Many landlords aren’t sure of their legal responsibilities when it comes to water and how to keep your tenants safe.
Legionella is a hazardous bacteria that grows in contaminated water. It can cause serious health effects such as high fever and headaches and in serious cases a pneumonia-like illness.
The risk of Legionnaires disease is higher in properties that are left empty for a long period. This is due to hot and cold water systems being left to stand, allowing for any bacteria to multiply.
Learn more about the risks of Legionella and conditions that higher the risk here.
Taurus Water Hygiene are a leading commercial and domestic Legionella and water hygiene assessor based in Birmingham, West Midlands. Operating for over 20 years, we are experts in managing full water hygiene treatment programmes.
In terms of landlord responsibility – the law makes it very clear in section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
If you are a landlord, you inherit a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of your tenant. You must ensure the property is kept safe and free from health hazards and not exposed to safety risks. This includes making sure that the properties water is safe to use, and if required implement appropriate control measures.
The L8 Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) first published in 2001 and revised in 2013 – explains the landlord requirement for both domestic and business premises to adequately assess the risk of their tenants to legionella exposure. It explains how any premises controlled in connection with a business must control the risk of Legionella bacteria. This refers to anywhere where water is used or stored and there is a reasonable risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria.
Although the HSE and the local authority do not proactively inspect domestic premises or ask for evidence, it is strongly recommended to keep on top of inspections as you would gas and regular property maintenance. If a tenant were to contract Legionnaires disease from their home water system, the landlord may be liable to prosecution unless they could prove to a court, they had a fulfilled their legal duty. The risk must be controlled and reviewed periodically to pick up on any changes.
Taurus Water Hygiene can support the ongoing management of your water systems to ensure they stay in the best condition.
Many landlords and premises managers choose to use Taurus Water Hygiene, as they feel more confident in using an expert assessor to carry out the legionella test to save them the hassle and responsibility of trying to assess the water quality themselves. It is also a practical option if you don’t live locally to the property or lack the time to investigate yourself.
We will ensure you are compliant with the current L8 health and safety legislation mentioned above.