Have you fulfilled your legal duty to ensure that the risk of exposure of tenants to legionella is assessed and controlled?
Landlords who provide residential accommodation, as the person responsible for the water systems in their premises, have a legal duty to ensure that the risk of exposure of tenants to legionella is properly assessed and controlled.
Where landlords have a large number of units a representative proportion of the premises should initially be assessed, on the basis of similar design, size, age and water supply, with the entire estate eventually assessed on a rolling programme of work.
All water systems require a risk assessment but not all systems require elaborate control measures. A risk assessment may show that there are no real risks from legionella, but if there are, implementing appropriate measures will prevent or control these risks.
The law requires simple, proportionate and practical actions to be taken, including identifying and assessing sources of risk, managing the risk, preventing or controlling the risk; and periodically checking that any control measures are effective.
The risk may increase where a property is unoccupied for a short period. It is important that water is not allowed to stagnate within the water system and so dwellings that are vacant for extended periods should be managed carefully. It is important to review the assessment periodically in case anything changes in the system. However, the frequency of inspection and maintenance will depend on the system and the risks it presents.