Here you will find information regarding private sector housing including advice about disrepair, HMO, immigration inspections and drainage.
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What is the health and safety rating system?
A scoring system is used by all local authorities to risk assess the effect of certain hazards on the health, safety and wellbeing of the occupants. The system allows local authorities to take action to remedy these hazards in order to ensure housing is safe to live in.
Who does it affect?
The local authority has enforcement powers to ensure owners and landlords, including social landlords comply with the HHSRS.
What are the hazards?
There are a total of 29 hazards assessed using the HHSRS system. View the list of all hazards here. These are assessed by the inspector and scored appropriately using the rating system. This will determine whether there are any serious hazards (category one) or less serious (category two) present.
How is it enforced?
If there is a category one hazard present, there is a duty to take appropriate action. In the first instance, the council will endeavour to deal with all matters informally.
However, if unsuccessful, the council can take formal action and serve a statutory notice requiring work to be conducted. The council also has the power, where necessary, to prohibit the use of the whole, or part, of a dwelling, restrict the number of permitted occupants or take necessary action.
Where category two hazards are found, the council can still take enforcement action if there is a need. Alternatively, it may be more appropriate for a hazard awareness notice to be served. This makes the landlord, owner or agent aware of the hazard.
Appealing enforcement notices & orders
When an owner or landlord has been served with either an improvement notice or prohibition order, they have the right to appeal within 21 or 28 days respectively.
A property rented out by at least three people from more than one household who share facilities.
If you let a property which is one of the following types, it is a HMO:
An entire house or flat which is let to three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.
A house which has been converted entirely into bedsits (or other non-self-contained accommodation) and which is let to three or more tenants who form two or more households and who share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities.
A converted house which contains one or more flats which are not wholly self-contained (i.e. the flat does not contain within it a kitchen, bathroom and toilet) and which is occupied by three or more tenants who form two or more households.
In order to be a HMO, the property must be used as the tenants only or main residence and it should be used solely or mainly to house tenants.
Properties let to students and migrant workers will be treated as their main residence and the same will apply to properties which are used as domestic refuges.
What counts as a household?
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