At HouseLet Direct all our inspections are conducted by qualified, trained assessors who are all EHORB registered with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. If you are a public authority and need interim or additional support to assist you with your regime of statutory compliance inspections for housing standards including Additional HMO or Selective licensing, then HouseLet Direct's Statutory Inspection Service could support you to meet your enforcement targets and help create safe neighbourhoods.

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If you are a Landlord or Agent then find out how HouseLet Direct's HHSRS Compliance Certificate can save your rental business thousands of pounds and avoid the need for costly and stressful legal action by Councils or tenants.
 
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If you are a Landlord faced with enforcement action by your Council and wish to appeal to the Residential Property Tribunal (RPT) then HouseLet Direct can provide Expert Report and witness services.

Helping Create Safe Homes



HHSRS

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) was introduced in 2006 under Part 1 of the new Housing Act 2004.

Whilst HHSRS is not a standard in itself; it does contain the statutory minimum standards for all dwelling houses in England and Wales. Regardless of whether your are a home owner, Council, Registered Social Landlord (RSL) or Private Sector Landlord (PSL); all dwellings must comply with the requirement to be free from Category 1 Hazards.

HHSRS or the rating system as it is also sometimes called is an evidence-based risk assessment tool. The rating system considers whether a dwelling; including the structure, associated outbuildings, garden, yard, and / or other amenity space, provide a safe and healthy environment for the occupants and any visitors. The rating system relies on a numerical calculation, which calculates probability of harm. The rating system does not assess the property from the perspective of those currently occupying the dwelling, but uses a broader approach to identify a "vulnerable” group" i.e. persons who, by age, are most susceptible to suffering harm from the hazard in question.

The HHSRS Assessment involves four critical stages, which allow hazards to be rated according to a numerical score. It includes an assessment of the probability of harm from a hazard in the 12 months following the inspection. Hazards in Bands A-C are classed as Category 1 Hazards requiring Mandatory action by Councils. Hazards in Bands D to J are Category 2 Hazards, which allow Council's to exercise discretion, when deciding what action to take. The chart below illustrates the HHSRS process which allows a hazard score to be generated.

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Examples of the Four HHSRS Classes of Harm are listed below:


Class I
This Class covers the most extreme harm outcomes including:
Death from any cause; Lung cancer; Mesothelioma and other malignant lung tumours;
Permanent paralysis below the neck; Regular severe pneumonia; Permanent loss of consciousness; 80% burn injuries

Class II
This Class covers severe harm outcomes, including:
Cardio-respiratory disease; Asthma; Non-malignant respiratory diseases; Lead poisoning; Anaphylactic shock; Crytosporidiosis; Legionnaires disease; Myocardial infarction; Mild stroke; Chronic confusion; Regular severe fever; Loss of a hand or foot; Serious fractures; Serious burns; Loss of consciousness for days.

Class III
This Class covers serious harm outcomes, including:
Eye disorders; Rhinitis; Hypertension; Sleep disturbance; Neuro-pyschological impairment; Sick building syndrome; Regular and persistent dermatitis, including contact dermatitis; Allergy; Gastro-enteritis; Diarrhoea; Vomiting; Chronic severe stress; Mild heart attack; Malignant but treatable skin cancer; Loss of a finger; Fractured skull and severe concussion; Serious puncture wounds to head or body; Severe burns to hands; Serious strain or sprain injuries; Regular and severe migraine.

Class IV
This Class includes moderate harm outcomes which are still significant enough to warrant medical attention. Examples are:
Pleural plaques; Occasional severe discomfort; Benign tumours; Occasional mild pneumonia; Broken finger; Slight concussion; Moderate cuts to face or body; Severe bruising to body; Regular serious coughs or colds.

The 29 Hazards with the potential to impact on the health and safety of actual or potential occupants, 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

(source:ODPM 2006, page 47)

All Landlords and Managing Agents should ensure their properties are free from serious hazards that could pose a risk to the health or safety of their tenants or visitors to their properties.

HHSRS is not a simple procedure and even Council officers can struggle to understand the assessment process. At HouseLet Direct we can take the worry out of compliance. We can explain how Landlords can ensure that their dwellings provide safe homes and meet statutory requirements. Our qualified Environmental Heath Practitioners are all EHORB registered with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, have extensive experience of assessing properties and can provide recommendations to reduce the risk of enforcement action, which can result in a fine of up to £20,000.

Book a fixed fee HHSRS inspection confirming your property has been inspected within the last 12 months and is free from Category 1 Hazards here

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