Joint statement on enforcing the remediation of fire safety defects

August 4, 2023

Joint statement on enforcing the remediation of fire safety defects

From our colleagues at Barbour EHS.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has issued a joint statement with the Building Safety Regulator, the Local Government Association and the National Fire Chiefs Council on enforcing the remediation of fire safety defects.

It warns building owners that they need to get on with remediation work or face enforcement action.

The statement reads as follows:

Building owners have always been responsible for fixing fire safety defects in their properties.

Even where funding for remediation work has been agreed by the government, some building owners are still stalling – preventing vital safety work from starting and damaging residents’ quality of life.

Whilst we are pleased that a number of landlords have done the right thing and remediated their buildings, it is unacceptable that too many are still failing to make their buildings safe.

We are united in our determination to ensure building owners comply with the law and remediate their defective buildings without delay. Local authorities and fire and rescue services are already taking enforcement against building owners who are dragging their feet. Since 2018, local authorities have taken enforcement action on over 200 high rise buildings; and fire and rescue services have also served over 250 enforcement notices. But there is still more to do.

We welcome the legal powers provided by the Building Safety Act 2022 and remain committed to working together and supporting local authorities and fire and rescue services to use the full range of their enforcement powers to full effect. The Building Safety Regulator will start enforcing building safety in residential buildings above 18 metres or 7 storeys in spring 2024. Those who have yet to remediate can expect early attention from the Building Safety Regulator.

Building owners who are continuing to stall should know they are running out of time if they are to avoid being forced to act. With the implementation of the Building Safety Act’s new building safety regime and the imminent launch of the Building Safety Regulator, we are tightening the regulatory screw. Regulators will not hesitate to take enforcement action against building owners if they do not comply with their legal duties. Together, we will make sure there are consequences for building owners who fail to do the right thing and that those responsible make their buildings safe.

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
July 2023

Our Comment

This joint statement serves to remind building owners to progress with essential remediation works which were seen as the main driver behind all the recent fire safety legal changes.  Unnecessary delays by some building owners are increasingly not being tolerated by the enforcement authorities as the increasing number of enforcement actions illustrates.

Contact

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This content has been produced in association with our sister company, Barbour.

For all enquiries, please contact us or call our team on 0203 819 8829.

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