DLUHC has published a summary report on the outcomes and next steps for the review of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

It outlines the key changes as follows:

• To make the assessment process more efficient for local authorities and more accessible to landlords and tenants, we will amalgamate some hazards assessed, reducing the total number from 29 to 21, and produce a simpler means of banding the results of HHSRS assessments.

• To make it easier for landlords and tenants to understand the system, we will publish baselines that can be used to make an initial assessment of whether a property contains serious hazards (eg ‘stairs must be safe, secure, in sound condition, free of defects and projections, well maintained’). These do not replace the whole risk assessment but are easier to understand.

• To ensure assessments are consistent, quick and a solid base for effective enforcement, we will publish new statutory operating and enforcement guidance, a comprehensive set of new case studies, and specific tailored guidance for all stakeholders. Our suppliers also carried out analysis of digital assessment, setting out how this should be interlinked with existing databases, and reviewed training requirements and competency frameworks.

• To make sure the risk of fire in tall buildings can be assessed effectively (following the Grenfell tragedy), we recommended amalgamating the ‘Fire’ hazard with ‘Explosions in Dwellings’. The ‘relevant matters affecting likelihood and harm outcome’, as listed in the operating guidance, are then updated with specific minimum standards which were then field tested and found to mitigate 90% of significant fire hazards.

New regulations (an ‘affirmative Statutory Instrument’) are required to bring the conclusions of the HHSRS review into force. These will replace the existing regulations, which prescribe descriptions of hazards, the method for assessing their seriousness and the manner and extent of inspections of residential premises.

These regulations will be introduced after the conclusion of the Decent Homes Standard (DHS) review.

DLUHC notes that it is currently considering responses to the consultation on the DHS. It adds: “The second part of the Decent Homes Standard review will now consider how best to deliver on our ambition on reducing non-decent homes for both social and private rented

Further information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/housinghealth-and-safety-rating-system-hhsrs-review-outcomes-and-next-steps/summary-reportoutcomes-and-next-steps-for-the-review-of-the-housing-health-and-safety-rating-systemhhsrs