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Legionella risk assessment (for Landlords)

(20 Posts)
Sabaidee Mon 08-Jun-15 13:47:09

Hi - I let my flat in London (accidental landlord having moved in with DP rather than buy-to-let). I received an email from my agent (who I have been v disappointed with so far) saying that I have to get a Legionella risk assessment done for the property, at a cost of £150.

This does feel slightly like a money making scheme as my flat is only 1 bed and I can't see that any risks affect the tenants compared to anyone in the UK living in a domestic setting... But anyway, I will get it done if it is a legal requirement.

Does anyone have any experience of these risk assessments or whether I can carry it out myself?

TarkaTheOtter Mon 08-Jun-15 13:49:20

I've never had to do this. I've not let property in London though so maybe it's a local thing.

MrsFlorrick Mon 08-Jun-15 14:14:24

I think the agent is trying to turn you over. Landlord of more than a decade in both England and Scotland. Nowhere and at no time have I been asked for legionella risk assessment. I've been asked for a fire risk assessment (ie do you have smoke alarms and do they work).

ReallyTired Mon 08-Jun-15 14:23:28

I heard it was a legal requirement to get an legionella risk assessment. The HSE website does not make it clear.

The landlordzone suggest that a risk assessment should be carried out.

It does seem to me a lot of red tape. A well maintained property should not be a risk of legionella. I could understand if you had a HMO.

specialsubject Mon 08-Jun-15 14:38:27

here is another landlordzone post on it - read the comments.

are there any water storage tanks in the property? Any aircon? (unlikely in the UK where it is not needed unless you have an office block, and only needed there due to crap design) If not, that's your risk assessment done.

remember you must have smoke and CO alarms as of October (good idea anyway) and you will also soon be responsible for checking the immigration status of your tenants.

the reason you are a landlord is irrelevant, unless you are trying to placate the MN landlord haters, in which case I really wouldn't bother as they spew stupid bile whatever you do. (They do of course all work for free and accept no profit from anything. )

HappenstanceMarmite Mon 08-Jun-15 17:13:29

I was told by my agent that I had to do an assessment. I let them carry it out as I didn't bother reading up about it. Now I've been presented with a "Fail" report which says I need a new water tank as the current one has no lid. This is in a three bed terrace. Been quoted £500 by their tradesman. No idea if I'm being legally ripped off or not so I'm holding off authorising the work as it does feel like another money maker for the agents.

specialsubject Mon 08-Jun-15 17:31:19

Surely you can get a lid for the tank for a lot less than £500?

and how does a tank lid prevent legionella? It does keep dead mice and pigeons out though, so not a bad idea.

HappenstanceMarmite Mon 08-Jun-15 17:41:36

I did ask that but was told they don't make them for my tank any more (old tank).

specialsubject Mon 08-Jun-15 18:39:08

a wooden cover will do....

HappenstanceMarmite Mon 08-Jun-15 18:41:00

special I need to contact the tradesman who did the quote and dig a bit deeper I think. But good thought re wooden cover!

Sunnyshores Mon 08-Jun-15 18:45:59

Landlord for 20 years, never heard of this.

Join NLA for £100, get trained as a landlord and use their free legal helpline. Accidental or not, you have responsibilities and you need to be able to look after your tenants, your property and your finances yourself (to a degree).

specialsubject Mon 08-Jun-15 19:07:59

just an idea re the cover - our last place had one.

the house I rent out has no water tanks and a boiler set to the correct temperature at each service. I think my tenant is safe. :-)

ReallyTired Tue 09-Jun-15 00:01:09

Surely a carpenter could make you a bespoke cover for less or if you know the make and model of your water tank eBay might come up trumps.

HappenstanceMarmite Tue 09-Jun-15 07:40:44

ReallyTired I shall be looking into that, thank you. I think the tank is metal though (not sure). And how do they get a tank, or even a lid, through the loft hatch?!

lotsofcheese Tue 09-Jun-15 09:47:02

Yep, current legislation requires landlords to provide information & undertake a risk assessment by someone "suitably qualified".

I did mine myself; it's not rocket science. I have a combi boiler in a 1-bedroom flat. The information I provided asked tenants to ensure that the boiler water thermostat was set high (to ensure very hot water), to bleach shower heads 3 monthly & ensure taps were run for at least a minute after 1 week of the property being unoccupied/void periods.

There is plenty of information online; I put together an information sheet based on that. A letting agent should be more than capable of doing the assessment; I certainly wouldn't be paying £150 for it.

Sunnyshores Tue 09-Jun-15 10:33:27

from NLA and H&SE

Case 357 - Consultants and Letting Agents misinterpreting the risks of exposure to legionella of their tenants

Consultants and letting agents are i) using the revised L8 ACOP to infer there is new legislation regarding landlords responsibilities and ii) misrepresenting what the law requires of landlords of domestic rented properties in relation to assessing and controlling the risks of exposure to Legionella bacteria of their tenants, for financial gain.

Panel opinion
Health and Safety law does not require landlords to produce a ‘Legionnaires testing certificate'. Legionella testing is required only in exceptional circumstances and generally not in domestic hot and cold water systems. Such letting agents and consultants are scaremongering landlords, for financial gain, by misinterpreting and exaggerating the legal requirements to manage and control legionella in domestic premises.

specialsubject Tue 09-Jun-15 10:41:37

nice one, sunnyshores

again, the unregulated letting agent industry that the politicians continue to ignore.

Sabaidee Tue 09-Jun-15 10:54:46

Thanks everyone. Particularly Sunnyshores with that case. I had an inkling I was being taken for a ride - but it is great to have some ammunition when I challenge them!!

Sunnyshores Tue 09-Jun-15 11:26:13

That said, I will be looking at my properties when I get around it as now I know there is a small possibility. May even check my own house!!

HappenstanceMarmite Tue 09-Jun-15 15:05:20

SunnyShores that is very helpful, thank you. Would you kindly provide the link to that quote please? I shall use it next time I speak to my lettings agency!

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