The snappily named Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (moratorium Debt) (Consequential Amendment) (England) Regulations came into force on Monday 3 May 2021.
Following the inquest into the deaths of two firefighters in a fire on the ninth floor of a high-rise tower block owned by Southampton City Council, Keith Wisemen, Southampton Coroner, has stated in his letter that "obvious precautions to prevent fire occurring were not taken" and "operating conditions for all firefighters involved became extremely difficult and dangerous" and "significantly contributed" to their deaths.
As a result of these findings, Mr Wisemen has made numerous recommendations to prevent the recurrence of similar fatalities in the future. His main recommendations are that:
1. Social Landlords should consider retro-fitting sprinklers in all existing high rise buildings in excess of 30 metres in height, particularly to those identified by Fire and Rescue Services as having complex designs that make fire-fighting more hazardous and/or difficult.
2. Social Landlords should be obliged to:
- provide signage to indicate floor levels both in stairwells and lift lobbies in high rise premises, to assist the emergency services; and
- ensure that signage indicating flat numbers and emergency exits in high-rise premises are placed at a low level to increase visibility in smoke conditions.
3. Building Regulations should be amended to ensure that all cables, not just fire alarm cables, are supported by fire-resistant cable supports.
These recommendations echo the calls of many others in the sector following similar tragic events, such as the fire at Lakanal House in London which claimed the lives of six people, and increased focus on Social Landlords’ duties regarding fire safety. Retrofitting existing high-rise properties with sprinklers (and complying with the other recommendations) could cost significant sums, part of which may be recoverable by reductions in insurance costs.
Despite criticism in relation to a cost benefit analysis, similar safety concerns have led the Welsh Government to announce that all new and converted residential properties in Wales will be fitted with sprinkler systems from September 2013 and fire experts in England are now calling for the UK government to make a similar move.
Both the Housing Minister and the Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government have until the 1 April to respond in writing including details of any action that has been taken or which it proposed will be taken whether in response to Mr Wisemen's letter or otherwise, or give an explanation as to why no action is proposed.
For more information
For more information on the impact of these potential developments to your organisation, please do contact Richard Brooks on 0121 214 3633, email@example.com or Cynyr Rhys on 0121 214 3619, firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a post-nuptial agreement and why do people enter it? Find out more in this ebriefing.
This ebriefing considers the Government’s proposals to simplify the procurement procedures, as set out in Chapter 3 of the Green Paper entitled “Using the right procurement procedures”.
In the second of a two-part episode, trainee solicitors Tom Corrigan, Precious Melia and Sike Olawale discuss what a training contract looks like at Anthony Collins Solicitors.
Cases involving large-scale IT contracts are quite rare and the recent case provides a useful judgement for matters involving digital transformation projects which have gone wrong.
From 4 May 2021, The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space) comes into force. This scheme provides debtors with the right to legal protection from their creditors.
Birmingham-based Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) has announced a raft of new promotions, including appointing three new partners.
EOTs have been aggressively marketed as a tax-free share sale, but that should not deter practitioners from raising EOTs.
Remuneration for the supply of goods and the power to award equitable allowances.
The government did not accept two of the Law Commission’s recommendations - as they saw them as important safeguards in protecting charities interests in property.
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.