Landlord responsibilities regarding Legionnaires' disease
As a landlord, you are probably already aware that you have certain responsibilities when it comes to protecting the health and safety of our tenants. This includes assessing the risk from exposure to legionella.
Potentially - any man made hot and cold water system can provide an environment for Legionella to grow. It is this bacteria that when inhaled can cause serious forms of pneumonia.
The risks in most residential properties are considered to be low and a simple assessment may reveal that the risks are being managed and that no further action needs to be taken. It is however important to ensure that this risk remains low and there are certain measures that you can take.
- Ensuring that hot water remains hot and cold water remains cold (using control parameters).
- Keep the water moving and do not allow it to stagnate (water systems should be in use at least once a week).
- Flushing the system prior to letting your property (especially after a period of non-occupancy).
- Avoid debris getting into the system.
- Remove any redundant piepwork.
You can further reduce the risk by using combo boilers and electric showers so that there is no storage of water.
You should ensure that your tenants are aware of any control measures that need maintaining and encourage them to regularly clean and disinfect shower heads.
Due to the fact that most actions to be taken are relatively simple, most landlords can assess the risk themselves. If you do not feel competent, you can arrange for someone to do it on your behalf.
For more information, please visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/legionella-landlords-responsibilities.htm