Mind the information gap: three things all landlords need to know
As you might expect, we meet a lot of tenants, landlords and letting agents in the course of our work and we’re often struck by the huge variance in knowledge levels regarding Legionella control. Despite it being 25 years since the first Approved Code of Practice was published by the Health & Safety Executive, there is still a significant information gap which puts thousands of tenants at risk.
There are some great examples of best practice – such as this tenant leaflet from Jigsaw Property – but also a worrying lack of knowledge among many landlords. That said, it’s hardly surprising since the level of information coming from Government regarding the legal requirements for Legionella control is patchy at best.
If you’re a landlord or letting agent, own a holiday let or are even a casual AirBnB host, here are three things you need to know, as well as places to go for more information.
1. What the law says
If you are a landlord renting out property (or even just letting a room within your own home), you are required by law to ensure the health and safety of your tenant, which includes controlling the risk of Legionella. You can find out more about your legal responsibilities here.
2. What you need to do
There is an Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) published by the Health & Safety Executive called L8 which is designed to help ‘dutyholders’ (which includes employers and those with responsibilities for the control of premises, e.g. landlords) to comply with their legal duties in relation to Legionella. Download a copy here.
3. What to tell tenants
Your tenants need to know that there is a Legionella control system in place and understand the part they can play in ensuring their water is safe. A short written guide to give to all your tenants (see example) is a good idea and you should also consider including relevant clauses in the rental contract e.g. a requirement to descale showerheads regularly.
If you need impartial advice from a qualified professional, get in touch.