Flats: Fire Prevention

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered at on 27 March 2024.

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Photo of Gareth Johnson Gareth Johnson Conservative, Dartford

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to support leaseholders living in buildings below 11 metres in height with fire remediation costs.

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Minister of State (Minister for Housing)

The responsibility for the costs of fixing historical building safety defects should rest with building owners. They should not pass these costs on to leaseholders but should seek to recover costs from those who were responsible for building unsafe homes.

We have undertaken extensive work over the last two years to review buildings under 11 metres which have been reported to us as having potential building safety issues. Almost all have proven not to need any intervention following detailed review.

In rare cases where remediation work is required in buildings under 11 metres, the Government has retrospectively extended the limitation period under Section 1 of the Defective Premises Act 1972 enabling legal action against developers and contractors where works completed in the last 30 years made a dwelling not “fit for habitation”.

These rights include:

  • extending the Defective Premises Act to 30 years retrospectively, so compensation can be sought from developers where homes have not been built to the appropriate standard and are not fit for habitation; and,
  • civil claims where products have caused or contributed to a dwelling being ‘not fit for habitation’.

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