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Building Safety Bill published 08/07/2021 Labelled as Legislation

The Building Safety Bill was published on 5 July 2021 and has received its First Reading in the House of Commons. The Bill marks out significant changes to the way residential buildings should be constructed and maintained in the future.


The Bill is now awaiting it's Second Reading which will be the first opportunity for Members of Parliament to debate the main principles of the Bill.


The legislation will give residents more power to hold builders and developers to account and toughening sanctions against those who breach the new safety legislation - including the possibility of criminal prosecution.    


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will set up the Building Safety Regulator to 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, taking cost into account.


The Government say the measures in the Building Safety Bill are intended to:


  • Ensure there are clearly identified people responsible for safety during the design, construction and occupation of a high-rise residential building (18metres / 7 storeys and above).
  • Establish a new Building Safety Regulator to hold to account those responsible and if they are not properly managing building safety risks to take enforcement action where needed.
  • Give residents in these buildings more routes to raise concerns about safety, and mechanisms to ensure their concerns are heard and taken seriously.   
  • Extend rights to compensation for substandard workmanship and unacceptable defects.    
  • Drive culture change across the industry to enable the design and construction of high-quality, safe homes in the years to come


For residents


  • Tenants and residents in high-rise buildings will have more say in the management of their building. 
  • They will be able to raise building safety concerns directly to the owners and managers of buildings, who will have a duty to listen to them.  
  • If residents feel concerns are being ignored, they can raise them directly with the Building Safety Regulator.
  • All homeowners, including leaseholders will also have more than twice the current amount of time, from six to fifteen years, to claim compensation for sub-standard construction work.  This will apply retrospectively - meaning that properties built up to 15 years prior to this change coming into effect will be able to bring a claim for compensation for defective work. 
  • The Bill also contains measures to protect leaseholders by providing a legal requirement for building owners to explore alternative ways to meet the costs of remediation works before passing these onto leaseholders, along with evidence that this has been done.


For building owners 

  • Building owners will be required to actively manage safety risks, including 3 key "gateway points" at design, construction and completion. 
  • This will ensure that safety is considered at each stage of a building's construction, with fire safety risks considered at the earliest stage of the planning process.     
  • They will also have to ensure that residents are able to raise concerns about safety and that any concerns are listened to. 
  • Those who don't meet their obligations may face criminal charges.


For the building industry 

  • The more stringent regime will provide a clearer framework for the industry to deliver safe, high-quality homes.
  • Its focus on risk will also help owners manage their buildings safely for residents.   
  • Oversight of the construction sector will be strengthened, with new requirements to make sure products used in construction are safe for their intended use, supporting the industry to raise its own standards.
  • A new developer tax, and a levy on developers seeking permission for certain high-rise buildings in England are also being introduced, so that industry is made to contribute to right the wrongs of the past.


Full details of the announcement, the Bill itself and associated documentation can be found by clicking on the following links.



ARCH Policy Adviser Matthew Warburton has produced a Briefing Paper for ARCH members. 

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