Target Property Services NE

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03rd June 2021

Legionella Awareness

What is Legionella?

Legionella is hazardous bacteria that can be found in water. In a residential property, Legionella can grow in water stored at temperatures between 20°C and 45°C degrees. If ingested or inhaled, water containing Legionella will lead to Legionella Disease or legionellosis – an infectious and sometimes fatal form of pneumonia.

Hot and cold water systems are an ideal environment for Legionella to grow in. The risk of contamination is particularly higher in:

  • Water tanks and systems in which water is stagnant and/or recirculated
  • Temperatures between 20°C and 45°C degrees
  • Water droplets or aerosols produced by whirlpool baths or shower-heads
  • Mist and spray dispersed into the air
  • Rust, scale, sludge and biofilm that “feed” the bacteria
  • Properties that are left empty for a long period of time

The risk of Legionella is particularly low in properties with combi boilers, as the system keeps the water moving – giving the bacteria little chance to develop.

However, homes with open water tanks (usually older buildings) have a substantially higher risk of Legionella, as the water is more likely to be left to stagnate.

What are the risks of Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease?

Legionnaires’ disease can be very serious. If infected, you or your tenant will be subject to:

  • High fevers
  • Coughing
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea

The symptoms usually last between 2 to 10 days and can be treated with antibiotics if identified soon enough. Some people are particularly vulnerable to the risks of Legionella, including older people, those with lung issues and poor immune function.

Are landlords legally required to carry out a Legionella risk assessment?

There is a legal duty for landlords to assess and control the risk of exposure to legionella bacteria, but they are not required to conduct a professional assessment or test.

Whilst testing is part of a professional Legionella risk assessment, Health and safety law does not require landlords to test their water systems and produce or obtain ‘Legionnaires testing certificate’.

Landlords are not legally required to produce a formal certificate in the same way they are expected to have an EICR, EPC or Gas Safety Record.

However, landlords do have a more general legal duty of care to protect the health and safety of their tenants – a part of which is to ensure their property’s water is safe to drink and use.

To do this, landlords can carry out a Legionella assessment. A professional risk assessment is not a formal legal requirement, however, it’s a good way to ensure your water supply is safe.

It is also strongly recommended in the government’s How to Let guide.

Target Property can help you if you are having difficulty understanding the rules.

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Testimonials

I would highly recommend Target Property Services NE. Joe has been fantastic support to getting my first home and very quick at responding to any questions or queries I've had about the property. Very friendly and very professional.

- Grace

We had to organise our house move at short notice and although there was quite a lot of work to be done before we could move into the property, Joe went above and beyond to ensure everything was sorted for our moving in date. He is always very patient and quick to answer any queries and resolve any issues that may arise. We cannot recommend his company highly enough - Elliot

- Elliot and Kana

I would like to thank Target Property following the sale of our house. It was a pleasure to work with this estate agent. Always very professional, quick to respond to queries and they kept us informed throughout the process. Our house sold within a day which was just amazing. Could not fault the service we received and would highly recommend to anyone. Many thanks.

- Simon and Vicky

Great local estate agent with a personal touch! Joe knows the local market, and has dealt with rentals and a sale for me. He is very responsive and pays attention to detail for landlords and tenants alike! Would highly recommend

- Rachael

We found our dream home that was ideal for our family, but the estate agent wouldn't accept our offer until we had our own property sold first. After trying a couple of other agents in the area who were quoting a week to 3 weeks to get to us due to high demand because of the Stamp Duty holiday, we got in touch with TPS. Within 48 hours our house had been valued, pictures taken and was listed online. We had our first couple of viewings within 72 hours, and had accepted an offer within 1 week! I truly believe we wouldn't have got our new house if it wasn't for the swift response of Joe at Target Property. They also managed to get us a competitive solicitor quote and kept us up to date with the process, saving us additional time and phone calls. Thank you!

- George and Maria