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Q: As a landlord, do I need to do a Legionella risk assessment? A: Yes

November 30th 2019
By: Davis Tate

The responsibility of a landlord to assess for Legionella in their rented property falls under the legal requirement to ensure the health and safety of their tenants, by keeping the property safe and free from health hazards.

It is recommended that properties should be checked at least every two years or more if they pose a higher risk.

Landlords are not required to instruct a professional, should they wish to carry this assessment out themselves. However, if they will be carrying out the report independently, they need to be aware of what is required and keep a record on file to show that they are compliant.

Here is what Landlords need to know:

Legionnaires’ is a pneumonia-like disease commonly caused by the inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water.

What must landlords do?

Landlords must assess and control the risk of exposure of tenants to legionella to ensure the safety of their tenants, but this does not require an in-depth detailed assessment.

Control measures can include:

• Flushing out the water system before letting the property.

• Ensure cold water tanks have a tight lid to stop debris getting into the system.

• Setting control parameters to ensure water is stored at the correct temperature.

• Remove any unused pipework.

Claire Tier, Joint Lettings Director at Davis Tate explains, "Although the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) does not require a formal 'Legionella Test Certificate', landlords are required to ensure the property is safe for tenants by assessing and controlling the risk of tenants to legionella. Records of any assessments should be kept and follow up checks need to be carried out periodically, such as when undertaking the annual gas safety check or routine maintenance visits."

You can read guidance on Legionella testing and your requirements as a landlord here.   

If you would like Davis Tate to organise a Legionella risk assessment on your behalf, please contact your local branch.