The government’s Building Safety Act came into force on 28 June 2022 giving many leaseholders new legal protection from the costs associated with making their homes safe.
Introduced following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, in which 72 people died, the act seeks to ensure that developers responsible for historical safety defects, and the owners of buildings, fund essential repairs to blocks of over 11 metres.
Under the act, qualifying leaseholders will pay nothing to remove dangerous cladding from their buildings. In addition, the amount of money they can be asked to contribute to fixing other safety defects is being capped.
Qualifying leaseholders are those whose homes are in a building above 11 metres (or five storeys). It must be their main home, or they must own no more than three residential properties in the UK.
The government has written to all freeholders explaining the change and their new responsibilities under the act, including ensuring buildings have updated fire risk assessments.
The act also means new powers to restrict developers’ ability to build new homes, if they refuse to take responsibility for fixing fire safety defects.
A Building Safety Levy on all new residential buildings is expected to raise £3 billion to fund the removal of unsafe cladding on buildings of 11 to 18 metres where the developer cannot be traced.
Buyers of new build homes will also be able to hold their developer responsible for safety and quality issues under a New Homes Ombudsman scheme.
Read more about the act on the government website