Q&As

Who is responsible for Legionella testing under Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, SI 2002/2677, (COSHH)—a tenant with a full repairing lease or the Landlord?

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Produced in partnership with Helen Galley of XXIV Old Buildings
Published on LexisPSL on 29/06/2018

The following Property Q&A produced in partnership with Helen Galley of XXIV Old Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Who is responsible for Legionella testing under Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, SI 2002/2677, (COSHH)—a tenant with a full repairing lease or the Landlord?

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by the inhalation of small droplets of water contaminated with the Legionella bacteria. Systems where water is stored and recirculated such as in water based air conditioning systems can develop colonies of such bacteria whether the systems are large or small. The risks need to be managed effectively.

There are various statutes and regulations which impact on the duties to carry out risk assessments and to carry out steps including maintenance of systems to minimise those risks. The duties in this regard are imposed on employers, and those with control of a building. Those with control of a building will include persons falling within the definition of a landlord. A landlord is a person (whether an individual or a corporation), which rents out a property under a lease or licence shorter than seven years. The landlord’s duties apply to a wide range of accommodation including but not exclusively residential. The landlord may be a local authority, a housing association, a private sector landlord etc.

If premises are let on a longer lease than seven years the landlord will not fit within the definition of landlord for this purpose and so will not be under the relevant duties.

An employer is also under the duties and, indeed, COSHH are mainly directed towards employers. Thus, if the premises are

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