Legionella is a potentially dangerous bacteria that harbours within standing water and can cause an inhabitant to develop Legionnaires’ Disease as a result of inhaling droplets of water from things such as air conditioning units or hot tubs which contain legionella. Evidently, it is extremely important to reduce the likelihood of the bacteria appearing initially. Therefore, Landlords are required to undertake a risk assessment every two years (unless something changes, i.e. use of water, who uses it, or a change to the system). An assessment should also be conducted if the property experiences a period of being unoccupied. Whilst this is the Landlord’s contribution to the prevention, there are a few steps a tenant can take to thwart legionella in its tracks.
1. Clean! Tenants should ensure they clean their shower head regularly to stop limescale building which can, in turn, prevent water from flowing as it should do. This will also help prevent the build-up of mould.
2. If the property has been vacant for some time either due to a change in tenant or a holiday, tenants should run the taps in the property for a few minutes in case legionella has built up inside.
3. If applicable, the hot water cylinder can be adjusted to the optimum temperate to fight against the occurrence of legionella however, you should consult with your Landlord before doing this.
4. Both landlord and tenant should report any concerns they have surrounding legionella and if applicable, any symptoms they develop. By working as a unified front, there is less of a chance of legionella becoming an issue in the property.
If your tenant occupies the property for the majority of the time and maintains it well, there is usually a low risk of contracting legionella’s disease however, it is not something that should be taken lightly – if it was, it could have deadly consequences.
Do you need help with managing the risk assessments and maintenance on your properties? Call Move today!