Legionnaires Disease is a pneumonia like illness caused by the Legionella bacteria and can be fatal in up to 1 in 3 cases. The infection is caused by breathing in airborne droplets of contaminated water from showers, whirlpool spas, water spray, cooling towers, etc. The disease cannot be passed from one person to another. The majority of outbreaks are single cases and it affects men more commonly than women and also those with suppressed immune systems.
Who is at Risk?
Not only are the elderly at risk of contracting the disease. Anyone who has a weakened immune system, due to health problems or deliberate suppression, following organ transplantation, for example, is at high risk. Also, people suffering from heart or lung problems, such as asthma, are very vulnerable.
Private Rented Accomodation
Important notes before booking
Please make sure that all services in the property are turned on (i.e. water, gas and electric supply). If they are not in use, the assessor may not be able to complete the risk assessment.
Landlords of residential/domestic type accommodation (housing, flats etc) have legal responsibilities for combating and preventing Legionnaires Disease.
Health and safety legislation requires that landlords carry out Legionella risk assessments for the Legionella bacteria which cause the potentially fatal Legionnaires' disease.
Most domestic rented premises will be low risk but as it is a potentially fatal pneumonia type of disease it is important that you risk assess your rented residential premises.
This page is intended to give a brief guide to what the residential property landlord should do. More detailed guidance is provided by the Health & Safety Executive on their website and in the Legionnaires Disease Approved Code of Practice L8 and the associated technical guidance.
What happens if the landlord does not carry out his/her obligations?
The consequences can be serious. As a landlord you are legally required to manage properties so as not to expose tenants, residents and visitors to risk. Heavy fines or even imprisonment can be imposed especially if someone were to unfortunately die. You can be prosecuted even if there is an exposure to risk without anyone actually becoming ill.
HABC L2 Award in Legionella Awareness (Hot & Cold Water Systems)