Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
How is the system applied?
Councils have a duty to keep the housing conditions in their area under review.
Either as a result of that review, or for some other reason such as a complaint from a tenant or a neighbour, they can inspect a property if they have reason to think that a health or safety hazard exists there. The scoring of hazards found during an inspection must be carried out in accordance with the method set out in the HHSRS guidance.
As well as providing the legal basis for HHSRS, the 2004 Act contains a package of enforcement measures for Councils to use. These powers can be used to deal with poor housing in the private sector, or any housing owned by a public sector landlord such as the Ministry of Defence, the NHS, a Fire and Rescue Authority or the Police, unless it has Crown exemption. Councils have a duty to deal with serious 'Category 1' hazards under HHSRS, and discretionary powers to deal with less serious 'Category 2' hazards.