There's so much legislation that lettings agents and landlords need to be aware of now that it's possible the Human Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) hasn't crossed their path. However, with the Fitness for Human Habitation Bill due to be passed practically as soon as Parliament can find time to vote on it, those who have paid attention to it know that the Bill and the HHSRS are inextricably linked. That means that, as the Bill is something that every property professional is going to need to know inside out, they'll need to become experts on the HHSRS as well.
How does the HHSRS affect the Fitness for Human Habitation Bill?
The HHSRS was created in the mid-2000s to act as a guide for local authorities to ensure properties were safe for people to live in and force landlords to uphold good standards in their properties. However, it has now been incorporated into the Fitness for Human Habitation Bill, which has itself been created to crystallise and define the fitness or unfitness of a property for humans to live in. It was felt this approach would make more sense than creating a new set of rules that would then confuse landlords rather than clear things up. Thus, the HHSRS will act as the set of guidelines that landlords wishing to comply with the Fitness for Human Habitation Bill should follow.
What does the HHSRS include?
The HHSRS consists of 29 hazards (some admittedly more likely than others), any of which could be present. These are assessed on a case-by-case basis and assigned a category of either 1 or 2, with 1 being extremely serious issues that require immediate attention and 2 being present but less urgent. The hazards include excessive temperatures (hot or cold), hygiene and asbestos among others.
What do lettings agents need to do about the HHSRS?
All lettings agents should be aware of the HHSRS and ensure the properties on their portfolios are not falling foul of any of the 29 hazards.
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