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Legionella Risk From Unused Taps

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Author Topic: Legionella Risk From Unused Taps  (Read 143 times)
Newbie
Posts: 25

I like property

« on: January 26, 2020, 11:42:48 PM »

I'm a tenant and there are some taps in my flat that I don't use and it's been well over 12 months since I turned them on. I've only just realised that not using taps regularly can lead to the possibility of Legionella developing in the pipes and the risk of spores being inhaled when the taps are used.

I'm having maintenance done and there will be builders running the taps so I know I need to do something to make sure there is no risk to anyone but not sure if it's something I should mention to the landlord. I've been reading about it and how you need a specialist mask when flushing the system and just a simple dust mask or scarf over the face isn't going to cut it so should I get a professional to flush the system and should the cost be covered by my or could the landlord have to contribute?
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Hero Member
Posts: 3376

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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2020, 12:40:23 AM »

Mention it to the Landlord.

Good spot.
Newbie
Posts: 25

I like property

« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2020, 01:30:03 AM »

On what basis though and who should pay for what considering I've not used the taps for so long?
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2020, 09:13:58 AM »

On the basis you are concerned enough to raise the concern.

Don't worry about the money angle now, stop jumping ahead, get the safety aspect(s) resolved first! As a starter-for-ten, whose taps are they? Not yours, right? Possibly float the idea of a visit by Environmental Health from the Council in front of the Landlord - that will wipe any smug smile off his face. No more playing fast-and-loose.

To make it more hard-hitting I would suggest doing it in writing... not verbally (you don't want to get into a he-said-she-said situation)... possibly a hand-written letter (they have most impact).
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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2020, 03:36:36 PM »

I'm a tenant and there are some taps in my flat that I don't use and it's been well over 12 months since I turned them on. I've only just realised that not using taps regularly can lead to the possibility of Legionella developing in the pipes and the risk of spores being inhaled when the taps are used.

I'm having maintenance done and there will be builders running the taps so I know I need to do something to make sure there is no risk to anyone but not sure if it's something I should mention to the landlord. I've been reading about it and how you need a specialist mask when flushing the system and just a simple dust mask or scarf over the face isn't going to cut it so should I get a professional to flush the system and should the cost be covered by my or could the landlord have to contribute?

I'm going to guess it's the bath taps.

There is a theoretical risk but the chances of catching Legionnaire's disease like that are very, very small.

Even smaller are the chances that your landlord will fork out for a bloke in a hazmat suit to come and run the taps for a bit. Yes, the landlord has responsibilities with regard to the sanitary facilities but these are largely dependent upon your using the property in a tenant-like manner. If there is a problem, it's down to your not using the tap for a year, not the landlord's lack of devotion to his landlordly duties.

I'd just run the taps gently for a bit and take my chances. If you'd prefer not to, just leave a note on the taps for whoever's doing the work and then it's up to them how they want to proceed.
Newbie
Posts: 35

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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2020, 03:50:56 PM »

There is rightfully an onus on the landlord to ensure that, on check in, the property is safe and habitable. This may well include a legionella risk assessment but there currently is no requirement for proof of this to be given to a tenant, nor any ongoing inspection work (like there is with a gas certificate).
As has been already pointed out, provided that the property has been handed over in reasonable nick, the risk of legionella infection will be ameliorated by the actions of the tenant, not the landlord. It is I think, just common sense.
Newbie
Posts: 25

I like property

« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2020, 01:14:43 AM »

Thanks and it confirms what I suspected and I should sort it out without mentioning to the landlord. It is indeed bathroom taps because by not using it saves a lot on electricity and I use work and gym showers instead.
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