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Safety in private rented accommodation

Housing Act 2004

Duty to provide a safe home

If an officer comes to inspect your home, they will use guidance provided under the Housing Act 2004, called the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

HHSRS lists 29 separate hazards and an investigating officer will use the guidance to assess if the property has any Category 1 or high-level Category 2 hazards (i.e. the most serious hazards). Consideration will also be given to:

  • how the family, visitor(s) or any other person who enters the home may be affected; and
  • whether the hazard is very bad now or likely to get worse over the next 12 months.

St Helens Borough Council has its own enforcement protocol, which states that if any one of five particular hazards are present, the officer must take enforcement action. These are:

  1. excess cold;
  2. entry by intruders;
  3. falls;
  4. fire;
  5. carbon monoxide.

Please refer to the enforcement policy.