- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
The Building Safety Bill is the Government’s long-awaited legislation to reform building safety regulations in the UK. Since the Grenfell Tower disaster, urgent work has been required on blocks of flats around the country to ensure they are safe from a similar fire occurring, but the costs have often been passed onto the leaseholders instead of being paid for by those who own or developed the properties in the first place. For some leaseholders, these bills have reached tens of thousands of pounds.
At the start of January, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Communities and Housing said for the first time that the Government expects developers to pay for remediation works instead. This has not been put into law, and the Government expects to achieve security for leaseholders solely by publicly pressuring developers.
It is vitally important to pass new legislation to keep residents safe as soon as possible, so I supported the Building Safety Bill at its Report Stage and Third Reading on 19 January 2022. However, leaseholders need and deserve protection in law, not just from a press release by the Secretary of State.
This was the purpose of New Clause 3, which Labour forced to a vote. I voted for the New Clause, which was lost: Ayes 181 and Noes 301. The Shadow Minister Matthew Pennycook MP has called on the Government for a cast-iron commitment that legal protections will be added in the House of Lords.