Landlords have been asked to help update and improve the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) to make sure it’s still relevant, work out how many have even heard of it and how it can be used better to raise standards in the PRS.
This is despite it being a legal requirement under the Housing Act 2004 that properties attain the minimum standards set out in the HHSRS.
The risk assessment system is used by local authorities to evaluate risk relating to health and safety in properties in order to avoid or minimise potential hazards.
It hasn’t been updated for the past 15 years and the government is now consulting on changes – and wants private sector landlords to have their say.
The HHSRS can work out the risk to health from deficiencies including poor design or disrepair in residential properties; hazards, such as excess cold, building structure defects and damp or mould are assessed to work out how serious a risk they are to the health and safety of the tenants.
Each hazard is then scored and put into bands, with band A being the most serious and band J being the least serious.
This two-year research project will include a review of the operating guidance and training for assessors and other stakeholders as well as new recommended minimum standards. It will also look at the Landlords Guidance and Tenants Guidance.
The government says: “This survey is aimed at a wide variety of organisations from those at one extreme that own/manage tens of thousands of dwellings through to a person that lets out just one dwelling.
“Do not be put off from completing the survey. The aim is to assist in informing significant improvements to the HHSRS.”
Housing regulators and surveyors, agents and tenants will also be quizzed. The online survey for landlords can be found here until 31st March: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CRX2TTD.