Legislation is changing and all rental properties must, by law have a legionnaires survey carried out on their property. The consequences can be serious. Landlords are legally required to manage properties so as not to expose tenants, residents and visitors to risk. Heavy fines or even imprisonment can be imposed especially if someone were to unfortunately die. Landlords can be prosecuted even if there is an exposure to risk without anyone actually becoming ill.

Below is a recent article from Dutton Gregory providing further information -

“The Health and Safety Executive has changed its Code of Practice for Legionnaires' disease to include water systems of a volume of less than 300 litres. Therefore landlords andmanaging agents will need to ensure that they assess and then control the risk from exposure to Legionella from all water systems in residential rental properties.

A risk assessment should ask the following questions:

In conducting the risk assessment, the person involved needs to be competent, trained and aware of their responsibilities. They must have the relevant skills to identify and assess any potential sources of exposure, and take steps to prevent or control any identified risk. An appointed person can be the landlord, a consultant or the managing agent. The chosen person must have the necessary skills required and refresher training would need to be given. A record must also be kept of the assessment for at least five years and further assessments must be carried out at least every two years and whenever a situation changes.

Please note that old water systems, especially poorly maintained systems, may require further work to be carried out and you may wish to obtain advice from a consultancy or water treatment company.

Even if the managing agent completes the risk assessment on behalf of the landlord, it should be noted that responsibility ultimately rests with the landlord.

Please note that you do not have to get a water system checked and sterilised each time a tenancy comes to an end.”

The new Landlord Handbook which accompanies the new Landlord Terms of Business contains a section advising landlords to check their property for Legionnaires' disease.

Therefore you should find a local contractor or trained assessor that can carry out the above tests and provide any remedial work required.