The Fire Safety Bill has recently been passed back to the House of Commons for the third time. Peers in the House of Lords voted in favour of the amendment which will prevent building owners from passing on costs of fire safety works to residents. They highlighted that the promised government grants and loan scheme was not yet in place.
The Fire Safety Bill has been designed to strengthen regulations and “ensure that people feel safe in their homes, and a tragedy like the Grenfell Tower fire never happens again”.
The key stumbling block resulting in the bill going back and forth between the Commons and Lords is about who should pay for remedial works to buildings such as changes to emergency exits. The Bishop of St Albans, the Right Reverend Dr Alan Smith, who brought forward the amendment, said that without the necessary changes to the bill people could "within months face very large bills". Should the amendments suggested by the House of Lords be accepted, there could be potential implications for building owners having to fund remedial works.
In February 2021, the Government announced that it would increase the Building Safety Fund to £5bn to help cover costs of dangerous cladding removal in high-rise buildings.
The Fire Safety Bill will now return to the House of Commons where MPs will vote on the Lords amendments.
The team of safety experts at S2 Partnership will continue to keep up to date with legislation changes and offer advice to the commercial property sector on how to minimise risk. Contact us for more information.