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ARLA Propertymark submits views for Grenfell Terms of Reference

Monday 14 August 2017

The consultation period to establish Terms of Reference for the Grenfell Tower inquiry has now closed, after being extended by one week following feedback from local residents.

We have highlighted the poor levels of enforcement of current regulations across all residential lettings regardless of tenure, and called for the Inquiry into the Grenfell Tower tragedy to look at the resources available for local authorities to carry out inspections.  

In July, ARLA Propertymark representatives attended a meeting for organisations with an interest in the Grenfell Inquiry, chaired by Inquiry Chairman, Sir Martin Moore-Bick.  

At the meeting Sir Martin outlined that the purpose of the Inquiry was to get hold of the evidence, find out what happened and prevent it from happening again. The Inquiry also looked at how the fire spread, the construction of the building, refurbishment and design work, materials, measures taken to protect residents and the firefighting equipment that was used.

The meeting was attended by representatives of safety groups, the building and construction industry and the local community, as well as academics and lawyers. It was an opportunity for stakeholders to have a say in framing the broad terms of what the Inquiry should look at.

Common views were raised, such as the need for building regulations and fire regulations to be looked at, as well as the competence of those who carry out inspections and risk assessments. The ability for emergency services to deal with a similar disaster in another part of the country was questioned due to a lack of resources and the lack of multi-agency response.

Following the meeting ARLA Propertymark submitted a two page response explaining that the Inquiry should look at the number of inspections being carried out by local authorities. It should also look at the number of fines collected by enforcement bodies and how the money collected is being used.

We also outlined that within the Inquiry’s work, the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) should be reviewed, with a view to changing it to an easier to use set of “Fit for Human Habitation” criteria.

The deadline for submitting views on Terms of Reference was 4 August 2017, and the Chairman will now take time to consider all the suggestions that were put forward. He will then write a letter to the Prime Minister outlining what recommendations the terms of reference should and should not cover. It will then be for the Prime Minister to decide exactly what the terms of reference should be.

Read our response in full

To help members understand and comply with safety obligations when letting a property we have produced a Making Homes Safe leaflet. Simply log into the online store now to order your copies.