Landlords Responsibility for Legionella Control.

In 2013 The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) revised it's approved code of practice (ACOP) regarding the control of Legionnaires Disease. Legionella are bacteria commonly found in natural water systems (e.g. rivers and lakes) and artificial water systems (e.g. storage tanks, pipe work, taps and showers).  The bacteria is usually associated with large water systems such as those found in leisure facilities, hotels and hospitals and regular and stringent checks are carried out to monitor these types of water systems. This revision to ACOP has removed the previous 300 litre water system limit, meaning that the legislation now applies to all premises with a water system and therefore residential property is included.  

Under the new revision, as a landlord you need to take suitable precautions to prevent and control the risk of exposure to legionella. To identify the risks in your water system you, or a competent person who understands your water systems and any associated equipment, should establish possible exposure to legionella risks. When assessing the risk consider the following:
1. Are there possible areas where stagnant water could be present, e.g. pipes to a washing machine no longer used?
If yes, what should I do about it?
Remove the redundant pipe work
2. Is there any debris in the water system such as rust or sludge (typically a problem with old metal cisterns)?
If yes, what should I do about it?
Make sure water cisterns are covered, insulated, clean and free of debris.
3. Are there infrequently used outlets, e.g. showers or taps in 2nd bathrooms?
If yes, what can I do about it?
Periodically run taps and showers. We will give your tenants information about preventing Legionnaires. They will be responsible for regularly flushing taps and showers and keeping them free from lime scale.
It is important keep a record of the findings of any assessment and any associated works. It is also important to review the assessment periodically in case anything changes in your system. If you are unsure of the risks or cannot be sure that your water system is not contaminated with Legionella, you should seek advice from a professional or contact us.    
More information can be found in the following HSE publications
Legionnaires’ disease - The control of legionella bacteria in water systems -
Legionnaires’ disease - A brief guide for dutyholders -

GO Property Services Ltd sell, let & manage property across Nottinghamshire. The company is independent & in 2013 celebrated our 10 year anniversary. We are licensed by ARLA & the NAEA, and offer a high quality service that is competitively priced.

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