It has always been our policy here at Mackenzie Smith to advise landlords to have their property professionally cleaned prior to the start of the tenancy; this has been for two reasons.
Secondly, if the property was professionally cleaned at the start it has to be done when the tenants vacate. This keeps the standard of cleanliness at a high level throughout the time the property is let.
However legislation dictates that landlords and letting agents have a duty to check for Legionnaires’ disease and a full professional clean should eliminate most possible threats.
Legionnaires’ disease can be contracted by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated with legionella bacteria, this could be in baths or showers or kitchen taps where the water has been stagnant, has impurities in the system such as rust or limescale or is outside desirable temperature parameters (not between 20ºC and 60ºC)
When assessing the risks it pays to look outside in the garden too. For example a hose pipe that has been left unused over the winter months could be a potential danger.
Common sense should prevail and a property that is not left unoccupied for more than four weeks should have a minimum risk but still worth considering things like a guest suite where the shower may not be being used on a regular basis could be a potential threat.
Anyone with concerns can contact their local HSE office of environmental health department. Find yours by clicking here.