The following information is provided as a guide for residential landlords in England. Regulations may change (sometimes at short notice) or could vary in other parts of the United Kingdom.
This risk assessment is for the Legionella bacteria which cause Legionnaires’ Disease, a pneumonia-like illness caused by the Legionella bacteria which can be fatal. The infection is caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria. Legionella bacteria are found in the natural environment and may contaminate and grow in water systems, including domestic hot and cold water systems found in residential properties.
Health and safety legislation requires that landlords carry out risk assessments for the Legionella bacteria which cause Legionnaires disease and thereafter maintain control measures to minimise the risk. Most rented premises will be low risk but it is important that risk assessments are carried out and control measures introduced.
Legislation states that landlords must ensure a duty of care is shown to their tenants’ with regard to their health and safety, therefore a Legionella Risk Assessment is highly recommended.
At present no specific certificate exists and risk assessments vary. In addition to this no specific penalty is outlined (although this may change in the future), however if landlords do not take their duty of care seriously they could face penalty under one of the following:
“Although many landlords have heard of Legionella many are unaware of the risks posed in a residential property and the need to carry out an adequate risk assessment.”
– Property Management Team –
It is recommended Landlords review the assessment periodically, especially if there are any changes to the system.
Many simple control measures can help control the risk of exposure to Legionella, these include: