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Government publishes draft contract to turn developer pledges into legally binding agreements to protect leaseholders

14 July 2022

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Greg Clark, writing in an article for i on 13 July, said:

“Just under 4 weeks ago, we marked the 5th anniversary of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. That devastating tragedy should never have happened and nothing like it must happen again.

To achieve confidence in this requires far-reaching action by many people and organisations: government, parliament, local councils, regulators, fire and rescue services, housebuilders, insurers, building owners, construction product manufacturers, contractors and many more.

Progress has been made, though it has taken too long. Nevertheless, it is now becoming irreversible. The Building Safety Act came into force last month – the biggest reform to building safety in a generation. Leaseholders are now protected in law from unfair bills to make their homes safe, and a rigorous regulatory regime will bring order to decades of lax practice.

My predecessor, Michael Gove, was absolutely right in his drive to ensure that companies should fix the buildings they played a part in constructing. A landmark agreement has seen a majority of the UK’s major housebuilders pledge an estimated £2bn to this end. That pledge was given to the house building industry in March and there have since been over 45 signatories. I welcome the proactive approach taken by those developers like Barratt that have gone beyond the commitments in the pledge.

But it is time these commitments are put into force.

I will today publish the contract that will turn that pledge into legally binding undertakings.”

The government expects large developers to sign, committing them to remediate unsafe buildings with which they are associated. As of 8 July 2022, 48 developers have signed a pledge committing to remediate fire-safety defects in buildings over 11 metres that they have played a role in developing or refurbishing over the last 30 years, in England.

The government will engage industry, leaseholders and residents and other parties with the aim of finalising the terms of the contract by 10 August 2022. The contract will give effect to the principles agreed in the pledge.

LEASE is governed by a board, appointed as individuals by the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.