There is a legal duty for landlords who provide residential accommodation to consider, assess and control the risks of exposure to Legionella to their tenants.
While the HSE does not yet require a specific 'certificate' to validate this assessment, but without some tangible proof of the assessment, then landlords will have to implement some other process to demonstrate that they've carried out the assessment.
The HSE requires that the individual carrying out the asssement is competent or that the landlord employs someone who is.
The HSE does point out that: 'Misinterpretation of the legal requirements by some consultants and letting agents about landlords responsibilities to manage and control legionella in domestic premises may result in unnecessary financial burdens being placed on landlords and tenants.'
So, it's important to be careful of claims from consultancies who oversell the importance of this check, at least for a simple household tennancy. But, equally it is important to remember that Landlords do need to have assessed the risk, and have to be competant to do so.
While not overselling its importance, it is something all Landlords and so all Estate Agents have to be aware of. And more importantly, have to manage professionally.
In most residential settings, a simple assessment should indicate low levels of risk is minimal and no specific action is needed. In many cases s ome simple control measures will suffice and can include:
- flushing out the system before you let the property - avoiding debris getting into the system so, for exampe ensuring the cold water tanks, where fitted, have a tight fitting lid - setting reasonable control parameters, for example setting the temperature of the calorifier to ensure water is stored at 60°C making sure any redundant pipework that is identified is removed.
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