Legionella Risk Assessments

Legionella Risk Assessments are now a mandatory requirement for those who rent out property. We undertake Legionella Risk Assessments throughout the South East for domestic premises as part of the landlords compliance. In addition to the initial risk assessment we can provide on going management and/or regular review assessments.

The Approved Code of Practice L8 provides that Landlords must have a legionella risk assessment undertaken of their rental property and to ensure that this assessment is regularly monitored to control and where possible reduce any risks which may exist. You can download a copy of the Government L8 Guidance here: hse-acop-l8-legionnaires-disease-the control-of-legionella-in-water-systems

The report that we undertake looks at the water system at the property and its fittings and makes comment and recommendations in terms of how any risks can be managed.

In addition to the initial inspection we are able to undertake the ongoing monitoring should you wish.

Why do we have to have a risk assessment now when we have not needed one previously?

The law has changed in that previously a risk assessment for legionella was only required if the system had a capacity of 300 litres or more of water. That minimum amount has been reduced to zero litres and therefore there is now a requirement to risk assess residential properties.

The landlord has no water tank as water comes from the mains so does he still need an assessment?

Yes. There may be other factors within your system that increase the risks of legionellosis, eg deadlegs, showerheads and/or long runs of pipe work containing warm water. A risk assessment should also consider anyone who could be potentially exposed to any legionella bacteria in your system, and particularly groups that are at a higher risk of contracting legionellosis. However, once you have completed your risk assessment you may decide that the risks are insignificant. If you do, you need take no further action other than to review the assessment regularly in case anything changes in your system

Why is this down the landlord and not the water board?

The water board are not responsible for the water once it enters the property. The obligation for the risk assessment and ongoing monitoring lies with the landlord of the property.

How often does this have to be done?  

There should be an initial risk assessment and there should then be a monitoring programme in place. Most of the reports suggest that a monitoring visit should take place every 24 months however if the water system is particularly complex or there are concerns regarding the standard of the system then more frequent monitoring could be recommended.

What is involved with the risk assessment?

legionella risk assessment kentThe surveyor will look at the water system in the property, the pipework, any tanks, heaters and cylinders and take temperature readings at each water outlet. This information will then form the basis of the report that will be provided to you.

What happens if I don’t have a risk assessment done?

Technically you would be in breach of the legislative process. Certainly in the event of an outbreak of legionnaires disease in one of your properties you could be in a difficult situation in the event that you had not undertaken a risk assessment and therefore made efforts to control/reduce any risk that existed.

How long does the survey take?

For a standard residential dwelling the survey will take around 45 minutes.

What recommendations may the survey make?

Safeguards may involve disinfecting water systems, cleaning shower heads, servicing air conditioning units, removing or stagnant water pools and water tanks from systems, insulating pipework, and keeping water cisterns properly covered and free of debris.

Does the law apply to flats and HMOs or just houses?

All property let for residential purposes should have a risk assessment undertaken.