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Private Rented Housing: Standards

Volume 494: debated on Monday 22 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department is taking to ensure that privately rented housing meets the decent homes standard. (281342)

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is a risk-based evaluation tool to help local authorities identify and protect against potential risks and hazards to health and safety from any deficiencies identified in dwellings. It was introduced under the Housing Act 2004 and came into effect on 6 April 2006. It applies to residential properties in England.

The HHSRS assesses 29 categories of housing hazard, each hazard has a weighting which will help determine whether the property is rated as having Category 1 (serious) or Category 2 (other) hazards. For the purposes of the decent homes standard, homes posing a category 1 risk are non-decent on its criterion that a home must meet the statutory minimum requirements.

Local authorities are responsible for the local implementation and enforcement of the HHSRS. If a property is found to contain serious hazards the local authority has a duty to take the most appropriate action in relation to the hazard.