The Housing, Health and Safety Rating System is used to assess risks and hazards with residential premises in both the private and social housing sectors. HHSRS was first introduced by the Housing Act 2004 and has been in force since April 2006. It was introduced to replace a Housing Fitness Standard which had been in use since 1990.
Environmental Health professionals use the HHSRS to assess risks and health and safety concerns in the Private sector and Social housing. Landlords have access to the HHSRS assessment to enable them to identify risks and hazards that need attention. This ensures that they conform with the HHSRS.
Examples of hazards to assess when completing an HHSRS Risk Assessment are:-
Risk Causes Health & Safety Concerns
|Excess Heat||Exposure to excessively high temperatures||Dehydration, Trauma, Stroke and Respiratory issues.|
|Excess Cold||Exposure to excessively low temperatures||Flu, Pneumonia, Heart attack and Stroke|
|Asbestos||Exposure to Asbestos||Lung infection|
|Damp / Mould||Exposure to damp and mould spores||Asthma, Allergies, Inhalation of toxins from mould and fungal growth|
|Carbon Monoxide||Excess levels of Carbon Monoxide||Dizziness, Nausea, Headache and Breathing difficulties, Working Carbon Monoxide Alarm|
|Radiation||Exposure to high levels of Radiation||Lung Cancer|
|Biocides||Chemicals used to treat timber, mould etc.||Breathing difficulties, Skin Irritation|
|Crowding||Hazards associated with over-crowding||Mental Disorders, accidents, health and hygiene issues from overcrowding|
|Lighting||Exposure to natural light||Eyestrain, headaches caused by lack of natural light|
|Intruder, Security||Lack of property security||Stress and mental disorder, fear of burglary|
|Food safety||Lack of sufficient food-prep areas||The threat of infection, vomiting, dehydration, dioreah.|
|Noise||Exposure to excessive noise||Lack of sleep, anxiety, poor concentration, Headaches|
|Water Supply||Contamination of water supply||Lung infection, Tired, Headache, Legionella Disease|
|Electrical||Issues with Electrical Safety||Physical Injury, Valid inspection certificates.|
|Fire||Fire Safety||Burns, Smoke, Breathing issues, Working smoke detectors.|
|Domestic Hygiene||Waste Storage, clearing Waste, Pest control||Stomach issues, Diarrhea, Asthma, Allergies, rat and mouse problems|
|Lead||Ingestion of lead via paint or water||Lead poison, Nerve Disorder, Mental Health issues|
|Uncombusted Fuel||Escaping gasses||Suffocation|
|Organic Compounds||Health Issues associated with chemicals becoming gaseous at room temperature||Allergies, Skin irritation, Headache, Nausea and Dizziness.|
|Personal hygiene||Infection caused by poor sanitation||Skin infection, Depression|
|Flammables, Hot Surfaces and Materials||Burns, scalds, Liquid Vapour||Physical injury and Breathing Issues|
|Collision and Entrapment||Physical injury associated with windows, doors and low ceilings||Physical Injury|
|Explosion||Resulting in building Collapse||Physical injury, Crush Injury|
|Ergonomics||Physical Strain associated with functional space||Strains, Sprains|
|Falls||Associated with baths||Physical injury, cuts, bruising|
|Falls||Level Surfacing – Yards, Paths, Steps, Thresholds, less than 300mm||Physical injury, Bruising, fractures|
|Falls||Stairs and Steps – Ramps, disabled access, steps and stairs, levels more than 300mm||Physical injury, Bruising, Fractures|
|Falls||Between Levels – Balconies, Landings and Windows||Physical Injuries, Bruising, Fractures|
Risks can be categorized by hazard level if a risk is identified as serious, it is classed as Hazard Level 1. Should the risk be less serious is it categorized as Hazard Level 2.
Anu issues should first be reported to your landlord or the relevant Health and Housing Team at your local authority. Where hazards are identified, the Heath and Housing team will ensure that the Landlord or Owner of the property looks into removing or reducing the hazard.
Should you have issues that can not be resolved directly with your landlord, the Local Environmental Health team may be able to assist you in the best course of action. When the Environmental Health Team take formal action it starts with a “Hazard Awareness Notice” being issued.
This notice outlines the hazard, the categorization of the hazard and their reasons for the notice being issued. A copy of the notice is provided to both tenant and landlord. Should the Landlord not comply with the Hazard Awareness Notice within a specified time frame, the tenant is to return to Environmental Health where further action can be sought.
Environmental Health Agency can Issue an “Improvement Notice to the landlord. An Improvement Notice again outlines the Hazard, gives the landlord information on how to resolve the issues and allows for a timescale for the repairs to be completed. Should an Improvement Notice be issued, the landlord is not usually permitted to issue a Section 21 Notice for a further 6 months.
Emergency remedial action can be taken by the Local Authority if a landlord fails to comply with the above. The Council will look to carry out the remedial works and charge the landlord accordingly for the works. This can be done should a person within your home be deemed at risk or harm from the hazard. An Emergency Remedial notice is issued with 7 days notice,
Pinnacle Property Services can provide a detailed HHSRS (Housing, health and Social Rating System) Risk Assessment for your rented property. A copy of the inspection will be provided to the Landlord, Tenant and Local Letting Agent. HHSRS Certificates are valid for a 2 year period on new properties. Older properties are granted a 3-year Certificate, should any improvement notices be given. A 5-year certificate is given to all properties deemed to be in good condition and show no need for any further works.