BSA and the Cladding Safety Scheme

In this article Charles Seifert a partner at SAY Property Consulting, considers some of the challenges around the Building Safety Act and to submitting successful applications for Government grant funding to the coming 11-18m Cladding Safety Scheme 

For managing agents, landlords and directors of RTM companies, getting to grips with the requirements of the Building Safety Act (BSA), and more specifically the consequences of failing to do so, may feel overwhelming. 

My advice to anyone who thinks that their building might fall within the scope of the Act (i.e. over 18m or 7 storeys and containing at least 2 residential units), is to first seek professional advice, break your workflows down into manageable chunks, identify small wins and most importantly start working towards compliance now.


The introduction of the BSA is undoubtedly the most wide-reaching piece of legislation I’ve worked on. I’ve spent the past months working with a number of colleagues at SAY to understand how the advice we provide across our business, needs to be revised to ensure compliance with the Act. Enquiries from potential clients have spiked in the past few weeks and we’re providing support to parties across the sector to help them ensure that they will be compliant. Our input ranges from helping the Principal Accountable Person (PAP) to register their high risk buildings (HRBs), to drafting a range of key policies that set out their approach to compliance, through to co-ordinating their assembly of the critical Golden Thread of information. 

As if compliance with the BSA was not challenging enough, the government have stated that they will be launching the Cladding Safety Scheme (CSS) in the coming months. The scheme is the third government fund aimed at helping leaseholders to remediate life-critical cladding issues on buildings between 11-18m.

At SAY, we’ve been working as project co-ordinator on over 30 buildings that qualify under the ACM and BSF funds; to date our cladding remediation team has helped secure over £82.5m in grant and developer remediation funding for leaseholders. So how does the CSS differ from the previous two funds and what can you do to prepare for the launch?

The first big difference between the original funds and the CSS is that the government will be assessing eligibility based on the results of a fire risk assessment external wall (FRAEW) survey. A FRAEW delivers a risk-based assessment that assesses whether there are life-critical defects that need remediating. This differs from their previous approach where requirements to remediate stemmed from an EWS1 which focused on the presence of combustible material. Two of the challenges around commissioning a FRAEW is that there is a shortage of qualified fire engineers able to carry out the survey and that the government have yet to publish a full list of approved assessors. However, given that the previous funds have only been open for a relatively short window, I strongly recommend that you don’t wait until the fund opens to commission a FRAEW, but instruct an approved assessor now in order that an early application to the CSS can be made.

The second challenge is that the government see themselves a ‘funder of last resort’, there being a requirement to establish whether the liability to remediate sits with 1) a Pledge developer, 2) a developer who constructed the building within the past 30 years, the challenge here is establishing whether they still exist, have any linked companies and are solvent, 3) the landlord, if there is a net asset value in excess of £2m. In the event that none of these three avenues are open, then government funding will be available.

The third issue is that the Government have estimated that there are between 6,220 and 8,990 buildings that will need remediating, this is about 7 times as many buildings as qualify for BSF funding and it has taken approximately 3 years for full funding to be granted on 338 of these. We’ve found that the earlier applications are made, the sooner they are likely to be processed.


Charles Seifert FRICS, Partner at SAY Property Consulting 


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