Private housing assessment

Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System is used to assess the how the condition of a person's home affects their health and safety, and that of their visitors.

Defects in a property are identified and assessed in relation to 29 hazards. These are:

Damp, heat and cold

Defects here include:

  • damp and mould growth
  • excess cold
  • excess heat


These pollutants are defined as serious risks:

  • asbestos and manufactured mineral fibre
  • biocides, such as fumes from timber treatment
  • carbon monoxide and fuel combustion products
  • lead
  • radiation
  • unburnt fuel gas, such as a gas leak
  • volatile organic compounds, such as fumes from paints, varnishes

Space security, light and noise

Risks in these areas include:

  • crowding and space
  • entry by intruders
  • lighting
  • noise

Hygiene, sanitation and water supply

There are a variety of risks in this area:

  • domestic hygiene, pests and refuse
  • food safety
  • personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage
  • water supply


Home hazards here comprise:

  • falls associated with baths
  • falling on level surfaces
  • falling on stairs
  • falling between levels

Electric shocks, fires, burns and scalds

These include as expected:

  • electric shocks
  • fire
  • flames, hot surfaces

Collisions, cuts and strains

This covers a range of risks:

  • collisions and entrapment
  • explosions
  • position of amenities and how they operate
  • structural collapse and falling material

Serious hazards are classified as Category 1 and less serious as Category 2.

If we find Category 1 hazards in a home, we must act. We try to deal with problems informally but if this is unsuccessful, we may take formal enforcement action such as serving a statutory notice.

More information

The Department for Communities and Local Government has issued guidance on HHSRS for landlords and other property related professionals.

You can also get more information from our Private Housing service:

Private Housing service
Thurrock Council, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, RM17 6SL