Last edited 07 Jul 2021

Building Safety Bill

The Building Safety Bill 2019-20 was announced in the Queen’s Speech on 19 December 2019 following the Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June 2017.

Its purpose is to put in place new and enhanced regulatory regimes for building safety and construction products, and to ensure residents have a stronger voice in the system.

It was expected that the main elements would:

For more information see: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8781/

A Fire Safety Bill was also introduced to amend the Fire Safety Order 2005, clarifying that the responsible person or duty-holder for multi-occupied, residential buildings must manage and reduce the risk of fire.

On 2 April 2020, in response to the Building a Safer Future consultation, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP also announced steps to introduce mandatory sprinkler systems and consistent wayfinding signage in all new high-rise blocks of flats over 11 metres tall, legislated for through the Building Safety Bill. For more information see: Government response to the Building a Safer Future consultation.

The draft Building Safety Bill was published on 20 July 2020. Ref https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-building-safety-bill

Explanatory notes were published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/explained-the-draft-building-safety-bill

The draft Bill was published to enable consultation and scrutiny before it is introduced to Parliament. It will be examined by a Parliamentary committee who will report with feedback and recommendations before the Bill is finalised.

The final version of the Bill was published on 5 July 2021. Ref https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-regulator-at-heart-of-building-safety-overhaul

Under the proposals, the Government is more than doubling the amount of time, from six to 15 years, that residents can seek compensation for substandard construction work.

The changes will apply retrospectively. This means that residents of a building completed in 2010 would be able to bring proceedings against the developer until 2025.

These reforms also include new measures which apply to those seeking compensation for shoddy refurbishments which make the home unliveable.

A one-page explainer of the bill is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/999440/Building_Safety_Bill_-_explainer.pdf

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