Skip to main content

Buildings: Fire Prevention

Question for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

UIN 23440, tabled on 22 June 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what his Department's policy is on whether the (a) developer, (b) contractors hired during construction, (c) leaseholders and (d) other associated parties are responsible for remediating historic fire safety issues on affected buildings.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

1 July 2022

The Government is clear that those responsible for historical building safety defects must pay to put them right.

The Government has delivered a wide-ranging industry agreement with 47 major residential property developers that they will remediate all buildings above 11 metres in height that they had a role in developing or refurbishing in the past 30 years. These developers have also pledged to refund money paid out by existing Government remediation schemes to fix buildings that they originally developed and will not apply for further funding. Where the developer cannot be traced or fails to agree to cover the costs, cladding remediation will be met by Government grant funding.

The Building Safety Act 2022 contains new powers to ensure that those responsible for building safety defects can be held to account. The Act retrospectively extends the limitation period under section 1 of the Defective Premises Act 1972 to 30 years; this provides a route to cost recovery from a wide range of parties, including contractors, developers and architects, where shoddy workmanship and corner cutting have caused buildings to be unsafe. In addition, other new powers in the Act ensure that construction product manufacturers can be held to account for their failures.

The Building Safety Act brings forward legal protections for leaseholders from historical building safety costs. The Act legally protects qualifying leaseholders (those living in their own home or with up to three UK properties in total) from all costs relating to the remediation of unsafe cladding and contains robust and far-reaching protections from non-cladding costs, including those relating to interim measures such as waking watches. Where those directly responsible (e.g. developers) cannot be held to account, building owners and landlords will now be the first port of call to pay for historical safety defects, not leaseholders.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.