Pre-legislative Scrutiny of the Building Safety Bill
The Government must improve on the detail if it is to demonstrate that its new building safety proposals will drive much needed reform in the sector.
The findings come in a report published by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee following pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Building Safety Bill.
The proposed legislation sets out the framework the Government intends to adopt to implement a new building safety regime and to remedy the flaws in the existing system identified in the Hackitt review.
The report finds that, in its current form, the draft legislation fails to provide sufficient protection against leaseholders paying the bill for work to remedy existing fire safety defects.
The building safety charge should be a way of funding the cost of future work, not a mechanism for ensuring residents foot the bill for historic failures in fire safety construction or maintenance.
The Committee reiterates its long-standing call on the Government to provide sufficient funding for remedial work and develop mechanisms to recover these costs from those responsible.
Committee calls for more detail
Following pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Building Safety Bill, the Committee found an over-emphasis on as yet unpublished secondary legislation and regulation left significant gaps in how the new regime would operate in practice.
It calls on the Government to provide much more 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 report recommends greater oversight of key professions in the construction and building management sectors, including new roles created by the Bill. The exact responsibilities and competencies of the newly established accountable person and building safety manager positions are not well-defined and should be clarified.
The Bill should also require building safety managers, as well as other professions involved in the design and construction of high-risk buildings, be subject to national accreditation and registration standards.