Landlords of residential accommodation have responsibilities for combating Legionnaires' Disease. Health and Safety legislation referenced in the following; Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, L8 Approved Code of Practice (3rd edition), requires that landlords maintain control measures to minimise the risks of tenants becoming infected by the Legionella bacteria.
Most rented premises may be low risk but it is important that Landlords can demonstrate that they are managing the risks and implementing control measures where required.
Legionnaires' Disease is a pneumonia like illness caused by the Legionella bacteria and can in some circumstances be fatal. The infection is caused by breathing in small droplets of contaminated water.
The bacteria are found in the natural environment and may contaminate and grow in water systems, including domestic hot and cold water systems. They thrive at temperatures between 20 - 45°C, if the conditions are right, but they are killed by high temperatures at 60°C or above.
Landlords are under a duty to ensure that the risk of exposure to tenants, residents and visitors by Legionella is properly assessed and controlled.A Risk Assessment carried out by a suitably qualified and competent person will demonstrate that the landlord has fulfilled their legal duty.
For most residential settings the risk assessment may well show the risks are low so long as simple control measures are followed. This will apply to houses or flats with small domestic type water systems where the water turnover is high. It is important, however, to keep the assessment under review and may be prudent to link the review process with the annual gas safety check programme.
If a tenant were to contract Legionnaires’ disease from the water system in the property, the landlord may be liable to prosecution under HSWA, and would have to demonstrate to a court that they had fulfilled their legal duty, so it is important that they assess and control the risks correctly.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your property and tenant details. Our accredited and insured staff will organise access to the property with your tenants. Once the assessment has been completed you will receive a copy of the report by email along with our invoice.
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