We finally have some big news, the Building Safety Bill has been introduced to Parliament.
A Press Notice was issued on 5th July 2021 – please see the copy below.
The Bill strengthens the whole of the building safety system and delivers on the recommendations made in Dame Judith’s Independent Review, to create a new robust regulatory system in higher-risk buildings, setting out clear duties and responsibilities on those who commission, design, construct and refurbish higher-risk buildings as well as those responsible for ensuring buildings are safely managed when occupied.
The Bill and the accompanying documents published are a result of huge amounts of work across the programme and from insights and challenge from stakeholders such as yourselves, so thank you for your valuable input so far. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the package of measures we have published.
Please see below a further set of products:
- Press Notice in full can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-regulator-at-heart-of-building-safety-overhaul
- The Building Safety Bill and related documents can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/building-safety-bill
- Draft regulations (higher-risk buildings, dutyholders and competence) can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-bill-draft-regulations
- Government has also published its response to the pre-legislative scrutiny of the Building Safety Bill, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-bill-government-response-to-pre-legislative-scrutiny-by-the-select-committee
What this means for residents
- Residents in high-rise buildings will be safer in their homes and have more say in the management of their building.
- They will be able to raise building safety concerns directly to the owners and managers of buildings, who will have a duty to listen to them.
- If residents feel concerns are being ignored, they can raise them directly with the Building Safety Regulator.
- All homeowners, including leaseholders will also have more than twice the amount of time, from six to fifteen years, to claim compensation for sub-standard construction work.
- This will apply retrospectively – meaning that properties built up to 15 years prior to this change coming into effect will be able to bring a claim for compensation for defective work.
The Bill also contains measures to protect leaseholders by providing a legal requirement for building owners to explore alternative ways to meet the costs of remediation works before passing these onto leaseholders, along with evidence that this has been done.
What this means for building owners
- Building owners will be required to actively manage safety risks, including gateway points at design, construction and completion.
- This will ensure that safety is considered at each and every stage of a building’s construction, with fire safety risks considered at the earliest stage of the planning process.
- They will also have to ensure that residents are able to raise concerns about safety and that any concerns are listened to.
Those who don’t meet their obligations may face criminal charges.
What does this mean for the built environment industry?
- The more stringent regime will provide a clear, proportionate framework for the industry to deliver safe, high-quality homes.
- Its focus on risk will also help owners manage their buildings safely for residents.
- Oversight of the construction sector will be strengthened, with new requirements to make sure construction products are safe for their intended use, supporting the industry to raise its own standards to be held to.
- A new developer tax, and a levy on developers seeking permission for certain high-rise buildings in England are also being introduced, so that industry is made to contribute to right the wrongs of the past.
New regulator at heart of building safety overhaul