The main housing standards in the UK aim to improve the housing conditions in dwellings. There are configurable survey apps for all the major housing standards listed below.
Summary explanations of the housing standards are show below.
The government set out a target in 2000 that it would ensure that all social housing meets set standards of decency by 2010, by reducing the number of households living in social housing that does not meet these standards by a third between 2001 and 2004, with most of the improvement taking place in the most deprived local authority areas.
Local authorities were required to set out a timetable under which they will assess, modify and, where necessary, replace their housing stock according to the conditions laid out in the standard.
The criteria for the standard are as follows:
The standard was updated in 2006 to take account of the Housing Act 2004, included the implementation of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
Often the a decent homes survey is carried out at the same time as a housing stock condition survey. The old approach of taking notes on paper is so outdated and inefficient, especially when mobile inspection software is so easy to use.
The housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) is a risk-based evaluation tool to help local authorities identify and protect against potential risks and hazards to health and safety from any deficiencies identified in dwellings.
It was introduced under the Housing Act 2004 and applies to residential properties in England and Wales.
The HHSRS assesses 29 categories of housing hazard. Each hazard has a weighting which will help determine whether the property is rated as having category 1 or category 2.
The HHSRS is so tedious to do on paper so you really need to use a good software tool. The Government's own free tool is practically unsable, and what is more is unsupported, and does not produce good reports.
The Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) is the Scottish Government's principal measure of housing quality in Scotland.
The purpose of introducing a minimum housing standard in Scotland is essentially to provide a base level below which a property should ideally not fall.
In the case of the social housing sector (local authority landlords and Registered Social Landlords), Scottish Government has set a policy target for those landlords to bring their stock up to every element of the standard (where applicable) by April 2015.
(Oops, I think many housing organisations may have failed this target!)
Other public sector landlords, for example university accommodation and the Ministry of Defence are not subject to that policy target. Private sector landlords and owner-occupied households in Scotland are not subject to the April 2015 policy target either but each property can still be assessed against SHQS if required for whatever reason.
The SHQS is a set of five broad housing criteria, which must all be met if the property is to pass SHQS. These criteria comprise 55 elements and nine sub-elements against which properties need to be measured.
The Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) aims to improve the energy efficiency of social housing in Scotland.
The Scottish Government brought EESSH into force in March 2014. The EESSH builds on the previous Scottish Housing Quality Standard that ran from 2004 to 2015. All social landlords will be expected to achieve the EESSH by 2020.
The EESSH sets a single minimum energy efficiency rating for landlords to achieve that varies dependent upon the dwelling type and the fuel type used to heat it.
It will mean that in the main no social property will be lower than a 'C' or 'D' energy efficiency rating, meaning that tenants should benefit from a warmer home, which could mean lower fuel consumption, lower energy bills and fewer tenants in fuel poverty.
A quick way to assess social housing properties energy rating without having to lodge an formal EPC is to use this Indicative EPC software (iEPC).
Often the SHQS is carried out at the same time as a housing stock condition survey. The old approach of taking notes on paper is so outdated and inefficient, especially when mobile inspection software is so easy to use.
The Welsh Housing Quality Standard requires all social landlords to improve their housing stock to an acceptable level by December 2020.
It is essential for all social landlords to meet and maintain the WHQS as soon as possible, but in any event no later than December 2020.
The Standard will ensure that dwellings are of good quality and suitable for the needs of existing and future residents.
The Welsh Housing Quality Standard states that all households should have the opportunity to live in good quality homes that are:
Often the WHQS is carried out at the same time as a housing stock condition survey. The old approach of taking notes on paper is so outdated and inefficient, especially when mobile inspection software is so easy to use.
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