What is the HHSRS?

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is risk assessment system that focuses on identifying and tackling the hazards that are most likely to be present in housing to make homes healthier and safer to live in.

The system can deal with 29 hazards relating to:

  • Dampness, excess cold/heat
  • Pollutants e.g. asbestos, carbon monoxide, lead
  • Lack of space, security or lighting, or excessive noise
  • Poor hygiene, sanitation, water supply
  • Accidents - falls, electric shocks, fires, burns, scalds
  • Collisions, explosions, structural collapse

Each hazard is assessed separately, and if judged to be 'serious', with a 'high score', is deemed to be a category 1 hazard. All other hazards are called category 2 hazards.

A risk assessment looks at the likelihood of an incident arising from the condition of the property and the likely harmful outcome.

Who does it affect?

The Housing Health and Safety Rating system (HHSRS) affects all owners and landlords, including social landlords.

Landlords should assess their property to determine whether there are serious hazards that may cause a health or safety risk to tenants. They should then carry out improvements to reduce the risks, and to be decent (under the Decent Homes Standard), homes should be free of category 1 hazards.

How does it work?

A risk assessment looks at the likelihood of an incident arising from the condition of the property and the likely harmful outcome. For example, how likely is a fire to break out, what will happen if one does?

They consider:

  • the chance of harm
  • how serious it would be
  • any extra risk to children or older people

Any hazards in your home are then rated as 'category 1' or 'category 2'.

Landlord’s surveyors will do this assessment when they visit your home, but it is the Environmental Health team in the local authority who ultimately enforce compliance with the standard.

What do we do about it?

Where we are told about or find a category 1 hazard in a property, we try and fix it straight away.  Often this is a simple emergency repair; to fix a gas leak, reattach the banister on the stairs, or secure a loose roof tile. 

Sometimes the risk in a property is significant due to the age or physical ability of the people who live there, then we might have to make bigger changes to make the property safe for them, for example, installing a ramp to the front door. 

Some risks, like damp and mould growth, might need more investigation and follow up to make sure we have fixed the problem and controlled the risk.  We have a follow Damp and Mould procedure so we can monitor any properties with a problem and make sure it is resolved through regular follow up inspections.

What should you do about it?

  • Continue to report any problems in your home to us as they occur, so we can fix things before they get worse. 

  • Try to keep your home clean, tidy and well-ventilated to help prevent some risks and identify others sooner.

  • Give our surveyors, technical officers, and operatives access to your home when they come to inspect or repair it.

  • If you think you need changes in your home due to a disability, we may be able to help you, please see Aids and Adaptations.