Fire safety in high rise residential apartment buildings: Aviva’s role and our customers

We set out Aviva’s position on the important area of fire safety in residential apartment buildings and its approach to recent developments concerning remediation.

Page updated 13 September 2022

Aviva’s asset management business, Aviva Investors, manages the Aviva Investors REaLM Ground Rent Fund (‘the Fund’).

The Fund owns around 1,000 residential apartment buildings across England and Wales, some of which are affected by cladding and other fire safety issues.

Neither Aviva Plc nor Aviva Investors own the Fund or its buildings which are instead owned by UK company pension schemes for the ultimate benefit of some 350,000 individual retirees and pension savers.

As a responsible building owner, the Fund continues to track the government’s delivery of its building safety programme. This includes:

  • Supporting and having regard to the Building Safety Act 2022 with its focus on building safety risks arising from fire spread or structural collapse in buildings of 5 or more storeys or 11m or higher, and with additional provisions for those over 18m and above. The Act came into force on 28 June 2022 and accompanying secondary legislation providing details around the framework and obligations it contains will follow over the coming months. The Fund will take full account of the various provisions of the Act and all supporting secondary legislation as they are introduced and relate to its buildings.      
  • Monitoring the progress of the developer remediation agreements that will give legally binding effect to the public pledges that have been made by a number of the UK’s largest residential developers who have acknowledged their primary responsibility for the buildings 11m or above in England which they developed or refurbished over the past 30 years. Many of the Fund’s buildings were developed by one or another of these developers and so the Fund awaits the final form of the developer remediation contract that will govern the scope of remediation works and when, and to what standard, those works are to be carried out. The developer remediation contracts will also provide detail on important matters such as leaseholder and building owner engagement, how any disputes are to be resolved and, in respect of buildings over 18m, how current Building Safety Fund registrations are to be dealt with. 
  • Awaiting further detail on government’s planned 11-18m Remediation Fund, which is to be published in due course, and which it is understood will meet the cost of cladding remediation for buildings between 11-18m where a responsible developer cannot be identified. This new Remediation Fund is key for 11-18m buildings with cladding issues where its developer has either so far refused to publicly pledge its commitment to remediate the buildings it developed or where the developer no longer exists.  
  • Ensuring that all buildings of 5 storeys or more, or 11 metres or above, which are under the Fund’s direct control (being a building without a Residents’ Management Company or Right to Manage Company) and whose developer has not publicly pledged to remediate it or has otherwise ceased to exist, will be registered for any applicable government funding upon that fund (re)opening.  
  • Continuing to arrange fire risk assessments for the Fund’s directly controlled buildings as and when required under applicable fire safety legislation.

This web page is updated periodically to reflect current developments.