Protect your tenants and test your properties for Legionella

Protect your tenants and test your properties for Legionella

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia that is caused by the inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water containing Legionella. All man-made hot and cold-water systems are likely to provide an environment where Legionella can grow.

The law is very clear that if you are a landlord and rent out your property, or even a room within your home, then you have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of your tenants by keeping your property safe and free from hazards, including Legionella.

The Law and You

Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 makes provision for relevant health and safety legislation to apply to landlords to ensure a duty of care is shown to their tenants regarding their health and safety.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 provides a framework of actions to control the risk from a range of hazardous substances, including biological agents (e.g., Legionella) to identify and assess the risks and implement any necessary measures to control said risks.

Finally, since the L8 Approved Code of Practice (3rd edition) was published in 2001, and requires landlords of both domestic and business premises to assess the risks from exposure to Legionella to their tenants.

What you should do

The risks from hot and cold-water systems in most residential settings are generally considered to be low, owing to regular water usage and turnover. However, if your property is left vacant, there is a higher chance of the water becoming contaminated.

As a basic rule of thumb outlets on hot and cold-water systems should be used at least once a week to maintain a degree of water flow and minimise the chances of stagnation.

There are a few simple control measures that you can follow to help control the risk of Legionella, including:

  • Flushing out the system prior to letting the property
  • Avoiding debris getting into the system
  • Setting control parameters
  • Make sure any redundant pipework identified is removed.

Testing for Legionella 

Legionella Testing Kits comprise of thermometers and probes for carrying out quick and easy measurements that can check for growth of Legionella bacteria. Our kits come with traceable calibration certificates, probe wipes and a protective case and notebook.

We recommend keeping a record for your own benefit when you have assessed the water within your property for Legionella, and you should also review your assessment periodically.

Find out more about Legionella testing, and the kits that we offer at Eurolec.