The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) gives us powers and duties to target properties in the worst condition, which often house some of the most vulnerable people.
There are 29 hazards [PDF, 0.3MB], any of which may be assessed during a Housing Standards inspection, including:
- damp and mold growth – read our condensation advice notes [PDF, 36Kb]
- excess cold
- crowding and space – read an explanation of statutory overcrowding [PDF, 89Kb]
- domestic hygiene, pests and refuse – read recycling information for landlords and managing agents
- personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage
- fire – read Lacors' fire safety guidance [PDF, 1.5MB]
The courses of action available to us where we have a duty or a power to act include:
- serving a hazard awareness notice
- serving an improvement notice requiring remedial works
- making a prohibition order, which closes the whole or part of a dwelling or restricts the number of permitted occupants
- taking emergency action
- making a demolition order
The HHSRS hazard rating is based on the most vulnerable potential occupant. We will be able to take account of the vulnerability of the actual occupant in deciding the best course of action. We retain the power to act in default and prosecute for lack of compliance. We are also able to recover charges for enforcement actions.
Further guidance for landlords and other property-related professionals can be found on the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government website.
In accordance with section 49 of the Housing Act 2004, we will charge for service of certain formal enforcement notices:
- Improvement notice: £351
- Prohibition order: £318
- Emergency remedial action: £298
- Review of suspended notices and orders: £106
- Hazard awareness notice: No charge
The amount charged may be subject to annual review. Please note, in certain circumstances, where it has been necessary to serve multiple notices relating to the same property, this charge applies to each individual notice. The charges will become a local land charge on the property until full costs are recovered by us.