Government told New Building Safety Bill requires improvement

News Article

A cross party committee of MPs has told the Government that it new Building Safety Bill does not go into sufficient detail and fails to protect the interests of leaseholders.

In its report, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee (HCLG) lambasted the Bill in its current form, claiming that it offers leaseholders insufficient financial protection.

MPs also criticised the Bill for “significant gaps” and an over reliance on unpublished secondary legislation which led to questions as to how the new regime would operate in practice.

The Government has now been asked to provide additional detail when it publishes the final Building Safety Bill and remove any doubt on the scope of the legislation and the responsibilities on building operators.

The committee’s has included in its recommendations, greater oversight of key professions in the construction and building management sectors and a national accreditation scheme for building safety managers or other professionals responsible for the design and construction of high risk buildings.

Clive Betts, Chair of the HCLG committee, said: “Establishing a new regime to ensure that buildings are made safe will require significant change to how buildings are constructed and maintained.

“It is crucial that from day one those tasking with their design, construction and upkeep have no doubt of the new standards they are to adhere to and responsibilities expected of them.

“As it stands, there are still questions over how the broad framework set out in the draft Bill will operate in practice. Key definitions remain unclear and responsibilities ill-defined. Before they bring the legislation back to the House of Commons these areas must be addressed in full.

“The Government must also bring an end to the ongoing uncertainty around who will pay the cost for the historic failures in the building safety regime. Leaseholders should not be expected to foot the bill for failures that were not of their making.

“This has dragged on far too long now and the government must accept that it will have to step in to cover the cost in the short term.

“But we are equally clear in stating that this should be the first step ahead of establishing robust mechanisms to ensure that those who are responsible for fire safety failures finance their remediation.”

Adam Davis, a Partner with Palmers, who specialises in construction legal matters said: “The new Bill will require the sector to ensure it is fully compliant with raft of new legislation.

“Many smaller businesses and contractors may be wondering how the new laws will affect their day to day operations and, whilst the finer details of the legislation are still to be ratified, it is clear that they will be a number of significant changes which businesses will need to take on board.

“We will continue to bring you the latest updates on the progression of this important change to building legislation but, in the meantime, we are here to answer your questions and help your business remain compliant.”

For advice on all aspects of building legislation, please contact us.