Legionella represents a low risk in most lettings, but it does exist. Three men died when they contracted Legionnaires’ disease from a badly maintained hot tub on display at a garden centre in 2012, which had not been filtered or cleaned for weeks.
It is not necessary to pay for an expert assessment for residential lettings so long as landlords or agents see themselves as competent enough to spot a small number of specific risks, that they are prepared to complete the necessary risk assessment documentation on a regular basis and keep the records for a minimum of 5 years.
The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) is reminding businesses and landlords to ensure they are meeting regulations to prevent an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.
This warning comes after a report from The Health Protection Agency (now known as Public Health England) on the death of the three men from the disease.
The three men contracted Legionnaires’ when stagnant water in the hot tub led to the growth of the bacteria and when switched on for display, the Legionnaires’ particles became airborne and spread around the garden centre. 21 other people were also found to have caught the bug from the same outbreak.
Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by the bacteria legionella. This is commonly found in freshwater areas but can sometimes find its way into water supplies. Large systems in hotels, hospitals and public buildings are most at risk but smaller domestic premises can become involved and are included in the latest revised regulations.
The most signiﬁcant change for landlords and letting agents is the removal of the 300 litre limit for hot and cold water services in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) updated legislation in 2012 regarding the control of Legionnaires’ disease documented in the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP). This means that all premises with a water system are now within the scope of the regulations.
Legionella are bacteria common in hot and cold water systems (storage tanks, pipework, taps and showers, hot tubs). They are less common in domestic water systems but they can exist and some conditions make this more likely. Legionella can survive in low temperatures, but thrive at temperatures between 20 and 45 degrees C. However, high temperatures of 60 degrees C and above will kill them.
What landlords and agents need to do – faq
Risk of Legionella: What Landlords and Agents Need to Do – http://t.co/dy3hR7MIHC
— LandlordZONE® (@LandlordZONE) May 28, 2015