Building Safety Crisis

BUILDING SAFETY CRISIS

The Grenfell Tower tragedy in June 2017 set in motion a series of events and political interventions that created the Building Safety Crisis. This page summarises the key issues that need to be overcome to resolve the crisis and deliver Building Safety for all.

Risk Rating

Thousands of residential buildings are being identified as ‘unsafe’ without giving the context of how unsafe they are.

Minimal information is available to help manage the risk.

Guidance

Grenfell identified significant deficiencies with the Building Regulations.

Revised guidance and advice from Government has confused the industry and eroded confidence.

Data

Understanding the scale of the Building Safety Crisis and identifying a route through it requires reliable data.

As yet Government have not collected or shared reliable data.

EWS1

RICS designed the EWS1 form to grade the external wall ‘risk’ for lenders.

EWS1 is vague, lacks process and has stalled the market for thousands of blocks.

Insurance

Insurers have lost their appetite to insure blocks of flats and the professionals that work on them.

Unaffordable insurance constitutes a market failure, which is yet to be addressed.

Finance

Mortgage lending is seriously undermined by the Building Safety Crisis and zero valuations.

Government have pledged inadequate first come first served remediation funding.

Time

Making thousands of homes safe will take time. Families have to wait their turn in unsafe homes.

Bills for interim safety measures, punitive insurance premiums and variable rate mortgages will continue. will

Legislation

Government are relying on new legislation to solve the Building Safety Crisis.

Legal reforms are slow and distract from the urgent crisis response needed to stabilise the market.

Residents

Despite living in unsafe properties and paying the bills, Residents are often the last to be consulted.

Dame Judith Hackitt correctly identified the need for meaningful Resident Engagement to keep homes safe.

Leasehold

Absent freeholders, managing agents and outdated lease terms all create a system where leaseholders have minimal rights.

Leases are designed to pass costs to leaseholders, who can lose their homes if bills are not paid.

Enforcement

Significant enforcement powers already exist within Fire Service, Councils and the Health & Safety Executive.

More effective use of these powers could be made to improve Building Safety.

Evacuation

Public debate over the validity of the ‘Stay Put’ policy is ongoing.

Moving to ‘Simultaneous Evacutation’ due to safety concerns requires alarm systems and interim Waking Watch.

Compliance

Compliance with legal safety requirements, routine servicing and certification is often lacking in the property management sector.

Regulatory oversight and record keeping is poor, leaving families at risk.

Products

The Grenfell inquiry has exposed serious issues with product integrity, testing and installation.

Right now it is difficult to know who or what to trust in relation to construction product safety.

Competence

High demand for professionals and a shortage of suitably insured firms has attracted incompetent providers into the market.

Choosing a competent professional is difficult and takes time.

Litigation

Bringing a legal claim against a developer, supplier or insurer over building safety defects is complex.

Establishing blame and overcoming statute of limitation issues can be prohibitively expensive.

HELP SPREAD THE WORD

Tell your friends about the Building Safety Register and our #BuildingSafety campaign on Twitter