Private housing assessments

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 government has issued guidance on HHSRS for landlords and other property related professionals – go to GOV.UK: Housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) guidance.

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

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