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Tenant Guide - Legionnaires Disease

Legionnaires Disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia which can be caused by the inhalation of small droplets of water contaminated by the Legionella bacteria. In domestic properties, the Legionella bacteria can be given an environment to grow, under certain conditions, in hot and cold water systems.

This tenant guide provides some tips on how Tenants can help to prevent the risk by good housekeeping.


  • Hot water systems should be in working order and hot water should remain ‘hot’
  • Cold water should remain ‘cold’
  • Water in the household system(s) should be kept circulated


  • Not interfere with the settings on your boiler or water heating system. The hot water should be set so that water is heated to 60°C.
  • Make sure cold water coming out of cold outlets is cold
  • Flush through any showers in the property at least two minutes every week (especially in guest rooms where they may not be used frequently). Keep clear of the water flow whilst doing this.
  • Clean the shower heads periodically, descale and disinfect it. This should be done at least every six months


  • The cold water is still running warm after you have initially run off any water which may have accumulated in the pipes. It should not be above 20°C.
  • There are problems with water flow, debris or discolouration in the water.
  • The boiler or hot water tank is not working properly, particularly if the water is not coming out of the taps at a sufficiently high temperature. It should come out at a temperature of 50°C after it has run for a minute at the latest

If you plan to leave the property vacant for any extended period (over two weeks), please tell us. When you return you should flush the water system(s) through by running all outlets for 2 minutes.

Your Landlord has a legal responsibility to take precautions to prevent the Legionella bacteria being present in hot or cold water systems and as required we undertake risk assessments to assist the Landlord in meeting this responsibility. However, as a Tenant you also have an important part to play by taking the simple steps above.