Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement


Tenancy Agreement Template

Proving information &
advice for all buy to let
property investors and
tenants in the UK


Rental property must be safe to occupy and among other things must comply with the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). This is a risk-based method of assessment which councils are required to use when evaluating a property’s safety. Such assessments may be undertaken following a complaint, or for other reasons, such as when a HMO licence is applied for.

HHSRS is primarily concerned with those matters which can properly be considered the responsibility of the owner (or landlord). Generally these include the provision, state and proper working order of:

(a) Exterior and structural elements of the dwelling; and

(b) installations within and associated with the dwelling for: the supply and use of water, gas and electricity, personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage, food safety, ventilation, space heating, and water heating.

There are 29 headings under which risk is assessed:

1.         Damp and mould growth
2.         Excess cold
3.         Excess heat
4.         Asbestos (and MMF)
5.         Biocides
6.         Carbon monoxide and fuel combustion products
7.         Lead
8.         Radiation
9.         Uncombusted fuel gas
10.       Volatile organic compounds
11.       Crowding and space
12.       Entry by intruders
13.       Lighting
14.       Noise protection
15.       Domestic hygiene, pests and refuse
16.       Food safety
17.       Personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage
18.       Water supply for domestic purpose
19.       Falls associated with baths
20.       Falling on level surfaces
21.       Falling on stairs, etc
22.       Falling between levels
23.       Electrical hazards
24.       Fire
25.       Flames, hot surfaces
26.       Collision and entrapment
27.       Explosions
28.       Position and operability of amenities
29.       Structural collapse and failing elements

If hazards are identified under any of these headings, the council must go on to assess the likelihood of those hazards crystallising and causing harm – and the probable severity of any such harm. The assessment culminates in a ‘hazard rating’ for the property.

There are four classes of harm, of which ‘category one’ is the most severe. These are risks that could lead to death, permanent paralysis below the neck, regular severe pneumonia, or 80% burns or worse. Local authorities have a duty to take action on category-one hazards and the power to take action on category-two hazards. This applies to all properties, whether owner-occupied or rented, although landlords are the most likely to affected.

In most cases a local authority, having found a material hazard in a rented property, will first contact the landlord or agent and request work be undertaken to remove or reduce the hazard. If no action is taken, the request may be followed by a legal notice either requiring works to be done or restricting use of the property. Should a legal notice not be complied with, the local authority will have the power to prosecute the owners of the property and carry out the works itself and recover all costs.

Where a hazard has been identified as providing an imminent risk of harm or requiring urgent attention, a legal notice may be served without prior notification.


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