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Hazards in rental units - landlords’ help wanted for assessment

The risk assessment system used by local authorities to judge health and safety issues relating to properties needs updating - and landlords are being asked to help.

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System has not been updated for 15 years and the government is consulting on changes.

The HHSRS calculates the health risks of household hazards such as excess cold, structural defects, damp, mould and other ventilation issues. 


Ten bands exist, into which each hazard is designated, but now a two-year research project is to review their appropriateness and value, along with a judgement on the quality of training for assessors. 

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.”

The review and associated research will focus on recommendations in relation to the following:

  • Review of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) Operating Guidance

  • Development of an updated set of worked examples

  • Reviewed HHSRS training for assessors and other stakeholders, including the introduction of a competency framework

  • Development of a simpler means of banding HHSRS assessment results

  • New recommended minimum standards

  • Assessment into the amalgamation or removal of existing hazard profiles

  • Review of HHSRS digital assessment tools

  • Reviewed and updated HHSRS ‘Landlords Guidance’ and new ‘Tenants Guidance’

  • Reviewed and updated HHSRS Enforcement Guidance

  • Review of the fire safety hazard.

The online survey for landlords can be found here until the end of this month. 

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • icon

    Tenants need the same common sense as owners to stay safe, nothing more.


    Common sense of tenants either non-existant or died a long time ago.

    Bill Wood

    I've just had an EICR done one one of my propereties, it failed.
    The enginneer found that there was a break in the ring main neutral conductor. This is quite serious as if the ring main is very heavily loaded, with electric fires, kettles etc, beyond 30A or so, it could overload the single remaining neutral wire. This problem has probably been hidden there for many years, waiting for the moment to strike.
    This isn't something a tenant or landlord can know about, no matter how much common sense they have, it needs a professional electrician. Common sense is just not enough, i'm afraid.


    Common sense dictates properties have modern wiring and get professionally inspected for gas and electrical safety, whether owned or rented.

    However most issues are caused by irresponsible behaviour or lack of care.

  • Andrew McCausland

    The issue here is not the system, but the inspection regimen from the local council. The majority of times things are fine, if not good, with inspections done by experienced staff. However, there have been occasions where junior, inexperienced and over zealous inspectors have left mayhem in their wake; failing fire doors when they are using the wrong gap measuring tools, insisting we take out kitchen worktops just because of a single minor scratch on the surface, telling us to remove electric heaters despite them being safe and the property having a satisfactory EPR, etc.

    No doubt an update to HHSRS is due. Comprehensive training and qualification for the inspecting officers is certainly a part of this to look at.

  • icon

    Stop all this nonsense by HHRS, Councils, Licensing, penalties, fines, Criminalizing LL's, the answer is very simple just give LL's back control of his Property and allow him/her to visit in reasonable daylight hours and not keep him/her on tender hooks to scared to go to the Property in case of upsetting the Tenants or they might complain to Council about Harassment. No Control no Authority, more coming force LL's to have Pets, next we will be fined for the damage they do.

  • icon

    The biggest hazard in my properties are invariably some tenants being ridiculously stupid. This is why they dont or cant own property.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    There's no vaccination for a stupid tenant ( unfortunately )


    That's a pity!

  • icon

    It strange as it seems to be yet again Private LL are being picked on. We are aware of significance of health & safety and it should be mentioned that tens of thousands of Properties that are Licensed had to do this already as part of requirements to get the License and should be exempt also mold & mildew could be now be listed as exempt, thanks to Corona the Asians had to open the windows. However it seems the ones that should be doing this are exempt, Principle Private residence, Council Tenanted, LL properties let to families on Benefit, Housing Associations, Lodger LL's etc'


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