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Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

What Is The Housing Health & Safety Rating System?

April 2006 saw the introduction of the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) which has replaced the Housing Fitness Standard. The system is the Government’s new approach to evaluate the potential risks to health and safety from any deficiencies identified in dwellings, using a risk assessment scoring system.

The Government has identified a range 29 hazards as listed below:

Physiological requirements

  • Damp and Mould Growth
  • Excess Cold
  • Excess Heat
  • Asbestos (and MMF)
  • Biocides
  • Carbon Monoxide and fuel combustion products
  • Lead
  • Radiation
  • Uncombusted fuel gas
  • Volatile Organic Compounds

Psychological requirements

Protection against infection

  • Domestic hygiene, Pests and Refuse
  • Food safety
  • Personal hygiene, Sanitation and Drainage
  • Water supply

Protection against accidents

  • Falls associated with the bath etc
  • Falling on level surfaces
  • Falling on stairs
  • Falling between levels
  • Electrical hazards
  • Fire
  • Flames, hot surfaces etc
  • Collision and entrapment
  • Explosions
  • Position and operability of amenities
  • Structural collapse and falling elements

The system covers ALL tenures.

The underlying principle of the system is that any residential premises should provide a safe and healthy environment for any potential occupier or visitor.

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How the Housing Health & Safety Rating System works

The Council assesses the condition of the whole dwelling by carrying out a thorough risk assessment survey.

Following the assessment, the likelihood of something happening to harm the occupiers and the possible outcome of the occurrence are noted. The combination of these two factors produces a ”Hazard Score”. Each hazard will be scored separately.

There are 10 hazard bands (depending on the score given), A to J, with J being the safest and A the most dangerous.

  • Hazards falling into the bands A – C are category One hazards
  • Hazards falling into the bands D – J are category Two hazards

The Council has a duty to take action to deal with category One hazards. It has discretionary powers to take action to deal with category Two hazards.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has produced Guidance for Landlords and Property Related Professionals informing them of HHSRS assessments and providing information to help ensure properties do not contain Category 1 hazards.

For more information regarding how HHSRS assessments are carried out, classes of harms and for more information about the hazards themselves, please see the Department for Communities and Local Government's Housing Health and Safety Rating System Operating Guidance.

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Enforcement Powers

When enforcement action is being considered, the current occupants of the dwelling will be taken into consideration. Enforcement options include:

  • Hazard Awareness Notices - This is a notice advising the person on whom it is served that a hazard exists
  • Improvement Notices - A notice that gives instructions to rectify any hazards or deficiencies. Failure to comply with the notice could incur a fine of up to £5,000.00
  • Prohibition Orders - Will prohibit use of the building or part of it
  • Emergency Remedial Action and Emergency Prohibition - Available where there is a category One hazard and an imminent risk to the occupier
  • Demolition Order - Declare a Clearance Area

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First Tier Tribunal - Property Chamber

The Tribunal will deal with any appeals in respect of enforcement action. The Tribunal will comprise of a lay person, a qualified surveyor and a legal person.
  • They can confirm, quash or vary any Notice or Order
  • Appeals have to be made within 21 –28 days depending on the Notice or Order
  • No legal representation is necessary

Any necessary prosecution under the notices will be dealt with through the Magistrates Court.

The First Tier Tribunal General Enquiries telephone number is 01243 779394 and the address of the Regional Office in Chichester is – First Tier Tribunal - Property Chamber, Ground Floor, Magistrates Court and Tribunal Centre, 6 Market Avenue, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1YE.

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Downloads

Contact us

Email: privatesector.housin
g@bournemouth.gov.uk

Telephone
01202 451083

Address
Private Sector Housing, Castlepoint Library, Castle Lane West, Bournemouth, BH8 9UP