Legionella happens to be a very hazardous bacteria which is found in water and which can cause legionnaires’ disease. Legionella has the highest chances of growing in hot and cold water systems where the temperatures range between 20 to 45 degree Celsius. It might also grow in water tanks or other systems where the water remains stagnant or in properties which are left empty for a very long period of time. Properties with combi boilers have very little chances to see the growth of legionella and it is mainly because in such properties the water keeps moving which gives bacteria little to no chance of developing and growing. On the other hand, homes which have open water tanks have a very high risk of legionella because in such properties the water is left to stagnate.
What are the different risks of legionella?
Legionella can cause the legionnaires’ disease which needs to be taken very seriously because you or your tenant ends up being infect with the legionnaires’ disease then the result can be anywhere from high fevers to coughing to nausea to head aches and even shortness of breath.
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There are many symptoms of legionnaires’ disease all of which can easily last from anywhere between 2 days to 10 days but the saving grace is that such symptoms can be treated with antibiotics provided that the symptoms have been identified within time and the situation has not worsened.
People of all age groups and genders are at a very high risk of legionella but old people and people with lung issues and very poor immune function happen to be the most vulnerable of the lot.
Is it mandatory for landlords to carry out legionella risk assessment?
It is not legally mandatory or necessary upon landlords to opt for a legionella risk assessment. However it is considered to be a duty of landlords to opt for legionella risk assessment for landlords to protect the safety of their tenants and to ensure their health. It is a moral obligation for landlords to ensure that the water of their property is safe for drinking and using. To ensure all of this, it becomes imperative on the part of landlords to opt for legionella risk assessment for landlords. Here one needs to be note that a risk assessment is not really a legal requirement but it is one of the best ways of ensuring that your water supply is protected and safe.
What exactly does a legionella risk assessment for landlords entail?
When you opt for legionella risk assessment for landlords you should know that this assessment will cover all the different water systems on your rental property. Therefore, it can be said that the legionella risk assessment for landlords will involve :-
- Identifying possible hazards
- Identifying the level of risk
- Identifying who exactly is at risk
- Tabulating the discoveries of the legionella risk assessment for landlords.
- Reviewing the legionella risk assessment for landlords, as and when it is needed to do so
- Thoroughly testing the water system for legionella
It is very important that legionella risk assessment for landlords should be carried out by specialists and experts who have a thorough understanding of legionella. It is advised that being an average landlord you don’t do it on your own and for better results hire a professional for the same.
How often should you carry out legionella risk assessment for landlords?
If you happen to have a rental property with a water system then you should know that you are at the risk of legionella and you are strongly advised to go for legionella risk assessment for landlords, once in every 2 years, and especially before the beginning of a new tenancy. If you notice considerable changes to the water system of the property then it might be a very good idea to go for legionella risk assessment for landlords.
How long would a legionella risk assessment for landlords take?
The duration of legionella risk assessment for landlords will differ from case to case and from property to property. First a temperature reading of the different taps in your property will be taken which will be followed by a thorough reading of outlet pipes. Then taps and showerheads might be inspected and later pipe work and flexible hoses might be reported upon. It might take around 20 minutes to inspect a one-bed flat and it might take around an hour or even more to inspect a three-bed house.
The Bottom Line
As a landlord, it is always in your best possible interests to reduce the risks related to legionella on your property and for doing so you can follow a couple of basic control measures like removing faulty pipe work, setting control parameters, ensuring tanks are tightly fit and completely flushing out the water before the property is let out to a new tenant.
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