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Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and Enforcement

The Housing Act 2004 made major changes to the way councils enforce housing standards in their areas with the introduction of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), which took effect in April 2006.

HHSRS is designed to keep the occupants of buildings safe and well by removing any potential hazards in the property. If you reside or own a property in Boston Borough and you are concerned about your housing conditions or would like further information you can contact the Private Sector Housing Team by:

·        telephoning the team direct on 01205 314563

·        telephoning the Rogue Landlord hotline in confidence on 01205 314333

·        completing the online Housing Complaint form (see Useful links)

If the property that you are concerned about is not in Boston Borough, you will need to contact the Local Authority where it is located (i.e. where Council Tax is paid)

Health and safety hazards covered by HHSRS

The HHSRS covers 29 potential health and safety hazards:

Damp and Mould

Crowding and space

Falling on stairs etc

Excess Cold

Entry by intruders

Falling between levels

Excess Heat


Electrical hazards





Domestic hygiene

Hot surfaces

Carbon monoxide

Food safety

Collision and entrapment


Personal hygiene



Water supply


Uncombusted fuel gas

Falls on a level

Structural collapse

Volatile compounds

Falls associated with baths


HHSRS inspections

Formal inspections are carried out by suitably trained and competent inspectors and are in accordance with the risk based HHSRS model which is used to identify potential risks and hazards to health and safety arising from any deficiencies identified in the dwelling.

Following the inspection each hazard is assessed separately, and if judged to be serious it is deemed to be a category 1 hazard. All other hazards are called category 2 hazards.

Enforcement action

If the local authority discovers category 1 hazards in a home it has a duty to take the most appropriate action. It also has discretionary powers to act in the case of category 2 hazards.

We can take enforcement action in several ways:

We must consider what action is appropriate in the circumstances and separate enforcement notices have to be served for each hazard.

The council can charge for certain enforcement actions - further details can be found in the Private Sector Housing Policy Framework in Related documents.

A property owner who feels that an assessment is wrong can discuss matters with the inspector and ultimately will be able to challenge an enforcement decision through the Residential Property Tribunal.

Failure to comply with a statutory notice could lead to prosecution, a Civil Penalty or the council carrying out work in default. For details on the Powers available to the Council, see Related articles

Related documents

Size Name
[2Mb] HHSRS Housing Act 2004 guidance for landlords HHSRS Housing Act 2004 guidance for landlords
[1Mb] Private Sector Housing Policy Framework 2018 Private Sector Housing Policy Framework 2018
[3Mb] Delegation of Decisions - Authorisations for Private Sector Housing Delegation of decisions

The documents in this section are in Adobe Acrobat format (pdf). You will need Acrobat Reader to view these files which can be downloaded from the Adobe website free of charge.