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Housing Health And Safety Rating System (HHSRS) And Fire Safety

Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is a risk assessment based enforcement tool for local authorities but it also enables landlords to carry out their own risk assessment. HHSRS will still apply even in those cases where the Fire Safety Order applies. The local authority will risk assess the residential accommodation to determine the likelihood of a fire occurring within the next 12 months and the likely outcome in terms of harm resulting from any such fire (i.e. death or injury which would require medical intervention of some kind). This is scored as points. If the score is such that there is a serious hazard then there is what is known as a Category 1 hazard so the local authority must take enforcement action, but if there is a less serious situation then there is a Category 2 hazard in which case the local authority may still take action but does not have to do so. : To see the RLA guide to Risk Assessment, click here

When does HHSRS apply?

HHSRS applies to all kinds of residential accommodation, including owner/occupied properties.

What steps would have to be taken?

Action can include service of a notice requiring the carrying out of improvements to fire safety or, where justified, closing the whole or part of the premises. In a very serious situation, where there is an imminent risk of serious harm, then an emergency prohibition order can be made prohibiting the use of the whole or part of the premises. This power can be exercised in the case of all types of residential accommodation. Separately, the Fire Service also have power to serve emergency orders prohibiting use of the whole or part of the premises, but they cannot use such a power in the case of a house which is occupied as a single dwelling.

Does it matter who is living in the property?

HHSRS scoring is carried out irrespective of who are the current occupiers of the property. However, when deciding on any enforcement action the nature of the occupancy will then be taken into account.

Can you tell me more about HHSRS?

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