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New Law Requires Legionnaires Disease Risk Assessment

New Law Requires Legionnaires Disease Risk Assessment

New laws mean that landlords need to be able to show that they have performed a risk assessment for legionnaires disease in each of their properties. Our advice to members is not to worry, come to our July meeting and learn what you need to know.

We are aware that certain companies and agents have been contacting landlords in an effort to sell their services to carry out risk assessments for legionella bacteria in rental properties. These are often expensive and in most situations are completely unnecessary. We have seen letters from agents that say "The risk assessment survey must be performed by professionally trained and accredited body". THIS IS NOT CORRECT.

In our view:

  • Landlords need to show that a Legionnaires Risk Assessment is in place for each of their propertiesL
  • These can be produced by any competent person
  • Competence in this instance, can mean having attended a 20 minute briefing such as we will have at our July meeting
  • The risk for most landlords is incredibly slight, in normal houses the only possible risk is if a shower head is not cleaned after sitting for 2-3 months over the summer when the students are away
  • Any enforcement activity locally will be undertaken by the local authority and we are assured that this area is not a priority for them
  • The manager responsible for such enforcement will be our speaker at our July meeting

There are two very useful Health and Safety Executive links. For all you need to know see http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg274part2.pdf
I would Refer agents to http://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/faqs.htm

Under "Risk Assessment - Who can undertake the risk assessment for legionella?"
"As an employer or a person in control of premises, you must appoint person or persons responsible for helping you manage your health and safety duties, e.g. take responsibility for managing risks. A competent person is someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety, including the control measures. You could appoint one, or a combination of:
• yourself
• one or more workers
• someone from outside your business"

"As a landlord, what are my duties."states "In most residential settings, a simple assessment may show that the risks are low and no further action may be necessary. "

Some buildings may have features that are problematic and with a little homework you should know if you have higher risks that require more detailed attention.

Bruce Lomax who is responsible for enforcing this issue in Portsmouth will speak on the subject (and other matters) at the Portsmouth and District Private Landlords Association meeting on July13th. 7.30 pm at the Queens Hotel. Non Members are welcome.

There is an app - http://www.landlordsguild.com/practical-guide-template-for-legionella-risk-assessment/ This produces a report that looks like this  It is thorough and may be more than you need.

Written & oral information and advice from the Portsmouth & District Private Landlord's Association is given in good faith, but no responsibility whatsoever is accepted by the Association or it's officers for the accuracy of it's information & advice nor shall the Association be held responsible for the consequences of reliance upon such information.

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