the new cladding bill

The Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick is to look at new measures in the Building Safety Bill. These will be based on Dame Judith Hackitt’s review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.

The main feature will be the establishment of a Building Safety Regulator. This regulator will be responsible for making sure any building safety risks in residential buildings of 18m and above are managed and resolved. They will be granted enforcement powers when their requirements are not met. The regulator will have a duty to maintain three committees to advise on building functions: a residents’ panel, an industry competence committee, and a building advisory committee.

The regulator is expected to be operating within 12 to 18 months.

Other features include:

  • Clearly identified people responsible for safety during the design, build, and occupation of a building – this will include a register for inspectors and approvers. It will also create a building’s cycle. The building’s cycle will be split into different ‘gateways’ and the building owner must demonstrate compliance at each of these points. The new regime also introduces the requirement for a ‘golden thread’ of building information that will be stored digitally and updated throughout a building’s lifecycle.
  • Giving residents more routes to raise concerns about safety.
  • Extended rights to compensation for substandard workmanship and unacceptable building defects.
  • The timeframe for bringing claims against developers will increase from 6 to 15 years and will be retrospective.
  • Freeholders must now explore and prove that alternative ways to meet the costs of remediation have been conducted, rather than passing costs straight to leaseholders.
  • New Homes Ombudsman - This body will attempt to resolve disputes specifically relating to new build homes. Developers that fail to sign up to the ombudsman will receive additional sanctions. Developers may also be required to have their own internal complaints procedures.

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