Legionella and landlords’ responsibilities

Legionella guide for landlords banner

What is Legionella?

Legionnaires’ is a pneumonia-like (potentially fatal) disease commonly caused by the inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water.

What must landlords do?

Landlords must assess and control the risk of exposure of tenants to Legionella to ensure the safety of their tenants, but this does not require an in-depth detailed assessment. Control measures can include:

  • Flushing out the water system before letting the property.
  • Ensure cold water tanks have a tight lid to stop debris getting into the system.
  • Setting control parameters to ensure water is stored at the correct temperature.
  • Remove any unused pipework.


Tenants should be kept informed of any control measures and tell the landlord if problems occur with the water system or if the water is not heating properly.

Who can assess the risk?

Anyone! Unlike gas safety checks, looking after a water system does not require a trained or accredited professional.

Further information

For further information please visit the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) website or view the HSE leaflet: INDG4578.

<< Go to Landlord Advice Guide, part 5 of 10 – Landlord’s gas safety responsibilities

Go to Landlord Advice Guide, part 7 of 10 – Tenancy deposits guide for Landlords >>