As your Agent we need to bring to your attention the following changes that affect your responsibility as a Landlord in respect of Legionella bacteria and Legionnaires’ disease.
What is Legionnaires disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is caused by Legionella bacteria infecting your lungs. Legionella bacteria is commonly found in water. The bacteria multiply if they find their way into artificial water supply systems, where temperatures are between 20-45°C and nutrients are available. It’s usually caught by breathing in small droplets of contaminated water.
The best way to prevent an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease is to ensure that any water system under your control is properly maintained and conforms to relevant health and safety regulations.
This mainly involves keeping water either cooled below 20C or heated above 60C. The water supply should also be kept free of impurities and moving, so that it doesn’t stagnate.
What change in the law applies to Legionnaires disease and Legionella bacteria?
The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 1999 provide guidance including the control of bacteria in water including hot water, cold water, heating and cooling systems. The relevant legislation can be viewed at www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires
What is my responsibility as a Landlord?
Landlords who provide residential accommodation, as the person in control of the premises or responsible for the water systems in their premises, have a legal duty to ensure that the risk of exposure of tenants to legionella is properly assessed and controlled. This duty extends to residents, guests, tenants and customers. They can carry out a risk assessment themselves if they are competent, or employ somebody who is.
What is a Legionella Risk Assessment (LRA) and how much is going to cost?
In the UK this type of specialist risk assessment is required by law and is specifically identified by the Health & Safety Executive in their Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) L8 “Legionnaires’ disease. The control of legionella bacteria in water systems”.
A Legionella Risk Assessment is an essential risk management process and comprises a detailed examination of the risks presented by man-made water systems, and seeks to identify and assess the risks associated with Legionnaires’ disease through exposure to legionella bacteria.
The Legionella Risk Assessment needs to be completed every two years. To try and help Landlords with this added burden Jackson-Stops & Staff have negotiated a cost of £99 plus VAT for the service. However please be aware that the Legionella Risk Assessment can be completed with a supplier of your choice directly.
This charge can be debited directly from your account upon receipt of written authority. As your managing agent it is our duty to make you aware of this risk. To ensure that we have acted in your best interest please can you advise overleaf how you would like us to proceed?
We regret that this places yet another burden upon you, the Landlord, but as a professional management agency we cannot ignore compliance issues, particularly in relation to Tenant Health and Safety matters.