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Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

How are assessments made?

The assessment process is not just a question of identifying defects, but is all about risk assessment, outcomes, and effects.

When an inspector finds a hazard, two key tests are applied - what is the likelihood of a dangerous occurrence as a result of this hazard and if there is such an occurrence, what would be the likely outcome?

For example, a staircase that had a broken stair would represent a serious hazard in that an occupant could trip or fall down the stairs. However, a broken stair at the top of the staircase would obviously be more dangerous than one at the bottom. If, for example, a glass door was situated near the bottom of the staircase, that would increase the potential severity of the outcome even more.

Dwellings are assessed against the average for the type and age of building. The inspector also judges whether the condition increases or lowers the likelihood of an occurrence that would give a harm outcome. Hazards are assessed according to their likely impact on people in a vulnerable group, such as the elderly or the young. The resultant enforcement in relation to the hazards may be influenced by the presence in the property of the vulnerable group.