Housing health and safety – keeping up to date

Posted in: Accommodation Help, Landlords, University Life

An important part of the service provided by Sulets is the work that we do with landlords to ensure the properties that we let meet all the correct standards for licensing and health and safety. This ensures our tenants are renting properties of a high standard and are safe and secure.

To keep our team up to date with legislation, and on top of the key issues that are important to local council inspectors, we undertake regular training.

The latest of these sessions was on the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS). The HHSRS provides guidance, especially for landlords, on the requirements of the Housing Act 2004.

Whats does the System do?

The System focuses on the potential hazards that are present in housing and was developed after an extensive period of assessment of statistics about deaths, illnesses and injuries related to housing, the likelihood of accidents and injuries and where in the dwelling they are most likely to occur.

This huge amount of data was then boiled down into 29 common hazards which were each given a rating that allows councils (and landlords) to assess how safe a property is and what steps can be taken to minimise any risks.

Leading the Sulets team through HHSRS was housing standards expert Andy Cope, https://housingstandardsconsultant.co.uk/

With over 20 years’ experience in local council housing inspection, Andy is uniquely qualified to help the team understand the hazards and how to spot them. More importantly he gave sound advice on the common mistakes made in an inspection, how to get inside the mind of an inspector and practical insight on the balance to be struck between the commercial demands and the legal requirements of property letting.

Putting the training to use

To bring the training to life and test the learning, the team went out to two properties during the day with Andy and inspected them against the criteria of the HHSRS. These visits were followed by a full discussion on what had been seen and what the team would do in regard to each of the properties.

The highlights of the day were understanding that the outside of the property is as important as the inside and forms part of the assessment, that it is often the small details (plug sockets hidden behind furniture for instance) that are the keys to a thorough inspection and examples of the common mistakes or assumptions made by landlords in relation to the enforcement of the HHSRS.

Why is it important?

Councils have strong powers in relation to housing and housing standards and landlords need to be aware of what is required and how they can comply with the necessary regulations. The Sulets approach is laid out in our own standards and our experienced team work with landlords to ensure those benchmarks are maintained. Our increased knowledge of HHSRS is further proof of our commitment to landlords and tenants to give them the very best service.