Do you have questions about Legionella or general legislation changes? Call us!
I am sure by now many current property owners will have read or heard about the conflicting news regarding Legionella and the responsibility put upon landlords of residential properties. We thought we would try and clear up any confusion, rumour or worry so we have compiled this little helpful article to summarise the legislation behind landlords’ duties when it comes to protecting their tenant’s health and safety.
Landlords have a legal duty of care to ensure that the risk of exposure to Legionella for tenants, residents and visitors to their properties is adequately assessed and controlled as set out in the acts below:
• ‘The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974’,
• ‘Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999’
• ‘Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002’
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) explains landlord’s duties in relation to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974:
Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) makes provisions for relevant health and safety legislation to apply to landlords to ensure a duty of care is shown to the health and safety of their tenants. The general duties required 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 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 person (not being his employees)”.
In order to minimise the likelihood of legionella in a property a risk assessment must be carried out to identify the level of risk in each particular property and water system. The Health and Safety at Work Act specifies that the assessment has to be carried out by some who is competent.
We can organise a trained and accredited Legionella Risk Assessor to carry out this assessment on behalf of you, the landlord.
The assessor will produce a clear and concise document showing the level of risk in the property and ways of reducing it. We have also produced a handy guide document for tenants on how to reduce the likelihood of Legionella developing in the property which is included for free with every report.
As a legal duty, I would encourage all landlords to have one completed as soon as possible so that they are covered in case the unthinkable occurs and their tenant’s contract legionnaire’s disease.