safetylady silver

Registered with
Saturday 31st January 2015

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 23

safetylady silver

19:19 PM, 15th April 2016, About 6 years ago

Legionella risk assessment update please

If you are actually self-employed (or an employer) then this ACOP may apply, although ironically the self-employed are now (recently) exempt from H&S legislation 'where there is no risk to another person'. The HSE contradict themselves on this re: legionella, so just pay a tenner for a simple form and rest easy, if this is you.

However, if you are NOT self-employed, but a passive landlord, HMRC regard you as not 'in business' and certainly not self-employed either (for landlording purposes).

Health & safety at Work legislation is for people AT WORK. It would be up to the HSE to prove that a private landlord was AT WORK under the terms of the HSWA.

L8 *Legionella Code of Practice" when updated in 2013, forgot to clarify the distinction, and suggests, in the text "all landlords". However, in "Legal Responsibilities", the specific legislation (COSHH if you care) applies only to "employers or self-employed".

The HSE are being disingenuous in allowing the industry to continue this misunderstanding, they also state on their website that any risk is very low in single domestic properties and they will not be actively enforcing this. Hmm.

They do not have the power to even THINK about enforcing HSE law on anyone not actively engaged in managing their properties (so not in business) or defined as self-employed.

If they think COSHH applies, then so should all other health & safety AT WORK legislation, which is clearly a nonsense.

Housing safety standards - applicable to ALL properties - which include water quality and any risk of infection, but exclude L8 - are enforced by local authorities EHOs or Housing enforcers. Not by HSE. The only legislation HSE are warranted to enforce which applies to ANYONE, regardless of employment status, is the Gas Safety Regulations. And it is unusual for that reason.

It suits those in the water treatment industry (traditionally catering to businesses) to perpetuate this unfortunate misunderstanding, and the HSE don't care either, as they know they are never going to have to test the legality of it, because the risk is negligible and they will always have bigger fish to fry. Rightly so.

Those who want to, will cite the content of L8 (sadly inaccurate or incomplete in parts) but L8 is NOT law. It is industry Code and guidance. The law (COSHH) can only be applied to those specified as duty-holders under HSWA. Employers and self-employed.... Read More

safetylady silver

10:58 AM, 27th November 2015, About 6 years ago

Are most landlords under charging?

Reply to the comment left by "michael fickling" at "27/11/2015 - 10:25":

Michael: all true, and the first step would be . . .?

The status of 'landlord' seems to fall between two stools, depending on who is looking at it.

HMRC regards 'small' landlords with limited activities as investors, and not as 'in business'. I guess that is the government view. HSE (see legionella debates) says they are all (4 million apx) 'in business' and therefore 'self-employed' even though this is also patent rubbish.

Whilst the position of full-time landlords being 'in business' is valid, there is still the 'sticky' perception of it being 'investment' rather than a 'proper' business.

Incorporation can be the way forward (if not already there) for these, but such 'business landlords' are a minority against the 95% or more 'investor landlords'.

Being compared, as is the case, to owner-occupiers is negative, we all know that.
So what about campaigning to make ALL landlording a 'business', persuade HMRC to see it that way, and every landlord liable for National Insurance contributions, and do all the other businessy things (including H&S compliance)?

It is likely too late in the BTL day now, but that is the root of much of this messy government thinking.... Read More

safetylady silver

13:03 PM, 26th November 2015, About 6 years ago

Are most landlords under charging?

Thing is - LHA is based on actual existing rents across the Rental Market Area . These are evaluated and reviewed by the Valuation Agency annually. (not sure how this is actually done).
So if rents dont increase, neither will LHA. In fact my area has reduced the LHA this year.

If LHA doesnt increase, tenants won't be able to afford rent increases. Etc.

The open market rental rates may swing it, but in many areas, the proportion of LHA tenants has increased.... Read More

safetylady silver

13:34 PM, 18th November 2015, About 6 years ago

DIY Legionella Risk Assessment Reports for Just £9

Apart from the fact that the self-employed MAY now be 'exempted' anyway from H&S legislation (and if you want 'clear as mud' this is a perfect example), the "5 or under" exemption is only for the DOCUMENTING of safety measures, not from IMPLEMENTING them.
In very small businesses, communication is generally quite direct and straightforward.
Once there are a few people working, communication to all gets more difficult, and formalising safety documentation should help.

So a safety policy, risk assessment and rules etc. are (were!) still needed, but need not be written down for these micro businesses.

In truth such businesses may have to get more formal to apply for contracts, or their insurers may insist, or people (like on here) say they have to, so they often do document although it need not be long-winded or even typed!

I may not know that much about legionella in the technical sense, but I know a lot about safety law. And that is how I know that I have no legal duty under COSHH regs or HASAWA.
As you yourself say, guidance, including ACOPs, are not the law. Only breaches of statute can be cited. An you have to be a dutyholder - limited to 3 categories: (1) employer (2) self-employed or (3) person in control of premises used for work purposes.... Read More

safetylady silver

19:43 PM, 16th November 2015, About 6 years ago

DIY Legionella Risk Assessment Reports for Just £9

Reply to the comment left by "Allan Mazey" at "16/11/2015 - 17:10":

I pay this for each annual gas safety check.
Which IS legally required (I am not self-employed or in property business, just a landlord). And there is a clear and obvious risk.

Why would I pay the same for a negligible notional risk, especially as I am not a dutyholder under L8?... Read More