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Landlords, here’s how to protect your tenants from Legionella and yourselves from being liable

If you are a landlord of a property or multiple properties, it's very important that you understand that you have a duty of care in regards to keeping your tenants safe.

Whether you are renting out a residential house, a flat, a room, a commercial property, or even simply an Airbnb on a short term basis, you have a duty of care.

Risks of legionella in domestic properties are generally low, this because of the regular usage of water systems and also because cold water tends to come directly from the mains supply.

However, legionella bacteria will grow and thrive in certain temperatures, these temperatures have been found to be between 20 – 45 °C. The bacteria will remain dormant below 20 °C and die when the temperature is above 60 °C.

The water in most domestic properties tends to be either too hot or too cold for legionella bacteria to survive in. However, regular testing is still advised.

With that being said, there are extra precautions that need to be taken in certain circumstances. For example, if your property has been left unattended and unoccupied for a lengthy period of time, there could be an increased risk, especially when left unattended in hot seasons like summer. A flushing out of all systems is advised before you offer up your property to any new tenants.

We’d also suggest that you educate tenants on how they can protect themselves against legionella, as they too have a responsibility to their own health by preventing legionella. If tenants experience any problems with hot water in the property they should contact their landlord immediately. A simple step that they can take is to regularly clean shower heads and taps, removing any limescale build up and promoting clear flow of water.

The law has its own straight forward steps to take for landlords when tackling legionella.

3 steps landlords must take:

1. Conduct legionella risk assessment

2. Ensure that all tenants are protected from the risks of legionella

3. Implement necessary measures that reduce the risks of legionella

It is not a legal requirement to produce a legionella water sample test certificate, however, a landlord may be liable to prosecution under the HSWA if a tenant were to contract Legionnaires’ disease from the water system in their property. As the responsible landlord you would then have to provide evidence in court that you had fulfilled your legal responsibility under both HSWA, and COSHH.

If you are a commercial landlord or property owner and require a legionella risk assessment, make sure that you contact us today on 01604 696113.

From there we can provide you with a free no obligation quotation for a survey. Upon inspection, we can then implement the best legionella remote monitoring system, to enhance how you monitor and manage the safety of the water systems that you are responsible for.


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