How we assess the property
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is a risk based system used to assess the level of health hazards present at the property. The assessment considers the likelihood of an occurrence and the harm outcomes from it.
If you own a property and rent it out, the council may decide to carry out an HHSRS inspection because:
- Your tenants have asked for an inspection
- The council has done a survey of local properties and thinks your property may pose a risk to the tenants
When we have assessed the property
The Officer will consider the 29 health and safety areas and score hazards that are rated as category 1 or 2, according to its seriousness. A copy of these can be found in the downloads section.
Apart from situations when emergency action is necessary, the council will contact the landlord to discuss the conditions on an informal basis in the first instance. Where a landlord is not cooperative the council are obligated to take more formal action, such as serving one of the notices listed below. Please note the landlord may be charged should the council find it necessary to issue a notice, see below for details. The landlord must take the actions stated in the enforcement notice(s) they receive from the council or they may face prosecution. The landlord also has the right to appeal an enforcement notice.
Notices we can serve
- Hazard awareness notice - used for relatively minor hazards, this is a non-enforceable notice intended to make persons aware of a problem.
- Improvement notice - specifies the defects, what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by. This notice can also be suspended to become active when a certain event occurs
- Prohibition order - used for the most serious hazards and will stop the landlord renting out all or parts of the property or prevent certain groups from occupying
- Emergency remedial action - used for serious hazards which need to be resolved relatively quickly
- Emergency prohibition order - these are used in extreme circumstances. An emergency order can immediately stop the use of all or part of the property as living accommodation.
We will make a reasonable charge as specified in Section 49 of the Housing Act 2004, to recover certain administrative and other expenses incurred in taking enforcement action. This charge is currently £312 flat rate, plus any additional costs incurred where works are carried out.
Any annual review of a notice where applied will be charged at £76. Where suspended notices are served, the full charge will be liable on breach of the notice.
Where more than one notice is served at the same property, the first notice will be charged at full rate and each subsequent notice charged at £156. However, additional costs may also be payable if external specialist advice is needed, e.g. a structural report.