If you rent out property in Scotland you must undertake a legionella risk assessment to protect yourself legally. You also have a duty to your tenant to ensure that you have considered the risk of legionella forming in the water system of the property you rent to them.
There are many rental properties in Scotland that have not had a legionella risk assessment undertaken and these landlords are leaving themselves liable to large fines for non compliance.
The law and you.
The law is clear that if you are a landlord and rent out your property in Scotland (or even a room within your own home) then you have legal responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of your tenant by keeping the property safe and free from health hazards.
Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) makes provision for relevant health and safety legislation to apply to landlords to ensure a duty of care is shown to their tenants’ with regard to their health and safety. The general duties require 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 is 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 persons (not being his employees)”. If you rent out a property, you have legal responsibilities to ensure you conduct your undertaking in such a way that your tenant(s) are not exposed to health and safety risks.
What is Legionella?
Legionnaires' disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by the inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water containing Legionella. All man-made hot and cold water systems are likely to provide an environment where Legionella can grow. Where conditions are favourable (ie suitable growth temperature range; water droplets (aerosols) produced and dispersed; water stored and/or recirculated; some 'food' for the organism to grow such as rust, sludge, scale, biofilm etc) then the bacteria may multiply thus increasing the risk of exposure. It is a simple fact that the organism will colonise both large and small systems so both require risks to be managed effectively.
A landlord is anyone who rents out a property they own under a lease or a licence that is shorter than seven years. Landlords' duties apply to a wide range of accommodation, occupied under a lease or a licence, which includes but not exclusively, residential premises provided for rent by:
private sector landlords
undertaking where water is used or stored and there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria (L8 ACOP, paragraph 22).
A qualified assessor will need to visit your property. The inspection will take between 20 minutes and 1 hour depending on the size or complexity of your premises.
You then receive a fully completed and compliant Legionella Risk Assessment identifying any risks and putting in place control measures to reduce any risks identified. This demonstrates your compliance with the new legislation.
What is involved in the Legionella Risk Assessment?
Inspection of: Water storage tank (in loft), Hot water tank, Looking for dead leg piping (unused pipework) and Looking for corrosion
Temperatures measurement where possible of: Hot water taps throughout the house, Cold water taps throughout the house, Hot water tank and Water storage tank
What is the cost for a Legionella Risk Assessment? (Prices inclusive of VAT when Applicable)
Studio, 1 & 2 bed: £55
3 & 4 bed: £60
5+ bed: £69
How is our Legionella Risk Assessment service different from other providers?
We offer a high quality service and we do not try to sell you any addition water testing services. All our surveyors are fully trained and insured.