If you rent your home, it is your landlord’s responsibility to ensure that there are no hazards present. Whilst boilers and fuse boards are regularly maintained, radon is often overlooked.
The Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is used by Local Authorities to evaluate potential risks and hazards to health and safety in a residential property. HHSRS covers 29 different categories and includes radon.
The Guidance states that “If the dwelling is in an Affected Area, then the construction and condition of the ground floor and the presence of open chimney flues and the means of ventilation should be assessed. If present, the state of any remediation measures should be checked. However, the condition of these will only indicate that there could be a problem. And, as radon levels can vary widely between apparently identical dwellings, the only way to determine whether or not there is a threat to health is by measurement.”
To fully comply with the risk assessment requirements of HHSRS, landlords with properties located in Affected Areas should carry out a radon test. If radon levels are found to be in excess of the domestic Action Level of 200 Bq/m3, the landlord should arrange for remedial works to be carried out.
Under HHSRS hazards are classified into different bands and categories according to the seriousness of the risk posed to occupants and likelihood of injury or illness occurring as a result. Band A hazards are the most serious or dangerous hazards and Band J are the most minor. Hazards falling in Bands A-C are classified as Category 1 hazards and thos in Bands D-J are Category 2 hazards. If a Local Authority inspector discovers a Category 1 hazard in a home, they have a duty to ensure that this hazard is rectified without delay. An informal approach is often the first course of action, however if a landlord fails to comply the Local Authority can issue an Improvement Notice or prohibit the use of part or all of the property for tenancy until the hazard is removed.