements crystal clear.

     

     

    See the full paper here

     

    Be in no doubt, Landlords must undertake a legionella risk assessment assessment.

     

    You must have a 'Legionella Risk Assessment' which is what we provide here at The LRA Register.

    It is important to understand the difference between a 'Legionella Test Certificate' (not required) and a 'Legionella Risk Assessment' (legally required).

    From the HSE.Gov website : Case 357:

    Some consultants & letting agents misinterpreting landlords responsibilities regarding legionella risks to their tenants.

    The Issue

     

    Some consultants and letting agents are using the revised L8 ACOP to suggest that new legislation has been imposed on landlords of domestic rented properties in relation to assessing and controlling the risks of exposure to Legionella bacteria of their tenants.

    This is wrong, the legislation has not been changed and any misinterpretation/misunderstanding can impose unnecessary financial burdens on landlords where they are being charged for legionella testing and certificates they don’t actually need.

    Panel Opinion.

     

    • Whilst there is a legal duty for landlords to assess and control the risk of exposure to legionella bacteria, Health and Safety law does not require landlords to produce a ‘Legionnaires testing certificate'.
    • Legionella testing (or sampling) is generally not required in domestic hot and cold water systems and then only in exceptional circumstances.
    • Misinterpretation of the legal requirements by some consultants and letting agents about landlords responsibilities to manage and control legionella in domestic premises may result in unnecessary financial burdens being placed on landlords and tenants.

     


    So please be clear. If someone tells you you need a Legionella 'Test Certificate' this is incorrect and can be very expensive.

    Testing for legionella involves taking samples of water and sending them of to a laboratory for testing. This is not required in domestic rental properties.

    What you must have is a Legionella 'Risk Assessment' which is what the assessors listed here at The LRA Register provide.

    A risk assessment is legally required. This involves assessing the property to see if there is a 'RISK' of legionella forming in the water system.

    Link to HSE.gov document.

     

    What is legionella?

    Legionella is a bacteria which lives in water systems. When breathed in, water droplets containing the bacteria can cause Legionnaires’ Disease.
    What do landlords need to do?

    Legislation states that landlords need to have a “competent person” undertake a risk assessment and identify if there are areas in which water could lie for long periods of time (the main risk factor for growth of the bacteria).

     

    Where can landlords get further advice?

    The Health and Safety Executive has published guidance for landlords, which is available online at www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires.

    Here are some extracts from the Health and Safety Executive website.

     

    The law and you.

    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.

    Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) makes provision for relevant health and safety legislation to apply to landlords to ensure a duty of care is shown to their tenants’ with regard to their health and safety.  The general duties require under section 3(2) that "It shall be the duty of every self-employed person to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that he and other persons (not being his employees) who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.".   Landlords, under Section 53 of HSWA are regarded as being self-employed and tenants fall into the class of “other persons (not being his employees)”.  If you rent out a property, you have legal responsibilities to ensure you conduct your undertaking in such a way that your tenant(s) are not exposed to health and safety risks.

    If a tenant were to contract Legionnaires’ disease from the water system in their home, the landlord may be liable to prosecution under HSWA, and would have to demonstrate to a court that they had fulfilled their legal duty, so it is important that they assess and control the risks.

     


    What are my duties?

    Under general health and safety law, as an employer or person in control of a premises (eg a landlord), you have health and safety duties and need to take suitable precautions to prevent or control the risk of exposure to legionella. Carrying out a risk assessment is your responsibility and will help you to establish any potential risks and implement measures to either eliminate or control risks.

     

    This is not an option - You must carry out a Legionella Risk Assessment. Please enter your postcode into the searchbox on the home page to find a local legionella risk assessor.

    Members Feedback

    What our members have to say.

    07/03/2017

    JOHN BOYLE

    "The Service has been first class when I ever needed help I could contact Martin and the information I needed would be there, the lodgement and photos software is very good."

    27/02/2017

    MICHAEL GOWANS

    "Very quick process from start to finish. Easy to submit assessment and pass on to appropriate clients. Would recommend LRA Register to anyone branching out into the Legionella Sector.

    27/02/2017

    Elizabeth Naylor

    "Easy to Join - Easy system to use"

    24/02/2017

    Ben Grimshaw

    I found the course to be well explained, easy to follow and it took me less than 3 hours to complete. The assessment producing software is very easy to use and produces a professional report for the landlord and tenant. Highly Recommended, Thank You!

    About The LRA Registers

    The LRA Registers are the central registers for the lodgement of Legionella Risk Assessments for domestic properties.

    Assessors/Landlords/Agents wishing to lodge assessments or list their service at this site should enquire about membership here.

    For landlord self assessments please visit www.lraregister.co.uk

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