As the saying goes, ‘you can’t put a price on peace of mind’. But, in the case of legionella, now you actually can! We have just launched a new DIY testing kit, giving reassurance on this one issue at least, for only £40. Perfect for landlords, B&B hosts and holiday property owners.
The Health & Safety Executive guidelines regarding legionella and landlords’ responsibilities – which cover the private sector as well as housing associations and local authorities – state that: “The law is clear that if you are a landlord “and rent out your property (or even a room within your own home) then you have legal responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of your tenant by keeping the property safe and free from health hazards”.
The rules also apply to people offering rooms and properties as holiday rentals, such as on Airbnb, so even if you’re renting out your spare room on a temporary basis, you may want to consider legionella testing.
The good news for landlords of domestic properties is that, whilst there is a duty to assess legionella risk to ensure tenant safety, the HSE says, this “does not require an in-depth, detailed assessment. The risks from hot and cold water systems in most residential settings are generally considered to be low owing to regular water usage and turnover”. This means that if your property is constantly occupied, the water in the pipes is less likely to meet the conditions for the legionella bacteria to thrive. Domestic use of a property ensures there is flowing water that is either below 20oC or above 45oC. You only really need to worry if the property is left unoccupied for a while, when water is likely to lie stagnant in the pipes – especially in the summer months when it is potentially going to be warm enough to incubate the bacteria.
DIY Legionella testing
We do appreciate that hiring expert assessors to test just one or two outlets is expensive, which is why we have just launched our own DIY legionella testing kit. The cost of the kit includes instructions, a sterile bottle for each test, postage and the laboratory testing fee, all for just £40 for each sample.
For rented domestic property that does not have complex testing needs, this is by far the most cost-effective way of making sure there is no risk of any of your guests or tenants contracting Legionnaire’s disease.