As a landlord, you have a legal responsibility when it comes to the safety and well-being of your tenants. Two crucial aspects of this responsibility are conducting asbestos surveys and Legionella testing. This guide will provide you with an overview of these responsibilities, and how to fulfil them to ensure the safety of your tenants.
Asbestos and Its Dangers
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in construction materials until its dangers became known. Its use was then banned in 1999, but this ban does not account for existing building stock. So, asbestos could still be present in your property if it was built before the turn of the millennium.
Inhaling asbestos fibres can lead to serious health issues, including lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. Therefore, it is crucial to manage and, if necessary, remove asbestos-containing materials from your properties.
Asbestos Management Surveys
We are here to conduct an asbestos management survey in your rental property. We will identify any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) within the property, and then assess their condition and determine the risk they pose to occupants. They will prioritise any necessary action based on what they find in this assessment.
If ACMs are found during a survey, then you will need to maintain an asbestos register that includes the location, condition, and type of ACMs found during the survey. This register should be regularly updated – which we are of course on hand to help with.
We can also help you to put together a plan to manage the identified asbestos. This may include encapsulation or removal, depending on the risk level that the ACMs pose to your tenants.
Asbestos Refurbishment Surveys
If you plan on carrying out any refurbishment or demolition work in your rental property, you must arrange a refurbishment survey. Our surveyors are competent and experienced in asbestos surveys and will be able to identify any additional ACMs that may be disturbed during the work and recommend appropriate action.
Based on our survey findings, we will work with you to develop a plan for safe asbestos removal or containment before starting any refurbishment or demolition work.
Creating an Asbestos Register
An asbestos register is a crucial document for managing asbestos in your property. It should include the following information:
- The exact location of each ACM within the property. This will include floor plans and photos.
- The type of asbestos used in the material, such as chrysotile, amosite, or crocidolite.
- The current condition of the ACMs, and whether they are in good condition or deteriorating.
- Information on the risks associated with each ACM and the recommended actions for managing them.
It’s important to keep the register up-to-date with the date of the latest asbestos survey, and regularly review and update it to reflect any changes or maintenance activities. We have plenty of experience helping landlords maintain a comprehensive register that complies with all HSE regulations.
Legionella is a type of bacteria that can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially fatal form of pneumonia. As a landlord, you are responsible for preventing Legionella growth in your rental properties. This is something that we can help you with. We will assess the risk of Legionella in your water systems, considering factors such as water temperature, system design, and the presence of stagnant water.
We will then implement appropriate control measures to manage the risk, such as maintaining water temperatures, ensuring proper water circulation, and regular cleaning and disinfection.
It’s a good idea to arrange regular Legionella testing to ensure the effectiveness of any action you have taken. Again, this is something we carry out with a large number of landlords, and we can help you to maintain records of your risk assessments, control measures, and testing results.
We’re Here to Help
We’re here to help you stay on top of all your responsibilities regarding asbestos and Legionella testing. If you want to know more about our services or arrange a visit to your rental property, please get in touch with us today. No matter the size of your property portfolio, our experienced team are here to ensure that you do everything by the book.