Housing standards

Housing health and safety inspections

Our aim is to ensure that people have a home which is safe, in good repair and has adequate amenities. We carry out risk assessments under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System and can take enforcement action.

If you are a tenant and your landlord does not carry out repairs when you have asked them to, leading to you living in an unsafe home, please email publichealth.licensing@horsham.gov.uk or call 01403 215405. We will arrange for an Officer to visit and provide advice.

What is the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)?

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is a risk assessment tool used to assess potential risks to health and safety of occupants within residential properties. It is part of the Housing Act 2004.

This assessment method 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.

Who does it affect?

All owners and landlords including social landlords.

What hazards does it cover?

The system 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

What do you look for at the risk assessment?

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, 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.

How do you enforce the HHSRS?

If we discover serious category 1 hazards in a home, we have a duty to take the most appropriate action.

We will try to deal with problems informally first. However, if unsuccessful we can require landlords to carry out improvement works to the property.

We have the power to prohibit the use of the whole or part of a dwelling or restrict the number of permitted occupants. Where hazards are modest they may serve a hazard awareness notice to draw attention to the problem.