Lockdown Legionnaires’ risk

With lockdown meaning that many rental properties are sitting unoccupied, there is a risk of legionnaires bacteria growing in water systems. This can cause legionnaires disease which is a type of pneumonia caused by water droplets containing legionnaires bacteria getting into the lungs.

All landlords must carry out a legionnaires risk assessment, implement control measures to minimise the risk and regularly review the risk assessment.

To reduce the risk from empty properties landlords should ensure that before the water system is used again it is flushed out by running all outlets for at least 2 minutes. Where a property has stored water it is prudent to flush the system for longer to ensure a fresh supply of water in the storage tanks. When flushing the system avoid spraying or splashing the water which could release droplets into the air.

Further guidance on landlords’ responsibilities can be read here. Guidance for tenants can be read here.