The House of Lords have voted to send an amendment to the Fire Safety Bill that would ban leaseholders from paying for cladding remediation back to the Commons for a second time.
Peers voted 326 to 248 in favour of the motion, put forward by the Bishop of St Albans, Alan Smith, to insert a clause prohibiting remediation costs from being passed on to leaseholders and tenants. The McPartland-Smith Amendment, named after the two Conservative backbenchers who first tabled it, will return to MPs on the 22 March to be deabted once again.
The Lords amendment to ban leaseholders from paying for cladding remediation costs was previously pushed through the Lords in November. This followed support from Labour and Lib Dem Peers voting 269 to 250 in favour. MPs voted 340-225 in favour of a government motion to reject it, to the dismay of many anti-cladding groups. Ministers argued that the issue of remediation costs was too complex to be dealt with in the Fire Safety Bill, which is intended to place a duty on building owners to inspect cladding and fire doors.
The Government intends to address the matter in the much longer Building Safety Bill, currently in draft. This sets out extensive reforms to the regulatory framework surrounding residential building safety. The draft bill is due to be introduced to Parliament later this year. Currently there is no commitment from government that leaseholders will be protected from the costs of cladding remediation.
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