HHSRS Implications for Social Landlords
Following the introduction of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), the law now requires a home to be free of serious (Category 1) hazards. Just one Category 1 hazard will mean that a property fails the Decent Homes Standard, and also that a landlord may be exposed to the risk of legal action.
The HHSRS is much broader than the fitness standard it replaced and focuses very much on the links between unsatisfactory housing and the health of residents. It covers issues such as heating & insulation, condensation, falls, fire, electrics, carbon monoxide, noise, asbestos etc. This practical course explains what the hazards are and the way the system works. It also sets out the implications for decent homes and for inspections and maintenance programmes. There is an emphasis throughout on the practicalities for social landlords.
The full course is available in one or two day options. The one day course gives a sound grounding in the principles and practice of the HHSRS. The two day option is for those staff who may assess hazards on a very regular basis for example those undertaking in-house stock condition surveys. We also offer a half awareness course for staff who are unlikely to need hands on knowledge but who need to have a good understanding of HHSRS issues – problems in a home that affect the health and quality life of residents. These may be managers with strategic responsibilities or housing officers or wardens who regularly residents in their homes.
Who should attend?
Property staff involved with response repairs, void works, planned maintenance and major works. It is essential that both staff carrying out inspections and those with strategic responsibilities understand the system. Where staff may encounter and score hazards in their day to day work, in particular those carrying out in-house stock condition surveys, the two day option (please see below) will reinforce understanding of the scoring mechanism.
What will they learn?
- The principles of the HHSRS and how it works
- How to recognise hazards and how to use the statutory guidance
- How to identify deficiencies in properties and relate them to hazards, how to assess outcomes and likelihoods and to how score hazards
- The implications of the HHSRS for social landlords in terms of Decent Homes, response and voids inspections, longer term asset management and the risk of enforcement action.
The two day course
With the two day course, after Day 1 delegates go away and carry out an inspection of a property containing at least three significant hazards and prepare an inspection report. The report includes a scored assessment of three hazards.
Day 2 normally follows around three weeks after Day 1. After an initial refresher session, some or all delegates are asked to give a brief presentation on their property, going through the property description, the deficiencies found, the three scored hazards and the justifications for the scores. The day is conducted in an open, informal way with plenty of opportunities for discussion and clarification of HHSRS issues with a course review and recap at the end.
The half day course
This is tailored to the particular needs of the delegates. The way the HHSRS works is explained and there is a very full description of all 29 hazards with a lot of slides to show practical examples. Where the audience has strategic responsibilities, the training sets out the implications for decent homes, asset management programmes, voids and response inspections, stock condition surveys, customer expectations, legal responsibilities etc. Where the audience is dealing with customers face to face, there is a great emphasis on the practical implications – how to look at properties and issues that matter in terms of impact on health and quality of life