Last updated: 13-02-2024. From web page: Strategy Hub.

Draft Building Safety Resident Engagement Strategy


Building safety

Southampton City Council manages building safety in Council-owned residential buildings. Building safety refers to the measures that are in place to protect tenants in buildings. Building safety measures reduce and mitigate risks, such as the spreading of a fire, structural failures and gas and electric hazards. The building safety measures aim to reduce the seriousness of an incident if one occurs.

As residents, and leaseholders in Council-owned buildings, you have a say in building safety decisions. This strategy sets out how we will involve you in building safety decisions.


The strategy aims to make sure you:

  • are informed about the building safety information we will provide.
  • understand what we may ask you about building safety.
  • know how we will contact you and use your feedback to influence decisions.
  • understand how we will measure and review our engagement methods.
  • feel safe in your own home.

During the consultation, we will listen to your feedback to understand how we can best achieve these aims.


This strategy is for you if you are a resident or leaseholder of a Council-owned residential flat or maisonette.

Under the Building Safety Act 2022, there is a requirement for the Council to prepare a resident engagement strategy for residents and leaseholders in high-rise buildings. The scope of this strategy has been expanded to include all residents and leaseholders in all Council-owned residential flats and maisonettes

Our commitments

Information we will share

We will make sure to provide key information that you need to know about building safety.

We will continue to:

  • Provide a notice on the back of every residential front door in tower blocks. The notice explains what steps to take in the event of a fire.
  • Provide fire safety information to residents in tower blocks at the start of every tenancy. This includes “Fire Safety” “dos & dont’s” and information on sprinklers.
  • Share information on building safety in the Tenants Handbook on the council’s website: Repairs and maintenance.
  • Provide information about vulnerable tenants in high-rise buildings to the fire service to ensure they are supported during a building safety incident. Please inform the council if you have a vulnerability so we can make sure to provide you with the right support.
  • Publish key information about building safety on our website, social media and Tenants Link. Tenants Link is our website which provides important information to tenants and leaseholders. You can subscribe to Tenants Link and receive a monthly e-news bulletin with all the latest news on housing to your inbox. You can find more information here: Tenants' Link.
  • Send letters or emails to inform you about building safety measures, and ways to reduce risks.
  • Set out a process for reporting a fire risk and/or raising any other safety concerns. More information can be found in the “Raising a concern” section below.
  • Update you regularly if a serious issue with a building has been identified. We will inform you about any interim safety measures put in place, remedial works and further investigations that are required.
  • Hold meetings and focus groups with you to share important information.
  • Share information discussed at meetings with each resident. This may be shared via web pages, email, or letters.
  • Update you if there are any significant changes to the strategy.
  • Answer any queries you may have during the settling-in visit.

More information can be requested. This includes:

  • Full, current, and historical fire risk assessments.
  • Outcome of building safety inspection checks where available.
  • How assets in the building are managed, e.g., frequency of lift maintenance.
  • Details of preventive measures, e.g., smoke alarms.
  • Fire protection measures in place, e.g., sprinklers.
  • Information available on the maintenance of fire safety systems.
  • The fire strategy for the building.
  • Structural assessments, where available.

Request a communication method

We want to make sure that this information is easily accessible to all residents. You can request different formats from council officers, and we will try to provide information in a more accessible way.

  • If you need information on the website in a different format like an accessible PDF, easy read, or braille, please contact our switchboard on 023 8083 3000.
  • If you need information in a different language, you can also translate our webpages into different languages. More information can be found here: Translating our webpages

Information we may seek

We want to hear your views about how we can keep you safe in your building. To help us make building safety decisions, we may ask you the following questions:

  • Do you feel safe in your building?
  • What information or measures would you like us to provide to help you feel safe?
  • Do you know how to report issues and raise building safety concerns? Is this easy for you to do?
  • Do you want to be involved in building safety decisions?
  • Do you have the confidence that we listen to your views and respond to your concerns?

How we will listen and learn

We want to make sure we engage with you about building safety decisions in a way that suits you best. During consultation, we will identify how you would like us to engage.

Some of the ways we can engage with you about building safety is:

  • Letters or surveys by post
  • Online surveys
  • Southampton City Councils consultation website
  • Targeted email
  • Social media posts
  • Tenant & Leaseholder Meetings or events
  • Building Safety Tenants Group
  • Other ad hoc focus groups
  • Block notice boards
  • Engagement with officers of the council.
  • Building safety newsletter

As noted above in “Request a communication method” section, you can request communication in a different language, or in an alternative form (such as easy read, braille).

