To bring you up to speed, the last week of May witnessed some dramatic changes to Government Legislation and submissions of expert opinion that pulled no punches. The IPH team feel it is important to note 3 current areas of discussion and legislation around safety in property development:
1. The Hackitt Report
Dame Judith Hackitt presented her Final report to Parliament in May 2020 that was entitled “Building a Safer Future – an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.”
Hackitt illustrates and categorically identifies how the current system of building regulations and fire safety is not fit for purpose and that a culture change is required to support the delivery of buildings that are safe, both now and in the future.
Dame Judith Hackitt provides a solution by offering a complete working design with the responsibilities of an entirely new Regulatory Framework designed to ensure:
- Those who procure, design, create and maintain buildings are responsible for ensuring that those buildings are safe for those who live and work in them.
- Government will set clear outcome-based requirements for the building safety standards which must be achieved.
- The regulator will hold dutyholders to account, ensure that the standards are met and act against those who fail to meet the requirements.
- Residents will actively participate in the ongoing safety of the building and must be recognised by others as having a voice.
“Bottom line, with immediate effect, Residents must feel safe and be safe and must be listened to when concerns about building safety are raised.” Dame J. Hackitt
2. The Building Safety Fund
1,500+ buildings still to register!
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in February this year a new £1bn fund to remove dangerous cladding from all private and social housing tower blocks above 18 meters across the UK.
To find out if your property is eligible to receive the fund, the registration process will open on the 1st June and close on 31st July. (See building safety fund on the Government website)
Applications for the fund then begins at the end of July (a new website is being designed specifically for this action) and will only be available to those building owners, freeholders or their managing agents who register within this 2 month timeframe.
3. NEW Mandatory Requirements
On Tuesday 26th May, the Government published an amendment to the statutory guidance to building safety regulations – otherwise known as Approved Document B.
In summary, these changes ensure sprinkler and water mist systems are mandatory in all new high-rise blocks over 11 metres tall …and it comes into force on the 26th November 2020!
RESIDENTS: If the cladding on your building is not safe, seek confirmation as to the actions your building owner is taking and how they intend to finance the work. If your building owner cannot meet the costs themselves or intends to charge you for the remediation, you should refer them to the ‘Building Safety Fund’.