Legionella Risk Assessment
There is not the option to “opt out” – It is law that a risk assessment must be done for any rented property. Failure to follow the legislation and have a “professional” risk assessment carried out can be seen as failure to follow the above legislation. The penalty is a fine of £5000 and a possible 6 months prison sentence with a criminal record.
The legislation states that Landlords are now required to carry out risk assessments for legionnaire’s disease, and if necessary, take action. The risk assessment does not require you to test the water for presence of bacteria but is more of a visual assessment of whether there is a risk of bacteria breeding in the water systems. Things that need assessing include, cold water storage tanks and their lids, shower heads, the temperature of the hot and cold water, deadlegs present on any appliances, the boiler set to a high enough temperature to keep bacteria from breeding, debris in the system, thermostatic mixing valves and more should all be inspected. To comply with the law, landlords and agents need to be aware that legionella bacteria can multiply in hot or cold water systems and storage tanks, and be spread via showers and taps. Risk assessments must identify and assess potential sources of exposure, and steps taken to prevent or control any risk that is identified. If you are doing these risk assessments yourself, or arranging this yourself, we will need a report to keep on file – much like the gas safety certificate.