Private sector housing

The Housing Health and Safety Rating system (HHSRS)

Either as a result of the Council's ongoing review housing conditions in its area or for some other reason, such as a complaint from a tenant, the Environmental Health and Licensing Team (EH & LT) can inspect a property if they have reason to think that a health or safety hazard exists there.

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is a risk assessment tool used to assess potential risks to the health and safety of occupants and their visitors in residential properties focusing on the hazards that are present in housing. Tackling these hazards will make housing healthier and safer to live in. This affects all owners and landlords, including social landlords.

Unfortunately, the private sector contains some of the worst housing conditions and owners and landlords should be aware that any future inspections of their property will be made using HHSRS.

How does HHSRS work?

The Housing Act 2004 gives the Council extensive powers to intervene where it considers housing conditions to be unacceptable on the basis of the impact of health and safety hazards on the most vulnerable potential occupier or visitor. The most likely actions available in relation to both Category 1 and Category 2 hazards include:

  • serving an Improvement Notice
  • making a Prohibition Order
  • serving a Hazard Awareness Notice

You can download and read further HHSRS guidance as a PDF file here.

If you are living in a privately rented property and would like to report a hazard under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, you can do so by contacting the Council and submitting an enquiry.