Joint Letter to Dr Liam Fox MP
We are Leaseholders and Friends/Family affected by the Building Safety Crisis.
This article has been updated on the 16th of June 2021. Dr Fox chose a different bill as his Private Member Bill. The campaign continues unabated though and you can find up to date information here: https://buildingsafetycrisis.org/polluter-pays-in-the-building-safety-bill/
If you’re a Leaseholder or a Friend/Family of those impacted please sign this letter to Dr Fox to ask him to table the Polluters Pay bill.
Dear Dr Fox,
DEFECTIVE PREMISES (LIABILITY) BILL- “POLLUTER PAYS”
We write to you to request your help in entering a private member’s bill using your position 4 in the ballot.
As residents affected by the Building Safety Crisis, we are living in homes that are unsafe, stuck and unable to move on, facing life-changing bills and potential bankruptcy. Our mental health, including that of our children, is severely impacted. This mental health crisis has resulted in two unfortunate suicides of which we are aware.
During the Fire Safety Bill debates, you hoped your amendment would be allowed a vote, because it targeted the appropriate responsible persons to make the safety issues right. We agree. Your amendment is well written and would target most problems that many leaseholders face. Many people are already receiving eye-watering bills and being pushed to bankruptcy through no fault of their own.
We may not all be residents of your constituency, but we would urge you to use your position to introduce the RAQ residents led bill to protect all leaseholders from this injustice.
A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE “POLLUTER PAYS” BILL
A bill to impose and apportion liability for remediation and related costs in respect of certain buildings built in breach of building regulations; and for connected purposes.
- MHCLG stated £15 Billion is required for the remediation of external wall systems. However only £5 billion is on the table. The developers are trying to CAP their liability at £2 billion over the next ten years.
- There is clearly a shortfall between the money coming in from the developers/tax payer/leaseholders and the £15 Billion estimated total cost. The Polluter Pays Bill aims to get more money in from a wider pool of responsible parties to avoid leaseholder loans/tax payer funds being used. It also means if the costs go up, there will be more money on the table to deal with the increase.
- The Bill uses the same approach as in place for the handling of Contaminated Land to a) Determine if a building broke building regulations in force at the time of construction b) Apportion liability to those responsible.
- Public funds can then be used for buildings where no responsible parties can be found and where buildings were compliant but deemed unsafe now because regulations changed.
- With more money on the table from outside the treasury, we hope to push the government to act to resolve the building safety crisis without the need for leaseholder loans and to remove the worry and danger from people’s lives. We hope with a substantial redress solution in place, government will take on the costs of the non-cladding remediation and the waking watch/insurance increases as well as the cladding costs and recover from those responsible.
- The Private Members Bill concept won the backing of 14 backbench MPs and was tabled in the House of Lords by the Bishop of Manchester supported by the Bishops of Kensington, London and St Albans along with the Earl of Lytton ( a peer and a chartered surveyor). It will also be drafted by parliamentary counsel to ensure the government could take over the bill if it chose to.
Please see Figure 1 to see how this bill works.
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