Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

What is the HHSRS?

The HHSRS is a scoring system that 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 the HHSRS 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, which include:

  • Damp and mould, excess cold/heat
  • Pollutants i.e. asbestos, biocides, carbon monoxide, lead, radiation, etc.
  • Overcrowding, lack of space, entry by intruders, lighting and noise
  • Poor hygiene i.e. pests, food safety, drainage, water supply, etc.
  • Accidents i.e. falls, electric shocks, burns, fires, etc.
  • Collisions, entrapment, explosions, etc.

How is a hazard assessed?

A local authority officer will complete a full inspection of a property and base their assessment on the likelihood of the occupants suffering harm, as a direct result of the condition of the property. The hazards are then appropriately scored by the officer, using the rating system. This will determine whether there are any serious hazards (Category 1) or less serious hazards (Category 2) present.

How is it enforced?

If the local authority discovers there is a Category 1 hazard present, it has a duty to take appropriate enforcement action by serving a statutory notice requiring works to be carried out. 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 emergency action. Alternatively where hazards are of low risk it may be more appropriate for informal action to be taken, or for a hazard awareness notice to be served to ensure landlords draw tenants attention to the problem. For Category 2 hazards the local authority has the discretion to take action if necessary.

Statutory notices are served on the 'Person having control' or the 'Person managing' the property. The Person having control of a premises means the person who receives the rent (whether on his own account or as agent or trustee of another person). The person managing a premises means the person who, being an owner or lessee of the premises receives (whether directly or through an agent or trustee) the rent.

You can find the housing and environment service enforcement policy here.

Please see the Gov.uk for more information on renting your property  

The Letting Agents' Redress Schemes

The Redress Schemes for Lettings Agency Work and Property Management Work (Requirement to Belong to a Scheme etc) (England) Order 2014.

It is now a legal requirement for all lettings agents and property managers in England to belong to an approved redress scheme.

The Ombudsman schemes will deal with complaints about the working practices of letting and managing agents. They will offer independent investigation of complaints about hidden fees or poor service.  Where a complaint is upheld, tenants and lease holders could receive compensation. Chichester District Council are the enforcing authority within the boundaries of the district and are responsible for ensuring all applicable agents have complied with the requirements, and have joined an approved scheme.

If you are a Letting Agent or Property Manager and do not join a government authorised consumer redress scheme you can be subject to a £5,000 fine from the local authority, if you continue to breach your legal requirement to join such a scheme.

If you are a landlord or tenant and want to know if your agent is a member of an approved scheme please refer to the Ombudsman Schemes websites.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 have been introduced to ensure premises let for residential purposes are safe for people to live in.

Statistically people are four times more likely to die in a fire in the home if there is no working smoke alarm. Over the next 10 years it is estimated that the new laws will result in 231 fewer deaths and 5,860 less injuries.

The law, which came into force on 1 October 2015, requires private sector landlords to ensure the following:

  • at least one smoke alarm to be installed on every floor of their properties
  • a carbon monoxide alarm to be fitted in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. a coal fire, wood burning stove).

Landlords should however be aware that all gas appliances can emit carbon monoxide so we would encourage landlords to ensure working carbon monoxide alarms are installed in any room where there is one installed.

  • Landlords must also make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

During the course of the tenancy the testing and ensuring that alarms are working is the responsibility of the tenant. If any faults are identified, or alarms are not working for any reason the tenant must liaise with their landlord who will ensure issues are addressed.

The requirements of the regulations are enforced by Local Authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where a landlord fails to comply with a remedial notice.

More information can be found at  Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms , or by contacting the Housing Standards Team on 01243 534608.