Landlord guides

Housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) enforcement guidance: housing inspections and assessment of hazards

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1 Damp and Mould Growth


Health threat from dust mites and mould caused by dampness and/or high humidity. Includes threats to mental health from living with damp and condensation.


2 Excess Cold


Health threat from low indoor temperatures from lack of central heating or affordable heating, poor insulation, disrepair of heating system or building components etc.


3 Excess Heat


Health threat from high indoor temperatures caused by lack of ventilation, excess heating or heat gain in summer from poor insulation, large expanses of glass etc.


4 Asbestos (and manufactured mineral fibres)


Health threat caused by exposure to asbestos fibres and manufactured mineral fibres (MMF) e.g. from insulation of pipework, lofts and cavity walls. Inhalation of fibres.


5 Biocides


Health threat from chemicals used to treat timber, insect infestation and mould growth in dwellings. Health effects may vary.


6 Carbon Monoxide (CO) and fuel combustion products


Health threat from excess levels of CO, nitrogen dioxide (e.g. from gas cookers), sulphur dioxide (e.g. from coal fires) and smoke in the dwelling.


7 Lead


Health threats from high levels of lead e.g. in old paintwork and old lead plumbing.


8 Radiation


Health threats from radon gas building up in sub-floor space from radiation emitting rock as part of normal ground conditions.


9 Uncombusted Fuel Gas


Health threat from escaping gas within a dwelling causing potential explosions/fire.


10 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)


Health threats from organic chemicals such as formaldehyde found in a wide variety of materials in the home.


11 Crowding and Space


Psychological as well as infectious disease health threats from overcrowding due to lack of living space including sleeping, cooking, washing etc.


12 Entry by Intruders


Psychological and actual health threat from intruders or fear of intruders due to poor security against unauthorised entry e.g. inadequate/broken door and window locks, fences.


13 Lighting


Lack of natural and/or artificial light or poorly positioned lights. Includes psychological effect from lack of a view. Assessment is of whole dwelling.


14 Noise


External noise from railways, airports, factories or roads, internally from adjacent dwellings lacking sound insulation (between flats), internal noise from plumbing, for example.


15 Domestic Hygiene Pestsand Refuse


Due to poor design and construction, damaged surfaces, access and harbourage for pests.


16 Food Safety


Inadequate facilities for storage, preparation and cooking of food.


17 Personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage.


Infectious disease and effects on mental health associated with poor personal hygiene due to inadequate washing and clothes washing facilities, sanitation and drainage.


18 Water Supply


Disease, poisoning and parasitic infections due to poor quality or contaminated domestic water supply.


19 Falls associated with Baths


Slipping getting in or out of bath or showers resulting in injury, fractures , cuts etc.


20 Falling on Level Surfaces


Falling on floors, yards, paths, trip steps less than 300mm resulting in injury, fractures, cuts etc.


21 Falling on Stairs etc.


Falls associated with internal or external stairs, steps over 300 mm and ramps resulting in injury.


22 Falling Between Levels


Where difference in level is over 300 mm - includes injuries arising from falls from balconies, landings, windows, accessible roofs, basement wells, retaining walls etc.


23 Electrical Hazards


Shocks and burns from electrocution due to defective wiring, plugs etc. Includes lightning strikes.


24 Fire


Potential fatality from burns and smoke inhalation caused by uncontrolled (accidental) fires frequently associated with cooking appliances, chip pans, defective heating/electrical appliances, dangerous wiring etc.


25 Flames and Hot Surfaces


Burns caused by contact with hot flames/surfaces or controlled fires or liquids (e.g. when cooking or from heaters) or scalds from hot liquids and vapours.


26 Collisions, Cuts and Strains


Physical injury from a) trapping body parts in architectural features, doors or windows; or b) collisions with architectural glazing, windows, doors, low headroom, ceilings and walls.


27 Explosions


Injury and the threat of injury from explosions from mains or stored gas.


28 Position and Operability of Amenities


Strains and injuries from awkward positioning of windows, amenities such as sinks and wash hand basins, kitchen cupboards, switches etc.


29 Structural Collapse and Falling Elements


Injury arising from falling slates, bricks, ceiling plaster or windows etc. and collapse from structural failure of roofs, walls or floors, guard rails etc.


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