Thank you for writing to me about cladding remediation costs and the Building Safety Bill.
I am pleased that the Government is introducing, via the Building Safety Bill, an entirely new regulatory regime for high-rise buildings - one that will hold the property development industry to account and will ensure that it plays its part in covering the costs of remediating unsafe cladding.
To ensure that the property development industry pays its fair share, the Building Safety Bill will introduce a building safety levy on future high-rise developments. A consultation on the design of this levy has been launched, and I would encourage you to share your views by using the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-building-safety-levy
On top of this, a new tax on property developers will be brought forward for the UK sector and is expected to raise £2 billion over a decade.
The Building Safety Bill will also give residents in high-rise buildings a greater say and toughen sanctions against those who threaten safety. If passed, homeowners will have a clearer avenue to redress, with directors as well as companies liable for prosecution. More information about this can be found here (p.16): https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/58-02/0139/en/210139en.pdf
Outside of this Bill, I am pleased that the Government has stepped in to support leaseholders with the costs of removing dangerous cladding where such work is necessary and proportionate, and where building owners have not been able to pay themselves - this amounts to a £5 billion investment of public funds so far.
Ministers have, however, been clear that this funding does not absolve building owners of their responsibility to ensure their buildings are safe. Rightly, it remains the case that building owners are expected to cover remediation costs wherever possible, not the leaseholder or taxpayer.
In short, the Building Safety Bill, together with the aforementioned funding, will bring about a once in a generation change to building safety. They will ensure that people, homes, and buildings are safer now and in future, and that, to the extent that it’s possible, the right organisations and people are held to account. Please be assured that I will continue to monitor developments in this area closely and, where appropriate, will raise your concerns and key ‘asks’ of government with relevant Ministers.
Thank you once again for writing to me about these important matters.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking