Revised rules say landlords are responsible for combating legionnaire’s disease

01 April 2012 Categories: News

Revised rules say landlords are responsible for combating legionnaire’s disease

Hotels and leisure complexes that have running water for public use have had an obligation to protect their patrons from the possibility of Legionnaires disease for many years, and now it seems the Health and Safety Executive has decided that landlords need to do the same for their tenants.

A revision of the Approved Code of Practice for Legionnaires disease has emphasised that it is a legal requirement for landlords or letting agents, if they are employed in a property management capacity, to reduce the risk of Legionella bacteria residing in the water systems of their rented residential properties.

The Legionella bacterium thrives in stagnant water but it can also survive in both the hot and cold water systems. Temperatures of between 20 and 40 degrees centigrade offer perfect conditions for reproduction and unfortunately this temperature range is found in most residential properties.

Landlords are expected to conduct risk assessments with regards to Legionnaires disease and keep the results of their assessments for a minimum of 5 years. Any stagnant water areas and water outlets that are rarely used need to be inspected on a regular basis. It is also advised that simple tests for the Legionella bacterium are also carried out to back up the risk assessment results.