Water Safety

There are many aspects of water safety to consider when starting out in the holiday letting world, but the main thing to think about is legionella risk. Legionella is one of those things that you may not have ever had to think about before, but when you become a holiday homeowner, it becomes very important. If your property has a modern residential water system, then you should not require a professional Legionella Risk Assessment. However, if you have a large self-catering complex or you are uncertain about the water supply system for your property a professional assessment is recommended.

The risk of legionella is heightened where a property is left vacant for long periods, enabling the bacteria to breed to dangerous levels

Undertaking a Legionella Risk Assessment:



  • Ensure that no debris is getting into the system by having a tight-fitting lid on your water tanks.
  • Ensure that the hot water cylinder thermostat is set to at least 60°C and test the temperature of the hot water to ensure that the thermostat is operating correctly.
  • Ensure there is no redundant pipework in which water could become stagnant.
  • Ensure shower-heads are regularly cleaned and disinfected.
  • If you have machinery that contains water such as air conditioning units or a Jacuzzi, then special attention needs to be made to ensure that this is serviced and cleaned.


You need to record:

  • The results of your assessment and what remedial action you took as a result
  • The maintenance plan that you developed on the basis of your assessment

Maintenance Plan

You need to develop and implement a maintenance plan to ensure Legionella does not become a problem. This maintenance plan must include:

  • The yearly servicing and cleaning of any machinery that includes water such as air conditioning units or a Jacuzzi
  • Emptying all water systems where the property is unused for longer than three months
  • Disinfecting the shower heads where the property is unused for longer than a month

Find out more about Landlord responsibilities & legionella (hse.gov)

This article was published on 18-May-22

Disclaimer: At the time of publishing, The Original Cottage Company Limited has taken all reasonable care to ensure that the information contained in this guide is accurate. However, no warranty or representation is given that the information is complete or free from errors or inaccuracies. This guide contains general information about laws applicable to holiday properties. This information is not advice and should not be treated as such. Compliance with legislation is the responsibility of the holiday property owner and The Original Cottage Company Limited assumes no liability in this regard. This guide is not intended to be a definitive statement of the law in England & Wales. If you require precise or more detailed information regarding financial, legal and tax legalisation we recommend you seek professional advice.

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