Mayor of London calls for greater building safety transparency

Sadiq Khan is calling on building owners and landlords to help leaseholders by sharing vital building safety information with their residents, ahead of an appearance at a major building safety rally.

More than fours years on from the Grenfell Tower fire, thousands of Londoners are trapped in the building safety crisis, with some leaseholders left fearing for their safety, unable to sell their homes, or facing substantial bills to remediate cladding issues.

The Mayor reports hearing frequent concerns that residents are being kept in the dark about the safety of their homes, with leaseholders pointing out challenges in accessing basic fire safety information, and some going as far as to submit Freedom of Information requests to their landlord to access building safety information.

The Building Safety Bill introduces a statutory responsibility for building owners and landlords to share fire safety information, but the Mayor fears that implementation will take too long for flat owners who are already struggling to get this information, and he is calling for voluntary disclosure to improve transparent and safety and rebuild trust between leaseholders and the property industry.

green trees near white concrete building during daytime

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘More than four years on from the Grenfell Tower fire, the events of that terrible night continue to cast a long shadow over the lives of thousands of Londoners whose faith in the safety and security of their home has been stripped away.

‘The current building safety situation is a scandal and a crisis – and it appears that the Government are still not willing to properly address it. We cannot go on like this. Building owners must act now to rebuild trust with leaseholders. This can only be achieved through communication and transparency, accompanied by robust changes to the building safety regulatory system.’

Sebastian Kelly, CEO of the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, responded to the announcement: ‘We are delighted that Sadiq Khan is again showing his support for leaseholders, after joining the cladding demonstration in February 2020 and his decisive intervention last year to get shared ownership leases up to 999 years.

‘There are more flats in London than anywhere else in the UK, and they are a mess. Leaving aside the near limitless cheating by commercial interests over leasehold, tens of thousands of ordinary families face ruin with building safety costs and we are still nowhere near resolving this crisis – more than four years after Grenfell. We will be in the same position in four years’ time unless government takes decisive action to put right badly built blocks and tries to recoup what it can from those who build these flawed buildings.’

In related news, the Mayor of London has agreed a deal with government to provide nearly £3.5bn for new homes with councils and housing associations across London in the first round of bidding for the Mayor’s five-year affordable housing programme.

Photo by Pedro Ramos


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