As commented on previously, last year the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (“DLUHC”) persuaded 49 developers to commit to remedying fire safety defects in buildings over 11 metres that they played a role in either developing or refurbishing (see here). This commitment was to be formalised in a contract between the DLUHC and each individual developer.
In January this year the DLUHC published the final version of the remediation contract (see here) and set a deadline of 13 March 2023 for the developers to sign the remediation contract.
Following the expiry of this deadline the DLUHC has announced that the majority of the developers have now signed the remediation contract. However, as of 17 March 2023, 8 developers have not yet signed. For a complete list of the developers who have signed and who have not signed see here.
Burges Salmon Comment
The fact that the majority of the developers who signed up to the initial remediation pledge have now signed the remediation contracts should provide significant reassurance to the leaseholders of buildings developed by these developers. Subject to the agreement of an appropriate contract or funding agreement between the relevant developer and leaseholders, life-critical fire-safety defects in their buildings will now be remediated at the developer's cost.
While there is currently no such reassurance for the leaseholders of buildings developed by the developers who have not yet signed remediation contracts with the DLUHC, it is anticipated that these developers will come under sustained pressure from the DLUHC to enter into the remediation contracts in the near future. Indeed, in a recent announcement to MPs, Michael Gove indicated his willingness to utilise the provisions of the Building Safety Act 2022, under which the Secretary of State will be able to block any non-signing developers from both commencing developments with planning permission and receiving building control approval for in-progress builds, in order to compel these developers to sign the remediation contracts.
We will monitor and report on any developments in this situation.
This article was written by Tom Weld, Kayla Urbanski and Beatrice Breaden.
“While the overwhelming majority of major developers have signed, some regrettably have not and this house has made it clear what this means and so have I. Those companies will be out of the housebuilding business in England entirely unless they change their course.” Michael Gove, Secretary of State