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....
5th July 2021
The government has today published the Building Safety Bill. The highly anticipated bill outlines significant changes to building safety regulation, and sets out a clear pathway for the future on how residential buildings should be constructed and maintained.
The Building Safety Regulator will oversee the new regime and will be responsible for ensuring that any building safety risks, in new and existing high rise residential buildings of 18m and above, are effectively managed and resolved. This will include implementing specific gateway points at design, construction and completion phases to ensure that safety is considered at each and every stage of a building’s construction, and safety risks are considered at the earliest stage of the planning process.
Key measures in the Building Safety Bill, it will:
- Ensure there are clearly identified people responsible for safety during the design, build and occupation of a high-rise residential building.
- Establish a Building Safety Regulator to hold to account those who break the rules and are not properly managing building safety risks, including taking enforcement action where needed.
- Give residents in these buildings more routes to raise concerns about safety, and mechanisms to ensure their concerns will be heard and taken seriously.
- Provide a legal requirement for building owners to explore alternative ways to meet remediation costs before passing these onto leaseholders, along with evidence that this has been done.
- Extend rights to compensation for substandard workmanship and unacceptable defects, by doubling the amount of time, from 6 to 15 years, that residents can seek compensation for substandard construction work. This will apply retrospectively, so home owners in a building completed in 2010 would be able to bring proceedings against the developer until 2025.
- Drive the culture change needed across the industry to enable the design and construction of high-quality, safe homes in the years to come.
The Bill will include powers to strengthen the regulatory framework for construction products, underpinned by a market surveillance and enforcement regime led nationally by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS).
The Building Safety Regulator will be able to remove products from the market that present safety risks and prosecute or use civil penalties against any business that breaks the rules and compromises public safety.
Developers will also be required to join and remain members of the New Homes Ombudsman scheme, which will require them to provide redress to a homebuyer, including through the awarding of compensation. Developers who breach the requirement to belong to the New Homes Ombudsman may receive additional sanctions.