Housing Health & Safety Rating System
Following the Prime Minister’s speech to the nation on Saturday 31st October 2020 regarding the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic and resurgence of cases and imposition of new restrictions, the Private Sector Housing & Public Health team will not be undertaking site visits or property inspections until further notice, except in urgent emergency situations (as determined by the case officer) where appropriate precautions are in place. All staff are now working from home and have limited access to incoming and outgoing postal mail and correspondence is best via e-mail where possible. This is not a permanent arrangement but will continue until at least 2nd December 2020 (the date the restrictions are due to end); however, this date may be extended further by the Government depending upon whether the fall in Covid-19 cases is sufficient enough to allow the restrictions to be lifted. Any visits arranged during the pandemic may be subject to cancellation or change at short notice if there are changes to National, local or Council-directed policy, legislation or requirements, or where it is considered that appropriate precautions and/or social-distancing cannot be achieved. These changes have been made to protect customers and staff from contracting or spreading the virus during these difficult times.
As well as advice on Coronavirus available via other links on the Arun District Council website, the following links may also be of particular use in regards to Housing issues: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-services-for-people-experiencing-rough-sleeping/covid-19-guidance-for-hostel-or-day-centre-providers-of-services-for-people-experiencing-rough-sleeping
The Housing Health & Safety Rating Scheme (HHSRS) focuses on the hazards that are most likely to be present in housing. Tackling these hazards will make more homes healthier and safer to live in. It affects all owners and landlords including social landlords. An HHSRS assessment can deal with 29 hazards summarised as follows:
• Dampness, excess cold/heat
• Pollutants e.g. asbestos, carbon monoxide, lead
• Lack of space, security or lighting, or excessive noise
• Poor hygiene, sanitation, water supply
• Accidents - falls, electric shocks, fires, burns, scalds
• Collisions, explosions, structural collapse
A risk assessment looks at the likelihood of an incident arising from the condition of the property and the likely harmful outcome. For example, how likely is a fire to break out and what will happen if one does. The assessment will show the presence of any serious (Category 1) hazards and other less serious (Category 2) hazards. If a local authority discovers Category 1 hazards in a home, it has a duty to take the most appropriate action. If category 2 hazards are discovered it has the power to take action. The council will try to deal with problems informally first. However, if unsuccessful they can require landlords to carry out improvement works to the property. The council has the power where necessary to prohibit the use of the whole or part of a dwelling or restrict the number of permitted occupants. Where hazards are modest or of low risk they may serve a hazard awareness notice to draw attention to the problem.
The Department of Communities and Local Government have produced this Guidance for Landlords and Property Related Professionals.pdf [pdf] 16MB
If you are a tenant and your landlord does not carry out repairs when you have asked, please contact us on 01903 737755 and we may be able to help you. Please see our Disrepair & Damp page for more information.
Appealing enforcement notices
A person who has an enforcement Notice served on them under the Housing Act 2004 (and some associated legislation) can make an appeal against the Notice, normally within 21 or 28 days, depending on what type of Notice is served. Appeals are heard by the First-tier Tribunal (FTT).
The First-tier Tribunal can be contacted at:
First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) Residential Property (Southern Region)
Havant Justice Centre
The Court House
Telephone: 01243 779 394
Fax: 0870 7395 900