Regulator of Social Housing survey shows progress of remediation work

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has published the findings of its fire safety remediation survey for residential buildings over 11 metres that form part of England’s social housing.

The Fire Safety Remediation survey took place between 23 August and 15 September, and all landlords of 11-metre-plus buildings – including private registered providers (PRPs) and local authority registered providers (LARPs) – were asked to submit fire safety remediation data (aggregate level information) to RSH and the Department of Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities (DLUHC) regarding buildings they were responsible for.

The aim of the data collection was to discover whether landlords were meeting their legislative obligations by assessing fire safety risks in buildings they were responsible for; whether they were able to understand any risks that had been identified and how they should be addressed, particularly in relation to external wall systems; and whether they had any plans in place to remediate “life critical” fire safety risks in a “timely manner”. Life critical risks were defined as “defects, shrinkages, faults, or other failings in a building that give rise to fire safety risks”, which can be identified through either a fire risk assessment (FRA) or a Fire Risk Appraisal of External Wall (FRAEW).

On 16 November 2023, RSH published the results of the survey, in which the data of more than 15,400 buildings over 11 metres in height was submitted. Approximately, 11,200 of these buildings were between 11 and 18 metres, while the remaining number were over 18 metres.

Additionally, the RSH found that fire risk assessments had been carried out on 98% of all buildings reported. RSH adds that 1,608 buildings had been identified as having a life critical fire safety defect relating to the external wall system, with the “vast majority of social landlords” having plans in place to address these life critical fire safety defects that had been identified.

Remediation work is completed or due to be completed in the next five years for 71% of 11–18 metre buildings and 84% of 18 metre plus buildings assessed as having an external wall system related LCFS [life critical fire safety] defect.”

RSH notes that the report “highlights the responsibility of boards and councillors to understand landlords’ legal obligations in relation to managing the safety of buildings, seek assurance that they are being met, and address identified issues promptly”.

Director of Strategy at RSH, Will Perry added:

Landlords must understand their buildings, manage them safely, and take timely action to remediate fire and other safety defects so their tenants are safe and can feel safe in their homes.

We will continue to engage with providers to ensure this remains a high priority.”

RSH adds that the Fire Safety Remediation survey received a response rate of 88% (1,321 landlords). As Inside Housing explains, this includes 100% of large housing associations and 91% of large council landlords.

You can access the RSH report here.