Below is a summary of Housing Health and Safety Rating System appeals to both the Upper Tribunal and the Residential Property Tribunal.

Please note that from 1 July 2013, all HHSRS hearings are dealt with by the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber)

Most significant cases are listed including appeals relating to prohibition orders and improvement notices. The hazards include excess cold, falling on stairs and procedural issues.

Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber)

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council v Patel [2010] UKUT 334 (LC)

Clarification that an assessment under the Housing Health and Safety System is to be based upon a “relevant occupier” not the “actual occupier”. Also, A score of 31600 for excess cold was described as “remarkably high”. The main part of the case though was about when emergency remedial action may be carried out. It may be done when there is an “imminent risk” of “serious harm”. Serious harm relates to the higher classes of harm used in the HHSRS calculation and imminent risk means “a good chance that the harm will be suffered in the near future.”

Hanlet v Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council [2010] UKUT 351 (LC)

If something complies with building regulations (or could easily be made to comply) this is a “material consideration” for a tribunal in deciding whether a hazard requires attention. It should be noted it’s equally not definitive that something which complies with building regulations may also nonetheless be a hazard.

Liverpool City Council v Kassim [2011] UKUT 169 (LC)

The landlord Anwar Hadi Kassim had installed electric panel heaters contrary to advice given by Liverpool City Council and the local authority presumably served an improvement notice seeking to have the heating replaced with something less expensive to run for the tenant.  The local authority showed that for a two bedroom house, the heating and hot water via electric panel heaters like those installed by the landlord on a standard tariff would cost on average £1826 per year. With modern fan assisted storage radiators on Economy 7 tariff, the cost would be £896 per year and with a modern gas central heating system the cost would be £623.

The UTLC concluded that the RPT were in error in their determination that the running costs of a heating system is an irrelevant factor in assessing “excess cold” under the Housing Act 2004. The UTLC  ordered the case back to the RPT for them to reconsider.

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