The Regulator of Social Housing has unveiled its latest findings on fire safety in social housing, emphasising the crucial role of landlords and local authorities in ensuring the safety of residents. Dive into the report's insights and recommendations.

28 February 2024

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has just released its second report on fire safety remediation in the English social housing sector, shedding light on key responsibilities incumbent upon boards and councillors. The report presents the outcomes of a comprehensive survey focusing on fire safety measures in buildings exceeding 11 metres in height.

According to the report's findings, social landlords are mandated to furnish quarterly data to both the RSH and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities concerning the remediation of fire safety issues in their buildings. Remarkably, the data reveals that approximately 98% of the reported buildings have undergone fire risk assessments, with plans in place to address any outstanding assessments within the next nine months.

Furthermore, landlords have indicated significant progress in rectifying External Wall System-related Life Critical Fire Safety Defects, with the majority of remediation work expected to be completed by September 2028. The report underscores the imperative for boards and councillors to grasp the legal obligations mandatory upon landlords in ensuring building safety, promptly addressing any issues to safeguard tenants' welfare.

Will Perry, Director of Strategy at RSH, underscored the urgency of timely action, stressing that landlords must swiftly rectify fire defects to uphold tenants' safety and peace of mind. Perry further emphasised the role of boards and councillors in overseeing the execution of these plans, underscoring the need to mitigate risks effectively. RSH pledges to maintain close engagement with landlords through ongoing regulation, including a new programme of inspections set to commence from April 2024.

Key points highlighted in the report include:

  • The survey period ran from 1st December 2023 to 31st December 2023, with data reflecting the status as of 30th November 2023.
  • Roughly 30% of landlords surveyed by RSH acknowledged responsibility for at least one building exceeding 11 metres in height.
  • Landlords have reported substantial progress, with remediation work either completed or scheduled for 87% of buildings identified with External Wall System-related Life Critical Fire Safety Defects by September 2028.
  • The survey mandated landlords to furnish aggregate-level data for all buildings exceeding 11 metres in height, alongside individual building-level data for assessment by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
  • Life Critical Fire Safety Defects encompass a spectrum of flaws or shortcomings in building construction identified through fire risk appraisals or assessments conforming to industry standards.
  • The release of the second fire safety remediation report underscores the commitment of regulatory bodies and housing stakeholders towards enhancing fire safety standards across the social housing sector. By prioritising compliance and swift action, stakeholders aim to foster environments where residents can feel secure in their homes.

View the SOURCE here.

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