Fire risk assessments: how often must they be done?
There are no specific time periods in law for how often fire risk assessments must be carried out or reviewed....
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is committed to making sure that dangerous high-rise buildings, across England, are safe and that leaseholders are protected.
In June 2022, the Secretary of State wrote to freeholders and made clear that the days of leaseholders being faced with large invoices for building safety repairs are now over.
The letter reminds freeholders that: qualifying leaseholders now have protections, in law, from costs; and that they will be acting illegally if they attempt to circumvent them.
Freeholders or owners of buildings over 18 metres with cladding, who do not already have clear plans to address these issues, must act and get a Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls (FRAEW), to the PAS 9980:2022 methodology, ready to submit to the Building Safety Fund (BSF).
Taking these steps will ensure applications can be handled in good time, reducing disruption and stress to leaseholders and residents. They must inform and consult leaseholders and residents throughout the BSF process.
In July 2022, under the Building Safety Act, new legal powers for responsible authorities came into force. Responsible authorities are those who can apply to the Tribunal for these orders, for example:
- the Secretary of State
- the building safety regulator
- local authorities
- fire and rescue authorities, and
- (for Remediation Consent Orders only) a special measures manager.
This means authorities can compel freeholders to remediate their buildings through Remediation Orders and cover the cost through Remediation Contribution Orders.
The Department has also set up a dedicated Recovery Strategy Unit to pursue companies and individuals that fail to do the right thing.
Stronger measures in the Act include:
- new powers for the Secretary of State to restrict irresponsible developers’ ability to build new homes;
- expanding the scope of the Building Safety Levy so it can be charged on any new development requiring building control approval; and
- improving building owners’ rights to launch legal actions against developers.
More information you might find useful:
- What is the Building Safety Fund?
- What is a Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls (FRAEW)?
- Do I have to pay for the remediation works on my building (over 18m)?
- What are the leaseholder protections in the Building Safety Act 2022?
- More Frequently Asked Questions on Fire safety
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