The government has launched the Building Safety Bill, which sets out a new regulatory regime for high-rise residential and other in-scope buildings, based on Dame Judith Hackitt’s review, following the Grenfell tragedy. The Bill, which has had its first reading in the House of Commons, will, as currently drafted:
- establish the Building Safety Regulator within the HSE to provide oversight for all buildings and to introduce a more stringent regime for higher-risk buildings during design, construction, and refurbishment;
- introduce amendments to the Defective Premises Act 1972 to allow claims to be brought for historical defects that make a dwelling unfit for habitation, extending the limitation period from 6 years to 15 on a retrospective basis;
- extend the Act to cover all work on residential property that makes a dwelling unfit for habitation;
- introduce a stronger and clearer framework for the regulation of construction products and ‘pave the way’ for a National Regulator for Construction Products to be established in the Office for Product Safety and Standards; and
- introduce wider improvements including changes to the Architects Act 1997, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the Fire Safety Order) and the Housing Act 1996, and provisions to establish a New Homes Ombudsman.
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