Government takes first legal action on building safety against freeholder

Government takes first legal action on building safety against freeholder


The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is bringing legal action against a freeholder for neglecting to address building safety flaws.

The freeholder of Stevenage’s fifteen-story Vista Tower, Grey GR Limited Partnership, a company owned by RailPen, has been given 21 days to fix the tower’s fire safety issues, or a court application will be made, according to a Government press release.

The move comes after two years of delays for more than 100 tower residents, and forms part of the Levelling Up Department’s commitment to ensuring that property owners, landlords, and developers adhere to the law and safeguard renters in their own homes.

Despite the building’s dangerous cladding having been identified more than two years ago, Vista Tower’s leaseholders have been sent bills and are unable to sell.

The newly established Recovery Strategy Unit, which was created to identify and pursue companies that persistently fail to fix buildings and collaborate closely with other enforcement authorities, has taken action against the freeholder as one of its first targets.

Vista Tower was registered with the Building Safety Fund in 2020, but because the funding agreement has not yet been finalised, the government cannot release any funds.

At least 23 other structures that are listed with the Building Safety Fund have been hindered by unnecessary delays.

The agency is in the process of evaluating these cases and determining next steps.


Gill Laing is a qualified Legal Researcher & Analyst with niche specialisms in Law, Tax, Human Resources, Immigration & Employment Law.

Gill is a Multiple Business Owner and the Managing Director of Prof Services - a Marketing Agency for the Professional Services Sector.

lawble newsletter sign up

Subscribe to our newsletter

Filled with practical insights, news and trends, you can stay informed and be inspired to take your business forward with energy and confidence.