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....
In a written statement on 28th June, the Secretary of State for Communities, Rt. Hon James Brokenshire MP, announced a number of steps to progress swifter action by building owners to remove potentially unsafe cladding on private sector high-rise residential buildings.
Reference to leasehold was as follows:
“ (3) Following my recent roundtable with industry representatives, I have responded to their suggestions by inviting them to develop industry-led solutions to deliver remediation, exploring all options to protect leaseholders from additional costs. At a further meeting in July, I will expect industry to present their proposals with a view to agreeing next steps. I rule out no options if industry and individual building owners or developers do not come forward with their own solutions. In the meantime, I will continue to explore other routes for protecting leaseholders. These may include: supporting local authorities to take more targeted action to identify and remediate affected buildings and recovering costs from those responsible for ensuring the safety of buildings; and supporting leaseholder enfranchisement.
(4) My Department is writing to all relevant private sector building owners to remind of their responsibility to make their buildings safe. This includes; confirming to the relevant local authority whether they have ACM cladding systems if they have not yet done so; implementing any necessary interim safety measures and permanently remediating their buildings, reminding them that local authorities have powers to enforce these improvements if building owners do not take action; and setting out my expectation that they should explore all options to protect leaseholders from incurring the costs associated with replacing unsafe cladding.”
The other plans are:
- A new ministerially-chaired taskforce is being established to actively oversee the remediation of private sector buildings with ACM cladding systems. The taskforce will be charged with ensuring that remediation plans are put in place swiftly across all private sector buildings with ACM cladding systems, addressing any barriers or identifying any additional support required to achieve this. Membership of this taskforce will include Local Government Association (LGA), National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), London Councils, local authorities who have experienced the largest degree of impact and industry representatives.
- The LGA and NFCC are convening a joint expert inspection team to help local authorities on the ground. This team will support local authorities in ensuring and where necessary, enforcing remediation of private sector high-rise residential buildings with unsafe ACM cladding systems. To support the work of the inspection team, MHCLG is making up to £1 million available to support local authorities on further enforcement steps and the Ministry is also developing further statutory guidance for local authorities to enhance their use of existing Housing Act powers in relation to fire safety hazards associated with cladding on high-rise residential buildings.
The news follows the Government’s announcement that it will fully fund unsafe cladding removal in social housing.