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Housing Health and Safety Rating System

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The Housing Health and Safety Rating System is used to determine whether residential premises are safe to live in.

Local authorities use the system to determine whether a hazard exists that may cause harm to the health and safety of a potential occupant who is most vulnerable to that hazard. For instance, stairs are a greater risk to older people and the very young so when assessing hazards associated with stairs they are considered the most vulnerable group.


Local authorities have a range of options when they find a hazard, they can:

  • serve a hazard awareness notice
  • serve an improvement notice requiring work to remove or reduce the hazard
  • make a prohibition order to restrict the use of all or part of the dwelling
  • take action themselves where they consider the hazard needs to be dealt as an emergency.

When assessing, local authorities must consider the most vulnerable group. However when deciding on any enforcement action they may take account of the actual occupant.