Home » What Goves around comes around: what the Self-Remediation contract means for you

What Goves around comes around: what the Self-Remediation contract means for you

by BDigital_Admin

Developers have been given six weeks to sign a contract to commit an estimated £2bn to the repair of unsafe buildings. SymTerra’s John Ryan explains…

At the end of January, Michael Gove and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) sent the Self-Remediation Terms and Deed of Bilateral Contract to developers for signing, enabling them to be part of the Responsible Actors Scheme.

Does your head hurt yet? You are not alone.

The Self-Remediation contract requires developers to fix unsafe buildings from the last 30 years, committing developers to an estimated £2bn worth of costs. They have until 13th March to sign the contract or face significant financial implications.

Those who choose not to sign the contract will not be able to join the Responsible Actors Scheme, which may see them being blocked from taking on development projects in the future.

How can developers go about fixing unsafe buildings they might have built 30 years ago?

Luckily, we have read the riveting and incredibly concise 93-page contract so that you do not have to:

  1. Developers are expected to use “reasonable endeavours” to identify the required works, which might not need physical inspection if they have reliable project records.
  2. Remediation works must be completed as early as is reasonably practicable. Surveys, assessments, agreeing the scope, tendering etc. are all time-consuming, but as the developer is liable for the repairs, they will want to make sure the costs are minimised.
  3. Once the works are done, the developer will provide the Qualifying Assessment obtained to the DLUHC.

What if there is a dispute between the developer and subcontractor?

The DLUHC holds the Developer accountable to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible, along with many other clauses regarding other potential loopholes that could be exploited. Given they are working with Magic Circle law firm Slaughter & May, developers who sign will want to keep to the letter of the contract.

What now?

Well, it all depends on how good your record keeping is.

  • Now is the time to see if your existing information management and quality management systems work. Can you find everything you need to make the assessments?
  • Do you have records to provide enough data to help you find and rectify any issues as quickly and efficiently as possible?
  • Or is everything buried in thousands of lever arch folders, PDFs, emails, WhatsApp groups, engineers’ back pockets or down the nearest well?

The diligently organised with up-to-date records among you will emerge the most unscathed from all this. Those that were not organised but quickly rectified their internal processes and procedures during the BSA (Building Safety Act) consultation might feel a bit beaten up, but hopefully will get through it. And as for the rest, it is time to get your house (and all the other ones you have built) in order, or risk becoming obsolete.

Read next: Building Safety Act: Data portability and ground-up access key to business survival

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