Public Health Advice

We provide advice and information on all aspects of public health relating to housing. Councils have new enforcement powers and duties to assess housing conditions. We use a risk assessment approach called "The Housing Health and Safety Rating System." The aim is to provide a system to enable the risk of hazards to health and safety to be minimised.

The system provides a method of grading the level of threats to health and safety in any dwelling including a house, mobile home, self-contained flat or bed-sit. The system ensures that a dwelling should provide a safe and healthy environment for the occupants and any visitors.

What are the hazards?

  • Dampness, excess cold/heat
  • Pollutants, for example, asbestos, carbon dioxide, lead
  • Lack of space, security or lighting, or excessive noise
  • Poor hygiene, sanitation, water supply
  • Accidents – falls, electric shocks, fires, burns, scalds
  • Collisions, explosions, structural collapse

Inspections are carried out where deficiencies are noted and recorded. Once the inspection is completed the inspector judges:

  • What is the likelihood of a dangerous occurrence as a result of each hazard
  • If there is such an occurrence, what would be the likely outcome

Each hazard is assessed separately, and if judged to be serious, with a ‘high score’, is deemed to be a category one hazard. All other hazards are called category two hazards.


If informal action fails to solve the situation we can and will move to formal action by serving an improvement notice on the owner or agent as appropriate, requiring that hazards be removed or minimised within a set time. In more serious cases the Council may serve a prohibition order preventing the use of all or part of the dwelling.

If the hazard is so serious as to present an imminent risk of serious harm to the occupants we can serve an emergency notice to remove the hazard. The notice allows the local authority to enter the premises and take urgent action to deal with the hazard.

We can recover the costs of enforcement action.

For minor hazards, we may serve a hazard awareness notice advising owners to take any specific action.

If you'd like to get in touch regarding the public health and safety of a dwelling contact us with details of the issues at the property by using the contact form below.

The property will be assessed by a professional officer who will determine whether there is a hazard. We must take action a category one hazard is discovered at a property, and a power to take action to deal with a category two hazard.

Last updated 4 December 2023
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