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BSA Remediation Orders: Latest insights

The Topline

“We’ve recently agreed several remediation orders on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, to achieve improved safety standards without the need for a trial, and therefore with cost savings for all parties. In this article, we share our practical insights relating to remediation orders – a key new driver for building safety and responsible block management.”

Asia Munir – Senior Associate, Real Estate Litigation

Asia Munir - Senior Associate

An image of a large apartment block, shot from below looking up toward the sky. A visual metaphor for this post about remediation orders

Under section 123 of the Building Safety Act 2022 (the BSA), a remediation order (or, RO) is an order requiring a relevant landlord to remedy certain defects in a relevant building by a specified time.

The introduction and award of remediation orders reinforces that the focus of the BSA is building safety and improvement of standards.

See our previous article for relevant RO definitions and for details of the first remediation order to be granted by the First-tier Tribunal (FtT).

In January 2024, following the FtT’s recent decisions to make two further remediation orders, we highlighted key legal and practical takeaways in this new area.

As building safety law and practice continues to develop, we’re pleased to confirm that, on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, we have secured remediation orders against Wallace Estates Limited & Gray’s Inn Capital Limited (“Wallace“) , landlords who had failed to remediate building safety defects at their buildings in Manchester – Skyline Chambers, Red Building, Quebec Building and Simpson Street.

The legal action issued on behalf of the Secretary of State has led to Wallace agreeing terms of remediation orders by consent, which the FtT has then approved.

As a result, we’ve supported the Secretary of State’s action to ensure leaseholders are safe in their homes and to ensure compliance with building safety standards at these buildings going forward. In this article, we share our latest insights.

Remediation orders by Consent: Top tips

  • ROs are a tool for ensuring compliance with building safety standards under the BSA. To have legal force, they are granted by a tribunal. But that doesn’t mean that obtaining an RO has to be an adversarial, and therefore costly, process.
    1. As a matter of procedure, an application will have to be issued, so that the tribunal can make an RO at the end of the process. Specialist legal assistance may be needed for the issue of that application. Where, during the course of the proceedings, the parties agree: (a) the remedial works required; (b) the timescales for completion of those works; and (c) the form of RO itself, ROs can be agreed by consent. Resolving applications without the need for a trial will significantly save on management time and legal costs for both parties.
      1. Where a landlord owns more than one relevant building, RO applications can be bundled, or consolidated together, to minimise duplication, or even multiplication, of work and cost. That can achieve greater efficiency. For example, the 4 applications that the Secretary of State issued against Wallace were issued in the same tribunal and the FtT agreed to case manage the applications together [1]. ‘Bundling’ in this way is a significant time – and cost – saver.
        1. Finally, largely the same form of wording has now been adopted in all reported RO cases [2] and in the several FtT-approved consent ROs we’ve negotiated on behalf of the Secretary of State. The adoption by the FtT of a relatively standard form of order, should facilitate efficient and amicable negotiations.

        Remediation orders: How we can support you

        Walker Morris’ Real Estate Litigation specialists, working seamlessly with our cross-discipline BSA experts, are uniquely placed to help clients from right across the Living sector to successfully navigate all of the legal, regulatory and practical changes brought about by the Building Safety Act 2022.

        Our long-standing experience and success in providing strategic risk management, transactional and dispute resolution advice for industry participants in all areas of the sector has contributed to our in-depth understanding of all parties’ commercial perspectives.

        Our appointment to support the UK Government in relation to remediation orders also enables us to share practical information and advice which is based on hands-on experience of dealing with this entirely new tool for addressing unsafe cladding/defects.

        For tailored advice, assistance or training in connection with remediation orders or the BSA generally, please contact Asia or Lewis.

         

        [1] The FtT also adopted the same ‘bundling’ approach in the recent Triathlon Homes remediation contribution order case, so it’s now a proven strategy in a variety of BSA claims.

        [2] Again, see our earlier briefing.

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        Asia
        Munir

        Director

        Real Estate Litigation

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        Lewis
        Couth

        Partner

        Real Estate Litigation

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