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Lib Dem Peers win vote to protect tenants and leaseholders from "outrageous" fire safety costs

November 18, 2020 7:30 AM
By Lib Dems
Originally published by Rushcliffe Liberal Democrats
Yesterday evening, Liberal Democrat peers have defeated the Government to secure two changes to the Government's Fire Safety Bill, which was introduced in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.
If these changes are accepted by the Government, the amendments would:
  • Introduce a public register for fire safety, similar to the EPC register, for prospective and current renters, leaseholders and owners (Amendment 10)
  • Prevent freeholders passing on any remediation costs to leaseholders and tenants. (Amendment 13)

The amendments, put forward by Liberal Democrat Local Government Spokesperson in the Lords Kath Pinnock, passed by 17 votes (Amendment 10) and 13 votes (Amendment 13) respectively.

Following the votes, Liberal Democrat Local Government Spokesperson in the House of Lords Kath Pinnock said:
"Currently freeholders are passing on the remediation costs needed following the Grenfell tragedy, leaving many with the choice of either facing bankruptcy as they're forced to pay huge fees, or selling their home for a lot less value due to the work needing to be done.
"The vote today has seen not only the Liberal Democrats' plans to ban these outrageous costs succeed, but so have the Party's plans to introduce a register to ensure homes receive a fire safety rating to introduce desperately needed accountability and transparency into the system.
"The Government have often pledged to ensure a tragedy such as Grenfell can never happen again, but any plans to overturn the Liberal Democrats' changes to the Fire Safety Bill will undermine that promise. Ministers must accept the amendments secured today or they risk yet another fire claiming innocent lives."




The text of the two amendments is as follows:

10

Insert the following new Clause-

"Public register of fire risk assessments

(1) The Secretary of State must, by regulations, make provision for a register of fire risk assessments made under article 9 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (SI 2005/1541) (risk assessment).

(2) Those regulations must provide that the register is-

(a) publicly available, and

(b) kept up-to-date.

(3) Regulations under this section are-

(a) to be made by statutory instrument; and

(b) subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament."

13

Insert the following new Clause-

"Prohibition on passing remediation costs on to leaseholders and tenants

(1) The owner of a building may not pass the costs of any remedial work

attributable to the provisions of this Act on to leaseholders or tenants of that

building.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a leaseholder who is also the owner or part

owner of the freehold of the building."