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Latest Landlords Burden, A "Legionella Test"


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15 replies to this topic

#1 ProDave

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 05:45 PM

I was speaking with my letting agent today.

The latest thing about to be unleashed on Landlords is a "legionella test" which will have to be done every 2 years.

Now, to my mind that just means checking that the hot water tank is achieving a temperature of 65 degrees or more? So that should be simple.

So why does the bumph from the Scottish Government suggest this is likely to cost £200

There must be more to this?

#2 AliG

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 06:18 PM

It appears that you need to have a legionnaires risk assessment carried out that will them tell you if testing is required. Googling suggested that you could do this risk assessment yourself i.e. do you have standing water etc. In fairness this may not be a bad idea as people could be more careful and there may be some risks identified. But paying someone to do it seems overkill. Just like EPC assessments this is likely to be a pointless box ticking exercise.

#3 tonyshouse

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 06:22 PM

Never been a domestic case, a lot of hunting "reds under the bed"

I found some academic research the other day that found a constant 50C or above effectively eliminates L,

#4 mikesharp01

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 08:22 PM

We had to do these twice a year in my last role. Wasn't a problem after I watched the hse video on what this bug can do! It's not onerous or expensive. Alternatively you can invest in controls that make sure the growth conditions cannot occur - as discussed above. Think of it as saving yourself the pain of explaining why your tenants are now in the dead centre of town to the coroner.

#5 mafaldina

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 08:35 PM

Not difficult to guard against or to to test yourself. I let out and have always checked.

On a connected theme, pity today's enforcement of legislation on smokes and carbon monoxide do not include holiday lets. I hope that any of you that do let out in any capacity do have alarms installed. Not difficult, Governement giving out free ones via Fire Services (battery, which I thought were not adequate, but if you get those from them I guess ok) to landlords.

All best Mafalda

#6 Nickfromwales

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 11:27 PM

In the majority of training I've received I've been taught that we are each responsible for out own safety. Regarding smoke detectors, if we go anywhere those are the first thing I look for as I wouldn't leave that responsibility of care over my family to anyone else.
Fwiw, battery ones are better than no detectors, but I'd fit more of them to be on the safe side. ;)

Regarding rental properties and the new L testing, it's probably going to be a good thing as a typical tenant won't know about, or be able to tell if they or their loved ones are being subjected to contamination of this kind. Also a lot of landlords couldn't give a toss about the tenants and just tend to pop up on the radar only if the months rent is adrift, so ensuring that their obligations are fullfilled is alright by me.
I tend a lot of rental properties and am often surprised at the obvious safety issues, general poor living conditions, and lack of tenants understanding or knowledge of what they should be provided with are. Some L/L's really don't give a shat so it's unfortunate for the good ones to have to do this but if it's for the greater good then so be it, it's certainly not a bad thing IMO, ( unless a new breed of trade-crook can cash in and care even less ).
When you profit from getting yourself involved with a third party, you accept the liabilities that come with it, so if people are paying their dues then grumble ye' not.
Regards, nick.

#7 tonyshouse

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 11:35 PM

But no one has caught L as a result of a domestic environment in England,

#8 Triassic

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 06:45 AM

I had smoke and co2 monitors in my rental, I usually find them in a draw, the tenants having removed them.

#9 Nickfromwales

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 07:55 AM

That's the tenants choice then, at least you fitted them :).
The only thing you can't safeguard against is the tenant being brain dead. :wacko:
Regards, Nick.

#10 SteamyTea

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 08:38 AM

View Posttonyshouse, on 01 October 2015 - 11:35 PM, said:

But no one has caught L as a result of a domestic environment in England,
I have a cold at the moment, maybe that is caused by legionella as I run my DHW at 50°C.
Oh hang on, I have a cold. Can we escalate it to something really serious, like SARs, MARs, N1H1.

So we have a set of rules that say that we should heat water to 65°C to kill legionella and now we have a set of new rules that say we must test that our first set of rules are working. Do we need a set of rules for all the sets of rules, so that we don't miss any.

#11 gravelld

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 09:02 AM

In a way, this is positive because at least we are measuring now, not setting an arbitrary level and hoping for the best.

That assumes the 60C requirement is removed of course.

I'm also looking forward to actual measurements of real world energy efficiency in newly built homes.

Edited by gravelld, 02 October 2015 - 09:03 AM.


#12 sketch3d

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 10:43 AM

The whole legionnaire's thing is a bit of con. People coming out of the woodwork suddenly being legionnaire's disease experts able to carry out a risk assessment for £100.
You can do this yourself.
Draw a basic plan of the house and mark out pipe routes and and areas at risk of standing water. Not a bad thing to do anyhow incase you need to do some invasive repair work.
What I have done is to remove any risk of standing water ie. remove and bypass the water tank. I have tank in my own home, but I will take the risk.

A combi-boiler gets to temperature every time you turn on the hot tap. So then a simple information sheet to the tenants should be all you need to do from there.
- If you go away for a holiday, run your taps and shower for a couple of minutes on your return.
- Periodically disinfect the shower head.
- Don't eat yellow snow...

As a landlord also reduce any lengths of redundant pipe work, such as the hot hose to a washing machine.

#13 SteamyTea

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 12:33 PM

When I worked for the council (briefly), we had all our water systems tested for legionella. The private contractors nearly always found some, somewhere. I never saw any remedial work done though.
But, after nearly 40 years involved in catering (on and off), I have never known a place to be tested.
Odd that.

#14 pocster

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 08:14 AM

I find it's usually the tenant that's the issue. Removing batteries from smoke alarms (presumably flat and beeping; but don't inform the landlord). Or more commonly propping open fire doors, not using extractors in kitchen/bathroom some causing condensation build up. Not 'understanding' that the mould in their bedroom isn't a 'leak' it's condensation - open the window!. Not 'getting' that they can turn the boiler off if hot rather than just open the window with the heating on. To put the garbage bin outside for collection twice a week also seems 'difficult' - then the council are on ym back as the owner - so it's my responsibility!!
No problem with smoke alarms being added it makes sense to the law. The EPC is a JOKE!. More legislation is ok; but now I'm responsible if I house an illegal immigrant!!!!.

Any other jobs for me anyone?!?!?!?!

#15 sketch3d

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 04:48 PM

Hay Pocster, With clause 24 of the finance bill, you're also now the middle man collecting additional tax from tenants (veiled as rent increases due to the reduction of BTL mortgage costs allowable) to pass onto the HMRC. Great being a landlord isn't it!

As for condensation, I fixed the problem in one of our places by installing a positive input vent, works very well, the house always has a fresh feel about it now due to the regular change of air.

#16 ProDave

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 04:57 PM

Another "burden" coming up.

It will soon be "illegal" to rent out a house with an EPC of F or G so you will either have to improve the house or stop renting it. I forget the date that one comes in.

At the moment I can't see me rushing back into the buy to let market.