Skip to sub navigation Skip to main content

The Housing Act 2004

The Housing Act 2004 implemented a property assessment tool, the housing health and safety rating system. Under this system, properties assessed as having category 1 hazards, refer to homes where there is judged to be a likely risk to health and safety of the current occupants. When the inspecting officer becomes aware of a hazard of this type, then they have a duty to take action.

Where there are category 2 hazards, then there may be more discretion.

The type of action taken will be dependent on the risk, the occupancy and potential threat to visitors, and any effect on the locality. Before any course of action, we will seek to consult with your landlord, unless there is an imminent danger or the landlord cannot be contacted.

Homes fit for habitation

All rented accommodation must be fit for human habitation. This means it is safe, healthy and free from things that could cause you or anyone else in your household serious harm. For example, if your house or flat is too cold and you can’t heat it, this can affect your health.

Landlords must make sure they fulfil their responsibilities.

Tenants who rent privately, or who live in a council or housing association home can hold their landlord to the responsibility to make the home safe.

Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) 

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is a system which Housing Standards officers must use to assess the seriousness of hazards in someone’s home.

There are up to 29 hazards that an officer may have to look at.

We have a legal duty to address category 1 hazards (the most serious), using formal action against a landlord and a power to do the same with regard to category 2 hazards.

Some of the most common hazards found in private rented sector homes are excessive cold, dampness and mould growth, fire, crowding and space, electrical hazards and falls (on stairs, steps and on the level).

If you want to know more about HHSRS you can find some links in the related links section.