Legionella risk assessments for rented properties on the increase according to APHC

The number of landlords arranging for essential legionella risk assessments and monitoring to be undertaken in their rented properties is on the increase, the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) has announced.

Commonly found in freshwater areas, legionella is a bacteria which can sometimes enter into artificial water supplies. On people coming into contact with the bacteria by inhaling water droplets they can contract the often fatal lung infection Legionnaires’ disease.

By law, all hot and cold water systems within any property that has a commercial use or is open to public access must be assessed for risk of legionella. This includes residential properties that are let by private and social landlords, care homes, schools, sports facilities and changing rooms, and APHC has observed a growth in the number of risk assessments undertaken on these types of buildings. One reason for this is an increased demand on landlords by estate agents to have risk assessments undertaken in line with regulations in this area.

APHC’s dedicated scheme, Legionella Risk Assessment and Disinfection, allows property owners to meet their obligations by sourcing and working with plumbing professionals who satisfy the scheme’s criteria. Membership demonstrates to property owners that they are dealing with a professional and competent plumber, and plumbers receive recognition for their knowledge and understanding of the risks associated with legionella, that they can carry out a risk assessment, and carry out remedial action where necessary.

John Thompson, Chief Executive at APHC commented:

“We’ve been pleased to observe a steady increase in the numbers of legionella risk assessments being undertaken on rented properties. Landlords have a responsibility to protect the welfare of their tenants and at APHC there has certainly been evidence to suggest that the legislation in this area is working to achieve this. By choosing a member of the APHC Legionella Risk Assessment and Disinfection Scheme, property owners know that they are dealing with a competent professional, giving them peace of mind in knowing that they are fulfilling their legal obligations as landlords.”