'Suitable for occupation' means that the property is free from serious health and safety hazards. The Housing Health and Safety Rating System is a way of assessing the importance of hazards in a residential property.
The term 'suitable for occupation' replaces the the old terms 'fit' or 'unfit for habitation'.
We can take action to ensure any significant hazards are removed or reduced to an acceptable level.
There are a number of legal powers we can use:
- Hazard Awareness Notice
- Improvement Notice
- Prohibition Order
- Emergency Remedial Action
- Demolition Orders and Clearance Areas
If we have cause to serve a legal notice then a fee will be charged at a rate that will depend on the number of bedrooms and hazards present – go to Private housing assessment: enforcement and penalty charges.
A landlord's responsibility
Landlords have to make sure their property has no significant health and safety hazards. This uses a common sense approach and does not mean removing every single potential hazard from the property.
It means only those which present a risk of injury to the tenants while they go about their usual home routine. Where such a risk exists the landlord must take reasonable steps to remove or reduce the hazard to an acceptable level.
There are additional requirements for houses in multiple occupation.
Contact our Private Housing service.