Following the Grenfell fire, there has been much discussion in the media about the safety of apartment buildings. A complete analysis of responsibility for that event will have to await the conclusion of the inquiry, but the report from Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, concluded the regulatory system was not-fit-for purpose.
Some measures have already been taken. Building Regulations have been changed. The Fire Safety Act 2021 will provide for a Responsible Person to assess and mitigate fire risks from the structure and external walls, and entrance doors to individual dwellings and common parts.
Timing of the Building Safety Bill
Further changes are due to follow when the Building Safety Bill is enacted. While the Bill has not completed its passage through Parliament, some of the proposals are very likely to become law. In addition, as with much modern legislation, there is a proposal to allow detailed secondary legislation (in the form of Regulations).
The Bill was brought before Parliament on 30 June 2021 and the Government has said that it does not expect passage of the Bill to take less than nine months. As and when enacted, it is likely that there will be commencement orders bringing particular parts of the Bill into force.