Landlords have plenty to deal with prior to renting a home out to a new tenant, and one of their priorities should be disease prevention.
Property owners in Staffordshire have been urged to adequately protect tenants against the threat of Legionnaires' disease this winter, after it was suggested that the potentially lethal virus is present in millions of homes.
Experts from LTM Compliance have started a campaign designed to alert landlords to the dangers posed by the disease and inform them of how they can deal with it. What's more, there is a legal duty for every landlord to address this matter, so failing to do so can result in a punishment.
Judith Richardson, a director of the company, told the Sentinel an area like north Staffordshire contains thousands of people who are living in homes that are possibly at risk of contracting Legionnaires' disease.
"Tests carried out by the AquaB Group in recent months show that more than six per cent of rented properties - that is more than one in 16 rented homes - tested positive for dangerous levels of Legionella," she stated.
Legionella is known to cause the disease so its presence in so many homes is of tremendous concern.
"We are in the process of contacting letting and managing agents in Staffordshire to make sure they are aware of this legislation," Ms Richardson added.
The Health and Safety Executive has recently clarified the rules on landlords and letting agents demonstrating they have controlled the risk of disease spreading in their rented homes. It's therefore imperative that everyone hoping to find a tenant is able to prove that they have met the required standards.
If they cannot do this, it could result in a property standing empty for some time, meaning the landlord in question loses money.
Kirsty Thorley, property management coordinator at Rory Mack Associates, said that her company is one that has taken action by inspecting all its properties for Legionella, with remedial action required in one case.
Published on: December 5, 2013