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Legionella Checks For Landlords 

What is Legionella?

Legionnaires' disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by the inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water containing Legionella. 

All man-made hot and cold water systems are likely to provide an environment where Legionella can grow. Where conditions are favourable (i.e. suitable growth temperature range; water droplets (aerosols) produced and dispersed; water stored and/or recirculated; some 'food' for the organism to grow such as rust, sludge, scale, biofilm etc.) the bacteria may multiply and increase the risk of exposure.

The Legionella organism can colonise within large and small, hot and cold water systems so both require risks to be managed effectively.

The Law and Landlords

UK law is clear that if you are a landlord and rent out your property then you have legal responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of your tenant by keeping the property safe and free from health hazards including Legionella.

What You Must Do

The practical and proportionate application of health and safety law to landlords of domestic rental properties is that whilst there is a duty to assess the risk from exposure to Legionella to ensure the safety of their tenants, this does not require an in-depth, detailed assessment.

The Legionella risks within hot and cold water systems in many residential settings are generally considered to be low owing to regular water usage and turnover. A typical Legionella 'low risk' example may be found in a small building (e.g. housing unit) with small domestic-type water systems where daily water usage is inevitable and sufficient to turn over the entire system; where cold water is directly from a wholesome mains supply (no stored water tanks); where hot water is fed from instantaneous heaters or low volume water heaters (supplying outlets at 50 °C); and where the only outlets are toilets and wash hand basins.

Simple control measures to help control the risk of exposure to Legionella include:

  • Flushing out the system prior to letting the property
  • Avoiding debris getting into the system (eg ensure the cold water tanks, where fitted, have a tight fitting lid)
  • Setting control parameters (eg setting the temperature of the hot water cylinder to ensure water is stored at 60°C)
  • Ensuring any redundant pipework is removed


The Legionella risk is further lowered where instantaneous water heaters (for example comb- boilers and electric showers) are installed because there is no water storage. We carry out Legionella safety checks and assessments for you as a Landlord to give peace of mind, knowing that there is no health risk within your rented properties.

Call us today on 01376 323 037 to arrange Legionella checks at your rented properties.

Find PG Bones Ltd Plumbers in Braintree on the Checkatrade website - ask about our Landlord Legionella Checks & Assessments Service

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