Legislation surrounding the risks and maintenance of Legionella control has been finalised. It is now the legal requirement of all landlords to have two yearly Legionella risk assessments and remedial work to deal with the risks that arise. This is as important as annual gas safety checks and is necessary. Failure to manage the Legionella risk is a criminal offence and can result in a fine or a custodial sentence, even if there has been no illness. Legionella is a water-borne bacteria that can reside in taps, water tanks, pipe “dog legs”, shower heads and cooling appliances such as air conditioning. The new legislation requires that all landlords be responsible for testing for and remedial work to manage the risks of Legionella.

All tenanted properties should have been assessed by the beginning of October 2015, and remedial action should be taken where necessary. This work has to be completed by an accredited and qualified assessor. Landlords who wish to arrange their own Legionella risk assessment, checks, and remedial action will be required to provide in writing that they are the responsible person for the management of Legionella risk.

At Randalls, we have been working to secure the services of Legionella management providers and are prepared to arrange Legionella testing, risk assessment and management for your property.

What is Legionella?

Legionella is a water-borne bacteria in warm, still waters and tanks. It is most dangerous for the very young or elderly but is still dangerous to all ages. Legionella dies above 60C and thrives between 20C and 45C, making the bacteria prevalent in hot water systems that only run at lukewarm temperatures.

The recent legislation changes for Legionella are some of the most significant changes since the annual gas safety check.

Twiz Fitch

If a Legionella test shows positive or conditions exist that could harbour Legionella, action will need to be taken. This could involve draining and disinfecting a water tank, descaling taps and shower heads, and, in some cases, the need for plumbing services to remove pipework “dog legs” (a section of pipe that used to lead somewhere but has been cut and capped since but is still connected to the water supply).

If you wish to conduct your own tests, there are companies that can provide this service directly to landlords. In this event, Randalls Property Agents will require a disclaimer stating that you, the landlord, have taken full responsibility for the Legionella risk management.

  • Legionella risk assessments are compulsory. Testing is not.
  • Assessments need to be done once every two years.
  • All private tenanted properties are included in the legislation.