Homeowners get 15 years to sue dodgy developers – but Tory MPs warn it’s not enough

A protester in Manchester who lives in a block with cladding issues (Image: Peter Powell)

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Boris Johnson is under pressure to protect homeowners from colossal building remediation costs post-Grenfell or risk a Commons rebellion.

Tory MPs have threatened to vote against his Building Safety Bill, published today, unless it includes safeguards to ensure leaseholders cannot be billed for fire and building safety works.

More than four years on from the Grenfell tragedy thousands of home-owners are still facing stress and financial ruin because they live in unsafe buildings which they are unable to sell.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed they will be given double the amount of time to go after builders and developers who carried out shoddy work on their properties.

The Government will change the law to give home-owners 15 years – up from six – to take action against rogue developers.

Mr Jenrick will also today set out plans for a new Building Safety Regulator which he says will give residents more power and toughen sanctions against builders and developers who have put their safety at risk.

It comes four years after the Grenfell Tower fire
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

The new body will be responsible for ensuring that any building safety risks in new and existing residential buildings of 18m and above are resolved, taking costs into account.

This will include making sure that safety is considered at key stages of the design, construction and completion phases.

But shadow Housing Secretary Lucy Powell said the Government’s response will “bring little relief” to homeowners trapped in unsellable homes.

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Labour wants the Government to establish a building works agency to assess, fix, find and certify every building in the wake of Grenfell, in which 72 people lost their lives.

They have also argued that leaseholders should be protected from additional costs – and are backed by dozens of Tory MPs on the issue.

Ms Powell said: “Hundreds of thousands of innocent homeowners and tenants are suffering unbelievable pressure as a result of the Government’s failure on cladding.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick
(Image: BBC)

"Their approach so far has been marked by inertia and spiralling costs, with people trapped in unsafe, unsellable homes, facing unaffordable, unjust costs through no fault of their own.

"If ministers do not legislate to safeguard leaseholders livelihoods, we will build on the big cross-party consensus from the Fire Safety Act rebellions to defeat the Government and protect homeowners from colossal costs."

Mr Jenrick said that 70% of the 469 buildings identified with the dangerous cladding have now had it removed – with the rest to be finished by the end of the year.

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