Gove Announces New Waking Watch Replacement Fund

On 27 January, Housing Secretary Michael Gove announced plans to provide an additional £27m to install fire alarms in buildings of all heights where a Waking Watch is in place, not just those over 18 metres in height as previously.

This is the Government’s latest measure to protect leaseholders, with the funding set to save leaseholders on average £163 a month.

The additional funding goes beyond the existing £35m Waking Watch Relief Fund, which is already supporting 323 buildings to replace 24-hour fire patrol services and aims to end the misuse of Waking Watches.

Minister for Building Safety Lord Greenhalgh said the extra funding “will be a huge relief to many being forced to pay unnecessary costs” but continues to call on building developers and the manufacturers of unsafe cladding to take responsibility and pay to fix “dangerous mistakes”.

Mr Gove also stated that there should be a proportionate approach to assessing fire risk in medium and low rise buildings. He called for fewer unnecessary surveys, an assumption that there is no risk to life in such buildings unless clear evidence of the contrary, and far greater use of sensible, risk-mitigating fire safety measures, such as fire alarm and sprinkler systems.

E&J Estates fully supports the Housing Secretary’s stance. All of our managing agents have been instructed to assess whether any of our buildings would benefit from this new funding, and if so to make the necessary applications.

We have always been committed to a proportionate approach to building safety risks, to ensure that our homeowners can be confident that their homes are safe, while shielding them from unnecessary expense.

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