Legal update : Legionella disease

The Health and Safety Executive has recently updated legislation regarding the control of Legionnaires’ disease. For the first time, landlords of residential accommodation now have responsibilities for combating the spread of this potentially fatal illness.

What is Legionnaires Disease?

southend on sea landlords adviceLegionnaires Disease is a pneumonia-like illness caused by the legionella bacteria which is often found in natural and artificial water systems, e.g. natural lakes, storage tanks, hot tubs, water pipes, showers etc. Most of us would probably associate the discovery of legionella bacteria with larger water systems in factories, schools or hospitals for example. However, it can also live in smaller water supply systems such as those found in residential accommodation.

Humans become infected by breathing in airborne droplets of contaminated water from showers, whirlpool spas, water spray etc. The disease is not contagious and cannot be passed from one person to another.

What has changed for landlords?

All privately rented residential properties must now undergo a risk assessment to determine any threat of exposure. According to current health and safety law landlords now have a duty to take suitable precautions to prevent or control the risk of exposure to legionella.

How can you stay on the right side of the law?

If your property has a combi-boiler which instantly heats the water there is nothing to worry about. If you have an older style tank housed in the loft, the water will usually remain in the tank for more than 24 hours. In such cases, the cold water needs to be less than 20 degrees and the hot over 60 degrees to ensure it is safe. Furthermore, any dead legs in the system could also cause a problem.

If this description applies to your system, and particularly if you have an elderly or otherwise vulnerable tenant, then please contact your property manager and we will discuss next steps with you. Our usual heating engineers are putting a price together to provide these checks for you.

Avoid any serious consequences

By undertaking satisfactory risk assessments and quickly acting upon any areas of concern, you should stay on the right side of the law. Failure to do so could result in some weighty fines and even imprisonment for any landlords failing to prevent exposure to the legionella bacteria at any of their properties.

For further information please visit the Health & Safety Executive website at: www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires.


Crystal joined Pace in 2007 and was appointed to her current role of Managing Director in 2010, heading up the company founded by her father in 1994.

She is responsible for the daily operations of the business, whilst also ensuring the company is financially sound, has strategic direction and is planning for future growth.

Crystal takes a thoughtful and considered approach to all that she does, transferring her determination to deliver implicit care, attention and professionalism to every member of her team.

Pace employ 20 full time staff. Meet the key team members here.


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"I am a landlady with many properties and have dealt with Pace for about 10 years. Marcus is very friendly, honest, efficient and helpful and has made my letting experience extremely easy always finding me suitable tenants. I have nothing but praise for Marcus who has been with Pace many years.

Mary R

After renovating a block of 21 flats to place into our rental portfolio we instructed PACE and gave them two weeks to let all the units on a sole agency basis. They marketed the flats for a week and conducted a strict open house event on the following Sunday for 4 hours. Within this slot 15 flats were let with the remainder let the following week.

The Director of Runwood Homes

As a landlord with multiple HMO properties, I have employed the services of PACE for a number of years now as they ensure I have my required specification of tenant placed in all my rooms. I only let rooms to employed applicants and very much favour their opening hours as this attracts and accommodates the right people.

Johnathon Simons HMO Landlord

Sara is my dedicated property manager and has been for some time. I have always found Sara to be a very professional member of staff. Sara always keeps me informed and provides regular visit reports, which is important for any landlord. Sara deals with any problem that befalls her, contacting me if she needs to. Sara will discuss any problem and invariably come to a solution.

Raymond Durrant – multi property landlord

The staff are always friendly and helpful, my special thanks to Sara, we have built a very special rapport and I feel very comfortable phoning if I need anything. I feel very happy that I have one person to deal with all of my issues.

Evelin Jenkins - Tenant

We cannot stress how much we appreciate having a dedicated property manager for our properties. We live 350 miles away and also spend a great deal of the winter out of the country. To be able to phone our manager who understands our properties and how we operate is for us complete peace of mind.

Peter and Maureen Mason – Multi property landlords

I was extremely thankful I chose PACE to conduct the sale of my property and extremely grateful to Sue Mellor who worked very hard to ensure a smooth transaction. She was most knowledgeable and professional throughout, always reachable and approachable. She was able to answer all the questions I posed.

Yvonne White

I've recently purchased a property with the help of Pace. I found the staff extremely helpful and friendly. My first contact was Katie, she showed me around the property and liaised with the vendor. After, I dealt mostly with Sue Mellor. She was very knowledgeable and helpful. She kept me informed throughout the process and was the first to congratulate me on completion.

Roni Miller

I just thought I'd drop you a line about Adele Moore who is managing my flat. Adele is doing a great job and is a credit to Pace. She has done, and continues to do, exactly what she says she will do and as a customer that is exactly what I want. Adele doesn't take things at face value and investigates things when she needs to, again a thing that clients will prize.

Tony Mihill - Landlord

Thank you to the team at PACE for firstly providing excellent property management services over many years and secondly for helping me to sell my property recently.

All your hard work has been very much appreciated. Special mentions to Sara, Amy, Sue and Billy for their friendly and professional service!

Charlotte, (Property Management & Seller)