In November, the House of Lords passed an amendment to the UK Government’s Fire Safety Bill making changes to the current legislation to protect leaseholders from having to pay for historical fire safety remedial work, including the removal of dangerous cladding.
The Fire Safety Bill is set to amend the Fire Safety Order 2005, and along with the Building Safety Bill, is part of a collection of new legislation that aims to tackle the recommendations within the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
The amendment, launched by Stephen McPartland MP and Itchen Royston Smith MP included:
- Amendment to increase safety procedures for building managers and owners of domestic premises, including an obligation to share information with the local Fire and Rescue Service.
- Amendment to implement a public register for fire risk assessments so that prospective and current tenants, buyers, owners, and leaseholders can check the fire safety status of their property.
- Amendment to prevent freeholders from passing on remediation costs to leaseholders and tenants through demands for one-off payments or increases to service charges.
After successfully passing through the House of Lords on 24 November, the amendment has gained strong support with more than 20 Conservative MPs adding their names to the updated legislation while it is waiting to be returned to Parliament.
With the Building Safety Bill and Fire Safety Bill due to reach Parliament soon, it is clear that 2021 will be a significant year for leaseholders and leasehold reform.