The Housing Health Safety Rating System (HHSRS) used to assess health and safety in residential properties it to be reformed to make it more accessible for landlords and tenants.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said the system will be simpler, making it easier for the sector to understand the hazards that could put tenants’ health at risk.
Action can be taken against landlords if they do not meet the standards and the changes are a result of a consultation that looked at three options.
The result is that the HHSRS will be improved, clarified, and modernised and correct what has been perceived as a disconnect between the HHSRS and other legislative standards. The standards will be enforced by local authorities.
‘The Government will proceed with option two as this will make the system easier to understand for landlords and tenants, correct the disconnect between the HHSRS and other legislative standards, and facilitate the effective enforcement of housing standards by local authorities. It is also the most cost-effective option,’ said a spokesperson for the MHCLG.
The move was welcomed by David Cox, chief executive of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA). ‘We have been calling for changes to the HHSRS for a long time, as it is too complicated and not understood by landlords, agents, tenants or local authorities,’ he pointed out.
‘It is why alongside many others in the industry, and the highly respected academic Dr Julie Rugg, we believe a property MOT system would be better than the HHSRS, but the fact the Government is looking at the system is a step in the right direction,’ he added.