Housing, Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) AssessmentsIn April 2006, the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) was introduced as a method for assessing housing conditions under the Housing Act 2004. This system has now replaced the “fitness standard” contained within The Housing Act 1985. The HHSRS is a risk based assessment that places the emphasis on risks to health and safety not only of the occupiers but also visitors to the property and provides a system that allows any risks identified to be minimised or removed. There are a total of 29 prescribed hazards that can be attributed to the condition and general state of a property and these relate to:
- Dampness, excess cold/heat
- Pollutants e.g. asbestos, carbon monoxide, lead
- Lack of space, security or lighting, or excessive noise
- Poor hygiene, sanitation, water supply
- Accidents - falls, electric shocks, fires, burns, scalds
- Collisions, explosions, structural collapse
The key principle of the system is that a dwelling, including the structure and associated outbuildings and garden, yard and/or other amenity space, and means of access, should provide a safe and healthy environment for the occupants and any visitors. The rating system is not a standard in itself, so it is sometimes difficult to say if something is definitely a hazard before it is properly assessed. However, the absence of a handrail on a flight of stairs, a failure to provide smoke alarms or the lack of adequate heating within a property may all result in hazards.
As fully qualified Environmental health Practitioners with many years of housing experience, we are fully conversant with the HHSRS process. We undertake housing inspections for both landlords and tenants and where necessary, on Instruction from legal representatives. In addition to this we provide Expert Evidence & Reports for both civil and criminal proceedings as well as Residential Property Tribunal (RPT) appeals.