Private housing and health service
Tackling unsafe housing conditions and safeguarding public health on private land
The private housing and health service is here to ensure safe and healthy homes for all private residents in the borough. If you are a freeholder, leaseholder, homeowner, landlord, or tenant, we seek to maintain and improve housing standards through the following services.
Inspecting and regulating unsafe and poor housing conditions
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is used by the Environmental Health Team to assess the health and safety risks in dwellings. The aim of the HHSRS is to ensure that any home is a safe and healthy environment to live in or visit. The HHSRS is comprehensive in its coverage of key health and safety risks in dwellings. A landlord has a duty of care and must ensure that the property remains in a reasonable state of repair at all times and it is safe to occupy. A tenant or leaseholder also has a duty to ensure that whilst living there, the property is kept in reasonable condition as required by the tenancy agreement. Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
Regulating Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
Minimum national standards for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are prescribed in regulations under the Housing Act 2004. These relate to provision of bathrooms, WCs, kitchens, fire safety and heating within HMOs. Even in some cases where these prescribed standards are met, the council may still decide that an HMO is not reasonably suitable for occupation. Homes in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
Licensing of HMOs
Since 6 April 2006 licensing of some Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) is compulsory (2004 Housing Act). The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea intends to license properties that fall under compulsory licensing only. The council may introduce the other types of licensing later.
Regulating fire safety in private housing
A programme of inspections takes place to tackle high-risk HMOs to ensure that means of escape and adequate fire safety measures are in place and to identify unlicensed HMOs. There is an overlapping fire safety responsibility between the Council and the London Fire Brigade (LFB). Owners are required to carry out a fire risk assessment and make an emergency plan. The fire risk assessment is a systematic examination of the premises to identify the hazards from fire which must be recorded. The Council enforces the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) in the private sector under the Housing Act 2004.
The HHSRS is a ‘risk based’ assessment of the risks to safety from fire and other hazards. The Council has a range of enforcement powers to ensure that premises are made safe. Management Regulations in HMOs also impose requirements that fire safety measures are maintained. Fire and gas safety
Promoting the needs of our private sector residents
We help promote the needs of our private sector residents through the West London Sub Regional Housing Partnership www.westlondonhousing.org.uk
Bringing empty properties back into use
Bringing empty properties back into use to help meet housing need and to improve eyesore properties. See Empty properties service
If we can help you or you need a service, please contact us:
Private Housing & Health Service,
6th Floor, Town Hall Extension, King Street
London W6 9JU
Tel: 020 8753 1221
Fax: 020 8753 1250
Page last updated: 19/03/2015