Housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) definition

Housing standards are now assessed using the housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) which was introduced under the Housing Act 2004 and replaced the old fitness standard. The HHSRS is a risk assessment approach which considers whether defects identified within a property affect the health and safety of the occupants of that property. It is applicable to all owners and landlords, including social landlords.

The legislation lists 29 different hazards including damp and mould growth; excess cold; crowding and space; domestic hygiene and pests; fall hazards; fire and electrical safety; and collision and entrapment hazards.

One of our officers will visit the property to identify any defects; assess whether these defects are likely to cause an accident or ill health to the occupiers; and assess how severe the outcome could be arising from the defect/deficiency.

A calculation is then carried out and each hazard assessed produces a final score. The final score is divided into bands ranging from A – J. If the hazard falls within bands A - C, the hazard is termed a ‘category 1’ hazard. Category 1 hazards are deemed to be the most serious and we have a duty to take action to remedy or reduce these hazards.

Any hazard scores falling in the D - J banding are ‘category 2’ hazards. Category 2 hazards may also be subject to enforcement powers, however each case is individually assessed and the appropriate enforcement action will be chosen which reflects the circumstances concerned.

I have defects in my property, how can I get them resolved?

If you are a tenant, the first thing you must do is to contact your landlord (or the letting agent) to advise them of the defect and ask them to carry out any works required to remedy the defect. This request must be done in writing and the landlord has 14 days to come back to you with a reasonable response and timescale in which action will be taken.

If the landlord does not come back with a reasonable response or no action is taken, then please contact us to request further advice and an inspection if necessary.