The Building Safety Act and Leaseholder Protections (England) Regulations 2021 are two important pieces of legislation that have been introduced in the UK to improve building safety standards and protect leaseholders from potential hazards.

The Building Safety Act was introduced in response to the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, which claimed the lives of 72 people. This act sets out a new regulatory framework for building safety, with a particular focus on high-rise residential buildings. The act aims to ensure that those responsible for building design, construction, and maintenance are held accountable for building safety, and that there is greater transparency and communication around building safety issues.

One of the key provisions of the Building Safety Act is the creation of a new Building Safety Regulator (BSR), which will oversee the implementation of the new regulatory framework. The BSR will have the power to take enforcement action against those who fail to meet their obligations under the act, including imposing fines and even criminal sanctions.

The Leaseholder Protections (England) Regulations 2021, which were introduced alongside the Building Safety Act, aim to protect leaseholders from the costs associated with remediation work required to make their buildings safe. These regulations apply to buildings over 18 meters in height or six stories, and require building owners to undertake a fire risk assessment and provide this information to their tenants. They also require building owners to ensure that their buildings are safe, and to take remedial action if necessary.

The regulations also introduce a new Building Safety Charge, which will be payable by leaseholders to cover the costs of building safety measures. However, the regulations set out strict conditions on what costs can be passed on to leaseholders, and limit the amount that can be charged in any given year. The regulations also provide for a disputes resolution process, which can be used by leaseholders who feel that they have been unfairly charged.

Overall, the Building Safety Act and Leaseholder Protections (England) Regulations 2021 represent an important step forward in improving building safety standards and protecting leaseholders from potential hazards. However, there are concerns that the regulations do not go far enough, particularly in relation to the costs that may still be borne by leaseholders. It remains to be seen how effective the new regulatory framework will be in practice, but it is clear that building safety will remain a key issue for the UK government and the construction industry for some time to come.

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