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
- 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
- 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
- Extend rights to compensation for substandard workmanship and
- Drive culture change across the industry to enable the design
and construction of high-quality, safe homes in the years to
- 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
- 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
For the building industry
- The more stringent regime will provide a clearer
framework for the industry to deliver safe, high-quality
- 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
- 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