Legionella risk and renting your property
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires that a landlord who rents out a property (or even just a room in their own home) has legal responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of their tenant by keeping the property safe and free from health hazards.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggest that...
“the practical and proportionate application of health and safety law to landlords of domestic rental properties is that whilst there is a duty to assess the risk from exposure to Legionella to ensure the safety of their tenants, 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”.
They suggest a typical 'low risk' example could be a small dwelling “with small domestic-type water systems, where daily water usage is inevitable and sufficient to turn over the entire system; where cold water is directly from a wholesome mains supply (no stored water tanks); where hot water is fed from instantaneous heaters or low volume water heaters (supplying outlets at 50 °C); and where the only outlets are toilets and wash hand basins”.
Although the HSE indicate a simple assessment may show that there are no real risks those that do exist are being properly managed and no further action is needed, a landlord would need to know how to carry out that risk assessment.
In reality, it is probably easiest for a landlord to commission a relatively low-cost legionella assessment and have a specialist take responsibility for producing your risk assessment.