Building Safety Act

The Government is putting in place an entirely new regulatory regime for high-rise buildings, that will take a proportionate, safety-first approach. The Building Safety Act sets out a clear pathway on how residential buildings should be constructed and maintained. 

A Building Safety Regulator will be embedded within the Health and Safety Executive, which will oversee the new building safety regime. The Regulator will be responsible for ensuring that any building safety risks in new and existing high-rise residential buildings of 18 metres and above are effectively managed and resolved, taking the cost into account. It will also hold to account those who break the rules and are not properly managing building safety risks, including taking enforcement action where needed.  

Central to this world-class regime are the residents at its heart, which is why the Building Safety Act is giving residents a stronger voice in the system, making it easier for them to seek redress and to have their voices heard. The legislation will require an accountable person for a high-rise residential building to engage with their residents and establish a formal complaints process for them to raise concerns. A Residents’ Panel will also be created, which the Building Safety Regulator will consult on matters of interest and importance for residents of higher-risk buildings.   

Crucially, the legislation also introduces statutory protection for leaseholders. This is due to take effect in June 2022 and enshrines in law the Government's commitment that no leaseholder living in a building over 11 metres will pay a penny for the removal of dangerous cladding.

On top of this, the Government is significantly increasing the amount of time that residents can seek compensation for substandard construction work. Residents will be able to bring claims under the Defective Premises Act for 30 years retrospectively and 15 years prospectively. Residents will also be able to seek compensation for shoddy refurbishments which make homes unliveable.   

I am confident that these reforms will tackle bad practice head on, building on the recommendations made in Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.