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Housing, Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

Introduction:

The Housing Act 2004 received the Royal Assent on Thursday 18thNovember 2004; however, the vast majority of sections were introduced by Ministerial order. The Housing, Health & Safety Rating System came into force on 6thApril 2006 as a result of theHousing, Health and Safety Rating System (England) Regulations 2005 SI 3208. Part 1 of the new Act contains provisions to replace the housing fitness regime set out in the Housing Act 1985. The separate Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) fitness test will also be repealed. The test of fitness is to be replaced with an evidence-based risk assessment process, carried out using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). Action by local authorities will be based on a three-stage consideration:

  1. the hazard rating determined under HHSRS;
  2. whether the authority has a duty or power to act, determined by the presence of a hazard above or below a threshold prescribed by Regulations (Category 1 and Category 2 hazards); and
  3. the authority’s judgement as to the most appropriate course of action to deal with the hazard.

Landlord’s Responsibilities:

The landlord will be responsible for the exterior of the dwelling, the structural elements of the property and the inside facilities which are part of that property be it a flat or a house.

Exterior and Structure

The landlord’s responsibilities under s.11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 are clear and widely understood. The Act states that a landlord’s responsibilities include the need to:-

“to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes)”.

It also covers responsibility:-

“to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity), andto keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.”

An example given in the Guidance is“Preventivemeasures that could have a significant effect onlikelihoodandharm outcomesrelating tomoisture productionandventilation:

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