Categories: Featured News, Safety

UK officials issue new guidance on building safety and cost management

Share this content


Building safety officials address challenges and costs in safety case report creation

Housing Minister Lee Rowley and Director of Building Safety Philip White have advised Registered Building Managers about the significant advancements and ongoing challenges in the creation of Safety Case Reports.

Their guidance stresses the importance of managing costs and maintaining proportionality in service charges, with a specific focus on fire prevention and structural safety.

This advice follows a comprehensive overhaul of the regulatory framework aimed at enhancing building safety post-Grenfell.

The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) has been pivotal in this reform.

Over the past six months, all buildings over 18 metres have been required to register and provide critical safety information to the BSR, which has received compliance from over 12,000 buildings.

These efforts are part of a broader scheme to ensure the reality of building safety matches the documentation provided.

Financial concerns and documentation issues

In a detailed letter shared with building managers, the officials articulated concerns about the financial and procedural burdens associated with safety case reports.

They noted, “We recognise that, for some buildings, pulling together the evidence and documentation in order to produce the safety case report can be a challenging process.” They highlighted issues with high costs and unnecessary new investigations, emphasizing the misuse of existing documentation which often results in inflated management fees.

The letter further states: “By law, service charges must be reasonable, and we expect them to be communicated effectively to leaseholders.

“Leaseholders should be able to understand what they are being charged for and why, how much it will cost and how long the work is expected to take.”

This directive is crucial for ensuring that safety measures are not only effective but also economically feasible for leaseholders.

 Ensuring effective safety management

The focus of the recent guidelines is on practical and effective management of building safety to prevent serious incidents like fire or structural failures.

“The safety case and the safety case report exist to prevent building safety failures that could result in serious loss of life,” the letter explains, urging that all safety-related work must meet this critical standard.

Moreover, the officials urge transparency and justification of costs through resident engagement strategies.

The BSR has committed to providing ongoing guidance and support through its ‘Ask BSR’ service on GOV.UK and will continue to closely monitor the sector for any inappropriate practices.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox