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All properties rented out either privately or through a managing agent now require a Legionella risk assessment to identify any potential risks to the tenants and identify any areas in which the property may need to be changed to reduce the risk to ensure your tenant’s safety whilst renting the property.

What is Legionella and Legionaire’s Disease? Legionella are bacteria that are common in natural (rivers and lakes etc) and artificial water systems, eg hot and cold water systems (storage tanks, pipework, taps and showers). Legionnaires' disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by the legionella bacteria. It can affect anybody, but some people are at higher risk than others.

What do I have to do to comply with the law?

Legionella bacteria lives in water systems / ventilation / air-­‐conditioning / air-­‐ processing systems and storage tanks in residential properties, and can then be spread, eg in spray from showers and taps. You must carry out a risk assessment to identify and assess potential sources of exposure and introduce a course of action to prevent or control any risk you have identified.

Assessing the risk

The risk needs to be assessed however no water testing should take place as the idea isn’t to see if legionella is currently present or not it is to merely find out the risk of it being present.

What should you do if you decide the risks are insignificant?

Review the assessment periodically.

What should you do if we identify risks?

Introduce proper controls, which could include disinfection of the system -­‐ you will need to refer to the ACOP for guidance on the action you should take. As the design, maintenance and operation of the system are crucial in controlling the growth of legionella, any action you take is likely to include the following:

  • ensuring water cannot stagnate anywhere in the system, eg remove redundant pipework, run taps/showers in unoccupied rooms;
  • keeping water cisterns covered, insulated, clean and free of debris;
  • insulating pipework;
  • maintaining the correct temperature at the calorifier (ie the hot water cylinder);
  • advising maintenance staff working on the system about the risks and how to minimise them; and
  • advising tenants about the risks, the control measures you are taking and the precautions they can take, such as flushing through showers following a period of non-­‐use.

Note: raising the temperature of your warm water is one way to control legionella growth, but could also increase the risk of burns and scalding. You will need to consider points like this when you do your risk assessment and decide which control measures to use.

What our service includes:

We will carry out a comprehensive risk assessment of the property and compile an independent, fully insured report for the property assessing the risk and identifying any areas that are classed as a risk. It is then up to you to arrange/monitor these identified risks and take the appropriate actions as necessary.

Please contact your agent or feel free to contact us should you have any questions.

Tel: 0845 519 1250

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Box Property Solutions Ltd - Newlands House One - Inspire Bradford Business Park - Newlands Way - Bradford - BD10 0JE

Specialised provider of property solutions including energy performance certificates, legionella risk assessments, inventories, and floor plans