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Attention Landlords: Legionnaire’s Disease

What is Legionnaire’s disease?

Legionnaire’s disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia which can affect anybody.  It is caused by the inhalation of small droplets of water from contaminated sources containing legionella bacteria.

The law is clear, according to the Health and Safety Executive, if a landlord rents out a property they have a legal responsibility to ensure the Health and Safety of tenants and their visitors, by maintaining the property as safe and free from health hazards, including the risk of Legionnaires’ disease.

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by the inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water containing Legionella bacteria.  All man made hot and cold water systems are likely to provide an environment where Legionella 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.) then the bacteria may multiply, thus increasing the risk of exposure.  It is a simple fact that the organism will colonise both large and small systems so both require risks to be managed effectively.

At Bowes Mitchell we can offer a Legionnaires’ disease assessment.  Whilst we are not experts in Legionnaires’ disease &/or water quality testing we will not be accountable as this issue is still the Landlord’s responsibility.  What our report, with photographs will identify, as seen, is:

  1. What water systems are evident in the property
  2. What water temperatures are measured
  3. Whether there is observable evidence of any dirt
  4. Scaling, sludging or other nutrients which can promote Legionella bacterial growth
  5. A summary of what possible follow up action may be needed.

The Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015

From 1st October 2015 the regulations require private rented sector landlords to have:

  1. At least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their rental property which is used as living accommodation, and
  2. A carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where solid fuel is used.  However, as gas appliances can emit carbon monoxide, we would expect and encourage reputable landlords to ensure that working carbon monoxide alarms are installed in rooms with these.

Landlords must test on the first day of the tenancy, tenants should then take responsibility for their own safety and test all alarms regularly to make sure they are in working order.

Bowes Mitchell can provide a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm record certificate at the beginning of each tenancy or changeover.  This document is a record that on the day of inspection the alarms responded to artificial smoke in respect of smoke alarms and a calibrated source of carbon monoxide test gas at the higher level of the alarm point required by BS EN50291 in respect of the carbon monoxide alarms.

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