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Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

Landlord information about how a risk assessment is undertaken to understand the safety of a dwelling

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is a risk assessment tool used to assess the condition of a dwelling. The key principle of the system is that the dwelling, including the structure and associated outbuildings and garden/yard, and means of access, should provide a safe and healthy environment for the occupants and any visitors.

Landlords and managing agents must assess their properties to determine whether there are any serious hazards.  If hazards are identified, improvements or repairs must be carried out to remove the risk or reduce the risk to an acceptable level. 

Tenants of private sector accommodation or social housing should always contact their landlord if they are concerned about the condition of their home.

Homeowners may also ask for advice from us if they are concerned about the condition of their home. 

A HHSRS assessment looks at the likelihood of an occurrence over a 12 month period that could cause harm to a member of a vulnerable group, and the potential severity of the harm outcome of such an occurrence. An example of this is how likely is a fire to break out and what will happen if one does.

The assessment will show whether any serious (category 1) hazards and other less serious (category 2) hazards exist. HHSRS Operating Guidance is used during an assessment. 

Hazards

To be decent, homes should be free of any serious hazards.  There are 29 hazards which can be assessed for seriousness under the HHSRS assessment guidance.

Enforcement Action

If a category 1 hazard is identified, we have a duty to take action to ensure the hazard is removed or reduced to an acceptable level. We expect landlords to respond to tenants' repair requests in a timely way. If the tenant complains to us and can show that they have made the landlord aware, but that they have failed to respond or not responded properly, we will take formal enforcement action. This will depend on how serious the case is and may include a:

  • Hazard awareness notice
  • Improvement notice
  • Prohibition order
  • Emergency action
  • Demolition action and clearance areas

The notices or orders will be registered as a local land charge. They will affect the future sale of the property if not removed. There is also a charge of £240 for serving a notice or order. More information is available in our Icon for pdf Housing Enforcement policy [358.9KB].

Appeals

There is a right of appeal against any formal notice, order or decision we make. This is explained within the notice. 

All appeals should be made to a Residential Property Tribunal. They must be made within a specified time from the date the notice was served.

Tribunals are informal bodies and do not operate like courts.  They will hear cases presented by each side.  The Tribunal may confirm, cancel or change the notice, order or decision.

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