Governments demands councils pursue ‘rogue’ building owners

Councils must ramp up the pressure on building owners who fail to fix dangerous high-rises, the housing minister has said.

At a meeting on Tuesday (20 February), housing minister Lee Rowley pushed council leaders to explain how they are using £8m of funding “to force rogue building owners to act”, according to a statement from the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

Under the Building Safety Act 2022, building owners must pay for remediation to any buildings over 11 metres high that have fire safety defects.

The £8m fund, which was paid out in November 2022, was allocated specifically to beef up enforcement teams at local councils.

It funded the creation of a Joint Inspection Team (JIT), hosted by the Local Government Association, which takes action against private landlords. The team includes a fire engineer, a building-control surveyor and legal advisors.

DLUHC said councils had already taken enforcement action at nearly 300 high-rise buildings that have unsafe cladding.

Rowley promised “robust enforcement action” from all regulators, including councils, against all building owners who do not push forward with remediation work.

At the discussion, representatives from Newham Council shared details of how it prosecuted a building owner for delays in removing dangerous cladding. Chaplair Ltd was ordered to pay £60,000 after being found guilty of missing a deadline to remove unsafe cladding on a nine-storey housing block in the east London borough.

Rowley said “lots of councils” are tackling building owners when they stall on remediation work.

“But all councils need to take the appropriate action to protect residents and make sure those responsible for making homes safe do so without any further delay,” he added.

“The warning to owners refusing to fix their buildings is clear: get on with remediation or action will be taken against you.”

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top