HSE’s Myth Buster Panel has criticised consultants and Letting Agents for misrepresenting Legionnaires Disease risks in tenanted properties for financial gain.
The panel confirmed that H&S law does not require landlords to produce a ‘Legionnaires testing certificate’. Legionella testing is required only in exceptional circumstances and generally not in domestic hot and cold water systems. Such letting agents and consultants are scaremongering landlords, for financial gain, by misinterpreting and exaggerating the legal requirements in homes.
The risk in homes is low in part because most water systems are regularly used limiting the time for water to stagnate.
Simple control measures can help control the risk of exposure to legionella such as:
- Flushing out the system prior to letting the property
- Avoiding debris getting into the system (e.g. ensure any cold water tanks have a tight fitting lid)
- Setting controls to ensure water is stored at 60C.
- Make sure any redundant pipework identified is removed.