Anyone got a good HHSRS checklist?

I've battled through as much HHSRS stuff as my numbed brain can cope with and losing the will to live...

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Local Authority audit sheet would be ideal.


Hi Matthew, I went on a local authority course about 10 years ago and have not really heard much about this since. You could ask your Local Authority if they have a checklist for you. HHSRS is mentioned in our Local Authority booklet called : A Free Guide to Renting Private Property- on page 13. At the back of this booklet there are several check lists intended for prospective tenants with more than 80 questions about the house itself which you could answer yourself and will cover many of the basic areas of a HHSRS check. An example question is: Do the stairs appear safe and have a handrail all the way up? When my houses were checked by the LA they suggested a handrail be put on the cellar steps because it may have been used by workmen etc who would also need to be safe. The system is intended to be used by Local Authorities and so you may find it harder to assess your own properties in this critical way - I certainly did. The booklet is provided by Homestamp and a full copy of the system can be down loaded from http://homestamp.com/downloads/.This is a 70 page document with examples. I recall from the course that you must make an assessment of risk for the likely tenants in the house e.g. very young, old etc so that any potential risks are evaluated and limited or eliminated. I think most of us do this informally but it should be officially recorded with reasons for your decisions. The system is to assess 29 risks under 6 main headings and as such is not simple because it has to cover all eventualities. Alex

Hi Alex and Matthew,

I originally posted on this subject with the link to the Non-Local Authority version of the HHSRS manual. I've been involved with property for over 35 years and was a Housing Enforcement Officer for a Local Authority for 9 years and am also a qualified Building Surveyor and Domestic Energy Assessor. You don't necessarily need these type of qualifications to know your properties and do a good job at assessing them under the Housing Act 2004 with its accompanying HHSRS and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (or RRO) or any of the many HMO regulations. Many people over complicate matters on this subject and even the so-called professionals (not experts) get it wrong time after time after time.

I've witnessed ex-colleagues making landlords jump through hoops for no reason and without justification etc mainly because they don't really know what they are doing and because landlords don't seem to question them enough. Effectively they got landlords to carry out works that really didn't need doing at all.

The HHSRS isn't rocket science and can be simple to do but you need to have basic knowledge of buildings, building elements, fire risk and how to apply the HHSRS.

Alex, you mentioned 29 risks under 6 headings where it is actually 4 headings.

Matthew, all properties are different and as such a tick list or similar will drive you down tunnel and you'll miss things and ask yourself lots of questions possibly confusing yourself more in the long run.

More surprisingly, there appears to be only 3 of us in here discussing this very important and much maligned subject. The Housing Act 2004 and HHSRS plus the RRO and HMO regs are mainly civil based in the beginning but quickly turn nasty if you ignore them and you find yourself on the wrong end of a formal notice from the Local Authority. Failure to carry out reasonable works in the time periods specified can bring great financial penalties and a criminal record if you are taken to court and found guilty.

This is a much simpler guide than the official gov version

Just note what the hazards listed are, then inspect with a "common sense" approach. No need to get into calculations or scores when assessing for yourself.

The publication you highlight on your post is in effect a cobbled together collection of info from various sources including the official Government publications.

Just noting the hazards and inspecting with a common sense approach is not helpful and where most of everyone's understandings and/or misunderstandings all go wrong as most landlords are biased in their own favour and are unable to take an impartial approach to inspecting their properties. It's all about knowing your buildings, how they are constructed, where they fail and the inherent defects that are built into them for example and then knowing where to slot the defects into the HHSRS and which parts of the HHSRS are serious and how serious the actual defect/hazard you've identified is within that defect/hazard category. Noting all defects is important and you may find that in some cases almost all fit within the HHSRS categories and some fall outside of it and in other cases almost all fall outside of the HHSRS and one or two fall within it. I suppose I've made it sound a bit more difficult than it is but believe me, I have witnessed at first hand many, many, many EHO's that have basic knowledge and who are unable to operate it correctly. I'm not a traditionally trained council officer and came from a background in Building Surveying. I am still shocked to this day how many of these officers don't know their stuff. It's appalling especially when it comes to damp and mould and excess cold.

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