Information for landlords, agents and tenants on how privately rented housing conditions are inspected and assessed.
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is the new prescribed national method for the assessment of housing conditions for the purposes of Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004.
This new risk assessment system from April 2006 has changed the way the council's Environmental Health Officers inspect and assess housing conditions.
Advice Leaflets to Download
You can download a leaflet below published by the council - What to Expect from a Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) Inspection.
Use the link from this page to find out more about the HHSRS on the Business Link website.
You can also download a government leaflet about the HHSRS called Reducing the Risks - go to Related Pages.
Why Was a New Approach Needed?
The previous housing fitness regime was based on criteria first introduced some 80 years ago. Major risks to health and safety, such as cold, fire risk, falls on stairs and radon, were either not covered at all, or, in the case of fire risk, were covered for multi-occupied houses only.
Adding new requirements to the fitness standard would not resolve this problem, since this would not identify the likelihood or severity of harm.
The alternative approach developed for the HHSRS covers all the important potential health and safety risks in the home through a clearly defined risk assessment procedure.
The principle underlying the HHSRS is that any dwelling should be free from both unnecessary and avoidable hazards.
Where any hazard is necessary and unavoidable, then the likelihood of an occurrence and the potential harm which result should be reduced to a minimum.
To achieve this, the system was devised so as to be hazard based - directed to the potential effect of any defect or deficiency, and to include all the main hazards which may be found in housing.