MHCLG reforms HHSRS to simplify assessments for landlords and tenants

Article Posted -
12 Jul 2019

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced that it will reform the Housing Health Safety Rating System (HHSRS) to make it more accessible for landlords and tenants.

The decision follows the consultation undertaken in February 2019 that found there was widespread support for the simplification of the HHSRS assessment. This will involve reassessing whether some hazard profiles needed to be removed or combined.

Further changes that will be pursued as part of the reform include:

  • Developing worked examples that encompass the range of hazards, illustrate the utilisation of standards and provide a spectrum of risks.
  • Review current HHSRS assessor training and establish a competency framework.
  • Identify a simpler means of banding the results of HHSRS assessments so that they are clearer to understand and better engage landlords and tenants.
  • Explore how digitisation could be used to support HHSRS assessments to improve understanding and consistency for stakeholders.
  • Review and update the current HHSRS Enforcement Guidance: Housing Conditions and Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004, as well as the existing guidance for landlords.

Full details of the Government’s reform proposals can be found here.

The Government confirmed that their preferred choice was the most cost-effect option which would correct the disconnect between HHSRS and other legislative standards, whilst facilitating the effective enforcement of housing standards by local authorities.

NLA response

We’re glad to see the Government has listened to our recommendations to develop worked examples and improve the training of HHSRS assessors to ensure more consistent application of the system across the country. We’re also pleased the Government recognises the need to review the existing guidance for landlords to make this as accessible as possible.

We welcome the Government’s proposed simplification of the assessment process for both landlords and tenants. HHSRS is an important tool in maintaining quality standards and we support the increased efficiency it would bring to local authorities’ enforcement work.

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