I recently had a company into my letting agents trying to sell me ‘Legionella Disease Testing’ or ‘Legionella Risk Assessment’ and also telling me the law has changed and its a legal requirement to have a test on every property. To help sell these tests, they produced a brochure saying 500 people die in the UK every year. The company was the ‘National Legionnaire Information Centre‘ NLIC and are travelling up and down the country selling these reports.
The information they provided is FALSE and MISLEADING.
Just to be clear:
The law has not changed. It is not a legal requirement to obtain a Legionnaires test on every rental property and there are not 500 deaths a year, there are 28 deaths a year*. (* During 2011 to 2013, there were 84 deaths from Legionnaires’ disease in England and Wales (including overseas travellers). Most deaths occur in people who are 70 years of age or older. From NHS – http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Legionnaires-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx)
The law remains the same, if there is a potential high risk area, then it needs to be monitored (Under Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974(HSWA) – this is the as it has been for the past 30 years.
There is higher risk going on holiday abroad, the brochure, presentation and information is mis-leading.
1. This act has been around since 1974 and its only now, companies are trying to sell these reports.
2. IT IS NOT A LEGAL REQUIREMENT to obtain this report – it’s a GUIDELINE if a RISK is identified.
3. Legionella bacteria is found (in low numbers) in lakes, ponds and rivers. However, this bacteria can grow in air conditioning units and recycled water like hot tub or spa pools – Bacteria like HOT, WET PLACES.
Lastly, Legionnaires disease is VERY RARE.
In 2013, there were 284 people in the UK with it. 88 of these got it while being abroad.
That leaves 196 people in UK.
Out of the 284 people, 83% of these (235 people) were over 50 years old because their immune systems are weaker.
So that leaves 49 people, in the whole of the UK, out of 60 million people under 50 years old.
Legionnaires Disease – can be treated with a course of Antibiotics. (10% won’t be cured with antibiotics and will need further assistance)
You have a 0.000003% chance of catching this disease, that can be cured by a course of antibiotics.
This is important because this company are signing people up to monitor this on normal properties for £12 per month, per property. Its such a rip off.
Here are some of the unbelieveable comments from their brochure, from this aggressive company:
Utter rubbish, to the point where its laughable:
‘THIS IS LEGIONELLA. IT IS MICROSCOPIC. AND IT COULD DESTROY YOUR BUSINESS.’
‘… it is now AGAINST THE LAW not to have a fully managed legionella risk assessment in place… This is as important as a gas safety certificate.’
‘Your landlords and tenants can pursue you for damages should you provide the wrong information to them’
‘Tenants have the right to withhold their rent in the event of any lack of information…’ Utter Rubbish
‘NLIC stands for National Legionella Information Centre .. As the country’s leading education and independent watchdog we support everything Letting Agents and Landlords need’ Ha Ha, don’t make me laugh.
Incredibly, they then contacted me claiming the NLIC stands for something else and blaming two other Legionella businesses and that it was not really, in fact, the National Legionella Centre, who produced the brochure that I have in front of me on my desk. Another blatant lie. This is by far the worse organisation I have come across.
Posted: 9th March 2016