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Safe Homes

HHSRS is the statutory minimum standards for all dwelling houses in England and Wales, ensuring that all dwellings, regardless of their tenure, provide safe homes for all.

What is HHSRS

HHSRS is a systematic risk assessment approach, used to improve the standards of residential housing. HHSRS does not set out a minimum standard for accommodation, as with the previous Fitness Standard, but is primarily concerned with eliminating or reducing hazards within dwellings. HHSRS does not provide an overall rating score for the dwelling but identifies each hazard or condition that has the potential to impact on the health and safety of actual, or potential, occupants within a dwelling.

How is a hazard identified?

A hazard rating can only be made following an inspection of the whole property, considering conditions relating to:

  • Physiological requirements
  • Psychological requirements
  • Protection against infection
  • Protection against accidents

If unacceptable conditions within a dwelling are identified (in respect of 29 hazards) a HHSRS formula, using a numerical scoring system, is applied to produce a hazard score. A hazard assessment considers:

  • the likelihood, over the next twelve months, of an occurrence that could result in harm to a member of the vulnerable group
  • the range of potential outcomes from such an occurrence

Hazard scores are divided into 10 bands, with Band A being the most severe and Band J the least serious. Hazards which fall into Bands A to C are called Category 1 hazards and those in Bands D to J are Category 2 hazards.

Councils have a duty to take enforcement action where a Category 1 hazard exists. Councils have the power to take enforcement action where Category 2 hazards exist.

29 Hazards

The 29 Hazards with the potential to impact on the health and safety of actual or potential occupants, including their 4 sub categories, are:

Physiological requirements

  • Damp and mould growth
  • Excess cold
  • Excess heat
  • Asbestos and manufactured mineral fibre
  • Biocides
  • Carbon monoxide and fuel combustion products
  • Lead
  • Radiation
  • Uncombusted fuel gas
  • Volatile organic compounds

Psychological requirements

  • Crowding and space
  • Entry by intruders
  • Lighting
  • Noise

Protection against infection

  • Domestic hygiene, pests and refuse
  • Food safety
  • Personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage
  • Water supply for domestic purpose

Protection against accidents

  • Falls associated with baths
  • Falling on level surfaces
  • Falling associated with stairs and steps
  • Falling between levels
  • Electrical hazards
  • Fire
  • Flames and hot surfaces
  • Collision and entrapment
  • Explosions
  • Position and operability of amenities
  • Structural collapse and failing elements

Private landlords

Private landlords and managing agents should ensure that their properties are regularly inspected by qualified EHP’s to determine whether there are serious hazards that could pose a risk to the health or safety of their tenants or visitors to the property. All recommended improvements should be carried out to reduce the risk of enforcement action by Councils, which could also result in a fine of up to £20,000.

Contact our Housing Experts to arrange a HHSRS inspection, confirming that your property has been inspected within the last 12 months and is free from Category 1 hazards.

Book your HHSRS Certificate here

Public sector landlords

Public sector landlords must ensure that dwellings owned, managed, or leased by them for temporary accommodation meet the requirements of HHSRS. To meet the Governments Decent Homes Standards all publicly owned dwellings must be free of Category 1 hazards. Public sector landlords are not exempt from the provisions of HHSRS and should incorporate HHSRS into planned stock condition surveys, ensuring that Category 1 hazards are dealt with during planned refurbishments.

Where a complaint is received from a tenant or neighbouring occupant, then public sector landlords must take steps to ensure that the complaint is investigated, and Category 1 hazards eliminated or reduced. Failure to use suitably qualified and competent professionals, such as EHP's, to properly identify and assess Category 1 hazards could result in a claim for damages by tenants and others affected by Category 1 hazards.

Contact our qualified expert EHP's to arrange a HHSRS inspection confirming that your property has been inspected within the last 12 months and is free from Category 1 hazards.

Tenants

If you are a private sector, housing association or Council tenant and you feel that your home may have Category 1 hazards (which could impact on your health and wellbeing), then we may be able to assist you to take action to make your home safe for you and your family. If your landlord refuses to listen to your requests to remedy any defects within your home such as:

  • poor thermal insulation
  • damp and mould growth
  • sound insulation problems (typified by the transmission of day to day noise such as footsteps)
  • ill health or repeated accidents (due to the condition of your dwelling)
Then speak to our qualified and experienced expert EHP's to arrange a HHSRS inspection.

Owner Occupiers

If you are a owner occupier and your home is affected by Category 1 hazards as a result of a neighbouring property, then we may be able to assist you to take action to make your home safe for you and your family. If your home is giving rise to Category 1 hazards impacting on the health and wellbeing of neighbouring occupiers, who have instigated legal action against you, we may be able to assist you to reduce or eliminate any hazards. For more information on Safe Homes visit:

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