Code of practice

About this Code

All members of the HHA must abide by this code. The HHA Council may terminate or refuse to renew the membership of a member that is found on the balance of probabilities not to be abiding by this code. No refund of subscription is due to a member whose membership is terminated for this reason.

Agencies and associations that have customers and members offering holiday accommodation must use their best endeavours to ensure that those customers and members abide by the code. They must be willing to cancel membership or de-list properties if the code is not being followed by the management of those properties.

This code does not list legislation, but members must comply with all legal requirements.

General Principles

Members will be honest in all their business dealings and will conduct their businesses in a way that maintains both their own reputation and the reputation of The HHA.

Members will provide their customers with accommodation of the expected and advertised standard

All HHA members will comply with this code. HHA members will ensure that staff are trained or briefed as necessary to ensure that they are familiar with and meet the requirements of this code.

Health and Safety General

Members must abide by all general health and safety legislation and must carry out risk assessments in relation to their accommodation businesses and record them in writing, whether or not a written record is required by law. At minimum the risk assessment must identify all potential general hazards, the persons at risk, and the control measures required to reduce risk. Topics to be considered include:

  • Trips, slips and falls
  • Safe condition of furniture, fixtures and fittings
  • Presence of hazardous substances
  • Any other identifiable hazard that could result in harm to guests or staff

Fire and Carbon Monoxide

The risk assessment must include an assessment of fire hazards including

  • Sources of ignition
  • Sources of fuel
  • Ease of spread
  • Means of alert
  • Ease of escape
  • Means of fighting minor fires
  • Provision for disabled persons, if accommodation offered to them as suitable

Specifically, smoke alarms are to be installed to all floors and additional alarms provided where the risk assessment indicates that this would reduce risk. Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in rooms containing fuel-burning appliances such as boilers, gas fires and cookers, stoves and ranges, wood-burning stoves, water heaters etc. (not including electric appliances).

Specifically, the main exit door must be openable from the inside without the need to find and use a key.

The fire risk assessment will consider whether there is a need for interlinked alarms, emergency lighting, fire doors or other measures proportionate to the risk.

Electrical Safety

The fixed electrical installation will be tested by a suitably qualified electrician at least every five years. Portable appliances will be visually inspected for damage or malfunction on a frequent basis proportional to the risk posed by an appliance of that type. Portable appliances that are not double-insulated will be tested by a competent person at least once per year. The fixed installation will, so far as practical, be visually-inspected frequently, e.g. to identify damaged sockets or installed equipment.

Gas Safety

Where mains or bottled gas is in use a Gas Safe registered person must check the gas installation annually and issue a safety certificate.

Instructions for turning off the gas supply in the event of a leak or suspected leak must be provided to all guests.


After any prolonged period of un-occupation all parts of hot and cold-water systems must be flushed. Where hot water is stored in a tank the water temperature must be at least 55 degrees centigrade.

Private Water Supplies

These must be reported to your local authority, which is responsible for testing every five years, and members must ensure that this is done.


Furniture must comply with current fire safety standards and be in a safe conditio


Members must not discriminate against any adult on grounds of a protected characteristic under law such as race, sex, sexual orientation or disability. This includes grounds that affect a protected cohort more than others.

Members are expected to make the best efforts that they can to accommodate disabled guests. Information about accessibility should be published.

Marketing & Sales

All statements made in advertising by any means must be truthful and should not omit important points because they may be unfavourable. Photographs should represent the property in its current condition and should be updated if any significant change has occurred since the picture was taken.

Customers must be informed in advance about any source of interruption to their stay (e.g. building works) known to the owner or agent, with as much notice as possible.

Data Protection

Members must follow current standards for the protection of customer data and must not sell customer information. Adequate precautions should be taken to protect data held, in particular ensuring that payment card data is rigorously protected.


Members must be insured for public liability and employee liability with cover of at least £5m.

Customer complaints

Members must respond to all complaints in a timely manner. Where investigation is required before a full response is given the complaint must be promptly acknowledged.

Members must be committed to taking part in the Dispute Resolution Service offered by the HHA in the event that it is invoked by a customer. Members must abide by any decisions made by the arbitrator.

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