Housing Health and Safety Rating System (England) | Planning Control and Building Regulations (England)

Handrail regulations

16 Jun 2020 | 1 comment

Hi, I have a house that I rent out, it was built in 1901 and the tenant has mentioned the height of the handrail makes it illegal. The return on the landing is 860mm and the handrail going up the stairs is 810mm high. Do modern regulations apply in a period property? The tenant has 5 small children.



1 Comment

  1. Imported

    08/11/2019 9:33 pm

    The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) applies to handrails.

    On it’s own it doesn’t require action because it first requires an inspection by the local authority but if they were to inspect they may require the height to be changed.

    From March 2020, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 will apply to all tenancies (including existing) and things become less clear.

    This legislation makes HHSRS apply in all cases even without an inspection but only to the extent that it is unfit for human habitation if “it is so far defective in one or more of those matters that it is not reasonably suitable for occupation in that condition”.

    In respect of handrails, the HHSRS statutory guidance states:

    21.22 Handrails provide assistance in ascent and descent, and offer a hand-hold if there is a misstep and so can help prevent a fall. Handrails to both sides of the stairs provide the safest arrangement. Handrails should be sited between 900mm and 1,000mm measured from the top of the handrail to the pitch line or floor. They should be shaped so that they are easy to grasp and extend the full length of the flight.


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