LRA for Landlords
In residential rental properties the responsibility for the protection of tenants against Legionnaire’s Disease rests with the landlords.
Health and Safety legislation dictates that landlords must carry out a periodic Legionella Risk Assessment (LRA) on their properties. They must take action where required and have control measures in place to minimise the risk of the disease.
Legionella Risk Assessment (LRA)
A Legionella Risk Assessment will show the risks and the simple control methods that should be put in place by landlords.
An LRA is usually carried out on domestic houses and flats with small water systems and a high water turnover. In most of this cases an LRA will show low risks. As long as proper control measures are followed going forward there should be no further risk.
However, this needs to be periodically reviewed and should a future Legionella Risk Assessment show changes, the appropriate action would need to be taken.
What is Legionella?
Legionella is a type of bacteria which can lead to the contraction of Legionnaire’s Disease. Its habitat is usually natural water resources where it can be found in low numbers. These numbers can multiply rapidly in the following conditions:
- In water between 20℃ and 50℃
- Where nutrients are available to feed on, such as debris in a water tank
- Where water is left to stagnate
The optimum temperature for Legionella growth is between 35℃ and 40℃. Lower than 20℃ and it remains dormant, above 50℃ it starts to die off. If the temperature of water is raised to 60℃ then 90% of the bacteria is dead within two minutes.
Legionella also need to eat to survive. These are some of its favourite food sources.
- Biofilms. Basically slime you find on stagnating water which has been caused by other bacteria
- Organic materials – Legionella feeds on the amino acids
- Natural plumbing materials
Legionnaire’s Disease is caused by the the inhalation (not the consumption) of infected water. In other words water droplets need to be breathed in. This is made possible by man-made water systems such as showers, spray taps, hoses and hot-tubs.
High Risk Groups
- Anyone over 45 years of age
- The immunosuppressed
EPC Bromley provides other services for landlords. See the menus above for more detail.
Health and Safety Executive information on Legionella.