Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
Housing Health & Safety Rating System
Housing Health & safety Rating System (HHSRS)
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is a risk
assessment tool used to assess potential risks to the health and
safety of occupants in residential properties in England and Wales.
The legislation came into effect in England on 6 April 2006.
HHSRS replaces the Housing Fitness Standard, which was set out
in the Housing Act 1985.
Making homes healthier and safer
The assessment method focuses on the hazards that are most
likely to be present in housing. Tackling these hazards will make
more homes healthier and safer to live in. The Fitness Standard did
not deal with or dealt inadequately with cold and the risk of
falls, for example.
Who does HHSRS affect?
All owners and landlords, including social landlords.
The private sector contains some of the worst housing conditions
and owners and landlords should be aware that any future
inspections of their property will be made using HHSRS.
Private landlords and managing agents are advised to assess
their property to determine whether there are serious hazards that
may cause a health or safety risk to tenants. They should then
carry out improvements to reduce the risks.
Public sector landlords also need to incorporate HHSRS into
their stock condition surveys. To be decent, homes should be free
of category 1 hazards. Landlords should incorporate HHSRS into
their next planned stock condition survey and deal with category 1
hazards during planned refurbishment.
Tenants should be aware of the approach that will be taken by
the council to deal with bad housing conditions. It still has
discretion over the action it takes but it is more likely to
prioritise cases where there is some evidence of serious
How a risk assessment works
A risk assessment looks at the likelihood of an incident arising
from the condition of the property and the likely harmful outcome.
For example, how likely is a fire to break out and what will happen
if one does?
The assessment will show the presence of any serious (category
1) hazards and other less serious (category 2) hazards.
To make an assessment, council inspectors will make reference to
the HHSRS Operating Guidance.
HHSRS enforcement and penalties
If the council discovers serious category 1 hazards in a home,
it has a duty to take the most appropriate action.
The council will try and deal with problems informally at first.
If this is unsuccessful, it could require a landlord to carry out
improvements to the property; for example, by installing central
heating and insulation to deal with cold, fixing a rail to steep
stairs to deal with the risk of falls, or mending a leaking
The council can also prohibit the use of the whole or part of a
dwelling or restrict the number of permitted occupants. Where
hazards are less serious, it may serve a hazard awareness notice to
draw attention to a problem. Where an occupier is at immediate
risk, the council can take emergency remedial action.
A property owner who feels that an assessment is wrong can
discuss matters with the inspector and ultimately will be able to
challenge an enforcement decision through the Residential Property
here for a list of the 29 hazards used in the HHSRS.(PDF)
Category 1 and 2 hazards cannot be defined as such. Each
property has a risk assessment carried out on the potential
hazard(s) and the outcome of the assessment depends on the severity
of the hazard(s) and the age of the property.
From 1st April 2013 a charge applies to all
the Housing Act 2004 notices and orders served by the
Council. A full list of charges click on the link
Click here for charges
Further information regarding Private