www.legionellareports.co.uk visit our dedicated site for more information
Private landlords and Letting agents/Managing agents are now required, following improvements to the L8 code for legionella compliance 2015, to demonstrate that water systems are clean and healthy in their properties. The L8 code for legionella compliance is now as much a part of the process of private tenancy as the Energy Performance Certificate and Gas Safety Certificates
Essex Landlords are specialists in legionella prevention and control. We work closely with private landlords and managing agents, to ensure that private rental properties are demonstrably L8 legionella compliant through our Legionella Risk Assessments
Landlords who provide residential accommodation, as the person in control of the premises or 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 action taken if needed.
Where a managing (or letting) agent is used, the management contract should clearly specify who has responsibility for maintenance and safety checks, including managing the risk from legionella. Where there is no contract or agreement in place or it does not specify who has responsibility, the duty is placed on whoever has control of the premises and the water system in it, and in most cases, this will be the landlord themselves.
Private landlords and managing agents are required to conduct a risk assessment for hot and cold water systems for all potential hazards, including legionella. Rental properties can be particularly prone to legionella, due to periods between tenancies where they might be unoccupied. Static water in pipes and storage tanks can be a breeding ground for legionella and must be kept clean and compliant with L8 guidelines.
All residential premises are potentially at risk, so carrying out a Legionella Risk Assessment is very important
It is important to identify various factors:
a) whether water is stored or recirculated as part of the system
b) if the water temperature in some or all parts of the system is between 20º and 45ºC
c) whether there are sources of nutrients for bacteria such as rust, sludge, scale and organic matter.
A landlord or agent needs to consider whether conditions are present to encourage bacteria to multiply. Is it possible for water droplets to be produced and, if so, can they be dispersed, for example from showers. Also they need to consider whether any resident or visitor is likely to be more susceptible to infection due to age, illness or a weakened immune system and whether they could be exposed to contaminated water droplets.
Even if there is no storage of hot or cold water in the system a risk assessment will still be necessary. There can be other factors which increase the risk of Legionnaires Disease e.g. dead legs, shower heads or long runs of pipe work which contain warm water. Good design, maintenance and proper operation of the system will also help to alleviate these issues.
It is necessary to demonstrate through documentation that all practicable steps have been taken to address the risks associated with water contamination. Failure to protect those in private rental accommodation will not only put the lives of potentially vulnerable tenants at risk, but clearly falls within the legal definition of negligence on behalf of those responsible for the proper upkeep of the property. In the event of an outbreak, private landlords or letting agents who are responsible for a non-compliant property might face prosecution, a hefty fine or even imprisonment.
With a straightforward approach and market leading expertise, we are the best choice to help private landlords and letting agents ensure that their properties are safe and L8 legionella compliant.
Legionella Risk Assessments are required very 2 years, or whenever a tenancy changes hands
To arrange your assessment call us on 01245 344 534, or call us for some initial advice.
A link can be found here on HSE website for more information
Visit our dedicated site www.legionellareports.co.uk for more details