To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make it his policy to include provisions in the forthcoming Building Safety Bill to guarantee that remedial costs arising from the replacement of dangerous cladding in all buildings, regardless of height, will not be passed on to leaseholders.
21 April 2021
The Government has repeatedly said that building owners should step up and not pass these costs on to leaseholders. Where developers or building owners have been unable or unwilling to do so, the Government has stepped in, providing £1.6 billion for the removal of unsafe cladding on buildings of 18 metres and above. With the further £3.5 billion of grant funding recently announced, this will bring the amount provided to an unprecedented over £5 billion.
Buildings below 18 metres will not carry the same inherent risks as a building above 18 metres, however we do understand that some will need cladding remediation. We understand that many leaseholders in blocks below 18 metres are concerned about the cost of remediation, and we want to make sure the residents and leaseholders in these buildings have peace of mind and financial certainty.
To this end, we are establishing a generous financing scheme to ensure cladding removal can take place where required on buildings between 11 and 18 metres. The most a leaseholder will now have to pay towards remediating unsafe cladding is £50 per month.
The Building Safety Bill’s provisions will put the management of risk front and centre for buildings of 18 metres and above, and it is important that remediation is addressed using its proactive mechanisms for managing fire and structural safety risks, such as the Safety Case - which does have scope to look at historic defects. Remediation and costs to leaseholders should be dealt with in this context rather than within the Fire Safety Bill, to ensure legislation is coherent with the wider aims and scope of the new regime.
The new building safety regime will systematically address historical structural defects to buildings of 18 metres and above by requiring safety case reviews and reasonable improvements.