Legionella advice for landlords

Aqua Protec - Air Techno | Legionella Advice for Landlords

What is Legionella?

The Legionella bacteria is found in natural water sources such as rivers and reservoirs, it is therefore transferred into our domestic hot and cold water systems in our homes. Resistant to the normal levels of chlorination found in our potable water, the domestic water system is an ideal breeding ground when water is at a 'safe' from scalding temperature between 20°C and 45°C, or left to stagnate in little uses outlets, e.g. an outdoor bibtap.

Potential sources of Legionnaires' disease in your property include

  • Storage Tanks
  • Pipework
  • taps
  • Showers
  • Deadleg pipework
  • Spa Baths
  • Whirlpool Baths

Whilst safe to drink, if inhaled the legionella bacteria cause Legionnaires disease, a form of pneumonia, which kills 12% of those infected. Pontiac fever and lechgoilhead fever are also caused by other species of Legionella bacteria.

The Law

The law has changed. As a landlord you are responsible to ensure that the risk from expose to legionella in your premises is properly controlled.

The revised Approved Code of Practice(ACoP) and guidance Legionnaires' disease : The control of legionella bacteria in water systems L8 fourth edition (2013) has special legal status that means if you do not comply it can result in prosecution and even imprisonment. The HSE states: 'Even if you have passed on responsibility for maintaining your property, through an agreement with a third party, you cannot delegate these responsibilities.

In order to comply with the law you need to appoint a competent person, e.g. from a consultancy company, to carry out Risk Assessment in accordance with L8 and BS 8580:2010. This should be renewed every 2 years or sooner if there are any changes made to the water system on the premises or it becomes the possession of a new Landlord.

The Good News

In most residential settings the risk assessment shows the risks are low, meaning no further action would be necessary, but if there are risks, simple control measures can be put in place.

Get in Touch

To enquire about a price for a residential risk assessment please visit our price enquiry page or contact our consulatancy team on 01386 793690