When Environmental Health Officers inspect properties now – for example after a complaint by a tenant or to assess if the property is suitable for an HMO license, they will use a system known as the ‘Housing Health and Safety Rating System’.
This is essentially based on 29 ‘hazards’. The property will be inspected to see if any of the hazards exist and if so whether they are serious.
If they are sufficiently serious then the property will be deemed to have a ‘category one’ or (for less serious issues) ‘category two’ hazard and the landlord will be required (particularly in the case of category one hazards) to carry out improvement or repair works.
The hazards are now also used in the new Homes (Fitness for Habitation) Act 2018 – as if a property suffers from one of the hazards it can entitle tenants to bring claims for compensation and improvement of their property.
This is all well and good. But
Some of the hazards are fairly obvious. ‘Damp and mould’ for example or ‘excessive cold’. We all know what they are.
However what about ‘radiation’ or ‘biocides’? And even with the hazards which seem clear – the actual definition may not be what you think.
To help with this, we have a new Info Block (which first originally appeared in the Managing Your Rented Property within the Law online course).
The new info block:
The videos were specially recorded with independent housing adviser Dave Princep, who looks at what each of the hazards involves, the type of tenant most at risk, and (in most cases) what needs to be done to eliminate or ameliorate the hazard.
There is also a link to the government guidance document.
I hope this will be a useful addition to the site and that it will help you understand the different hazards which go to make up the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.
However note that access to the Info Blocks are limited to Business Level members. If you are a Business Level member you will find all the Info Blocks here.