Landlords in the private renting sector have a duty of care under the Health & Safety at Work Act and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations to ensure that the risk posed from legionella is formally recorded in a legionella risk assessment and measures to control any identified risk are duly carried out.
Accordingly, the landlord should ensure that the property’s water supply, storage and distribution services comply with the best practice guidance given in the HSE’s Approved Code of Practice & Guidance ‘Legionnaires’ disease – The control of legionella bacteria in water systems’ (also known as ACoP L8) and HSG 274 ‘Legionnaires’ disease – Technical Guidance’.
Copies of these documents are available to download from the HSE website (www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires) where there is also a wealth of information on legionella and Legionnaires’ disease. This guidance gives practical advice on the legal requirements of the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) which is the enabling act behind this requirement.
In order to ensure landlords fulfil their legal requirements H2o Legionella Control Services can carry out a legionella risk assessment on their property and also provide any subsequent remedial and/or monitoring works. H2o has developed into industry leaders for legionella control in the Scottish residential letting market based on the following principles:
• H2o Legionella Control Services are full members of the Legionella Control Association (LCA).
• Our risk assessments are carried out by City & Guild trained risk assessors.
• We have developed our risk assessment forms into a bespoke software programme which streamlines the process.
• The legionella risk assessment reports are issued as an electronic pdf document.
• A full schematic diagram of the water system is provided.
• Costs are supplied at a flat rate per property.
• We can arrange access directly with the tenant therefore minimising any hassle for the letting agent / landlord.
• We do not charge for cancelled or ‘no access’ appointments.
LETTING AGENT & LANDLORD SUPPORT SERVICE
H2o offers full support services to letting agents and landlords.
During the initial information stage when letting agents are informing their landlords of the requirement to undertake a legionella risk assessment on their property we can provide a detailed list of frequently asked questions which drastically limits the number of questions received back from landlords.
Once landlords are fully informed of their legal requirements most are happy to proceed but H2o can answer any landlord queries that the letting agent is not comfortable asking.
We aim to take as much work load off of the letting agent as possible so that they can concentrate on their own business. We can also provide assistance in amending lease agreements to cover some of the fundamental legionella control tasks such as making sure all water services are used at least weekly and that showerheads are kept in a clean condition.
We are also able to undertake all recommended remedial works by our in-house compliance team. This work includes cold water storage tank cleaning & disinfection, tank upgrade works, dead leg removal and tank / cylinder replacements.
HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS & LOCAL COUNCILS
HSG 274 acknowledges that it may be impractical to risk assess every individual residential unit, where there are a significant number of units under the control of the landlord, such as Housing Associations. In those instances it recommends that a representative proportion of the premises should initially be assessed with the entire estate eventually assessed on a rolling programme of work.
H2o have worked closely with local Councils and Housing Associations undertaking legionella risk assessments on their housing stock to ensure their ongoing compliance with the legionella regulations.
For more information please contact us.