Last reviewed 30 June 2022
According to the Levelling Up Secretary, Michael Gove, many leaseholders will for the first time be legally protected from unfair bills to make their homes safe as measures in the Building Safety Act 2022 came into force on 28 June.
Those responsible for historical safety defects and those who own buildings, will instead be required to fund essential repairs, he explained.
To date, 45 of the UK’s biggest homebuilders have agreed to fix life-critical fire-safety defects on all buildings 11m and higher that they have played a role in developing or refurbishing in the last 30 years.
Measures in the Act will give powers to the Secretary of State enabling him to restrict irresponsible developers’ ability to build new homes, as well as introducing an extension of the Building Safety Levy worth an estimated £3 billion and improving building owners’ rights to launch legal action against developers.
“Today marks a major turning point for building safety in this country,” Mr Gove said, “as we introduce a tough new regime to make homes safe and help rid the sector of bad practice once and for all.”
He has written to freeholders, in a letter available here, and made clear that the days of leaseholders being faced with large invoices for building safety repairs are now over.
The letter also reminds them of their new responsibilities as part of the Act, including ensuring buildings have updated fire risk assessments that reflect the latest guidance on proportionality.
Where freeholders or owners of buildings over 18m with cladding-related issues do not have clear plans to address these issues, they must have full assessments ready to submit to the Building Safety Fund. This will reopen for new applications shortly, helping to ensure applications can be handled in good time, reducing the disruption and stress to leaseholders.