Consultation process

When we draft or renew a resident engagement strategy, we will consult with you. During this process, we will:

  • produce a consultation questionnaire (online and paper version). This may be shared with you on our website, social media or in focus groups.
  • provide you with adequate time (at least three weeks) to share your feedback.
  • review and carefully consider your feedback.
  • make any necessary amendments based on the responses.
  • share the changes we have made based on the feedback. This may be in a “you said, we did” table format.
  • ensure that any personal data we gather is handled in accordance with the data protection principles, such as the Data Protection Act 2018, and meets our contractual, statutory, and administrative obligations.
  • include a standard privacy statement for Council consultations in the questionnaire, explaining how we will use the information we collect about respondents.

Contact us

To input into building safety decisions, you can contact the Tenant Engagement Team directly either by:


Phone: 023 8083 3185

Raising a concern


  • For a concern about building safety issues, such as obstructions in communal areas, you can contact the Local Housing Office. This will bring you to a form where you can raise your specific concerns.
  • For concerns with a flat entrance door or a fire door in a communal area, you can report this to the council’s repair department.
  • For general fire safety queries, you can email the fire safety team at:
  • To raise a complaint, you can follow the instructions on this website: How to make a complaint. If you are not satisfied with how a concern or an issue has been dealt with, you can escalate the issue by submitting a complaint.

How we will measure participation

We will regularly monitor and review how we engage with you about building safety decisions. We may ask you about our engagement methods during engagement sessions, events or in a survey. If there is a lack of satisfaction and participation, we will change our engagement methods.

Some of the ways we will measure our engagement methods is by recording and monitoring:

  • the number of consultation responses of the resident engagement strategy;
  • whether you feel safe in your building;
  • whether you feel that you can easily share your views on how to improve the safety in your building;
  •  the effectiveness of our engagement methods by asking you questions in a survey;
  • the number of social media posts we make and the number of views on our social media posts regarding the building safety;
  • the number of issues raised by residents regarding the safety of their building.

We will review this data to understand our successes and what we need to improve to engage effectively with you. We will report the progress of our engagement to the Resident’s Building Safety Group at least every two years.


Implementing, monitoring and updating the strategy

We will:

  • consult on the strategy the first time it is issued and when there is any change to it;
  • consult all residents over the age of 16, anyone who owns a residential unit and accountable persons for the building;
  • hold a public consultation to hear from residents, for a period of at least three weeks;
  • carefully consider any feedback and, if necessary, update our strategy;
  • provide the latest version of the strategy to each accountable person, resident, and owner of residential unit;
  • review the strategy:
    • at least every two years;
    • after every consultation of the strategy;
    • after a mandatory occurrence report;
    • after the completion of significant material alterations to the building.


Appendix 1 – Legislative context and other documents

Building Safety Act 2022

An accountable person is an organisation or individual who owns or has a legal obligation to repair any common parts of the building (i.e. structure, staircases, corridors). Each high-rise building has an identifiable accountable person, known as the principal accountable person. Southampton City Council is the principal accountable person for Council-owned high-rise buildings. According to the Building Safety Act 2022, the Council must:

  • prepare a resident engagement strategy
  • act by the strategy
  • review and revise the strategy and keep a record of the reviews
  • provide the latest version to each accountable person
  • when necessary, consult residents, owners of residential units, and accountable persons about the strategy and take their opinions into account
  • distribute the strategy to all residents over the age of 16 and owners of units in the parts of the building that they are responsible for
  • provide copies of the strategy in a way that considers the needs of the residents. For example, some may prefer a paper copy and others may prefer email
  • take all reasonable steps to know who lives in their part of the building and understand their needs. This can include accessibility needs and communication needs, such as language spoken

Consultation requirements

  • Consult on the strategy the first time it is issued and if there are any changes to it.
  • Consult all residents over the age of 16, anyone who owns a residential unit and accountable persons for the buildings.
  • Consult for at least three weeks and include the consultation length in the strategy.
  • After the consultation, all feedback must be considered. The strategy does not need to be reconsidered if major changes occur because of the consultation.

Mandatory Occurrence Reporting – residents in high-rise buildings

Under certain circumstances, the Council is required to submit mandatory occurrence notices and reports to the Building Safety Regulator. This must be submitted when a safety occurrence has caused or is likely to cause the death of a significant number of people or serious injury of a significant number of people. The residents affected will be informed if we do this and the reasons behind why we have done this.

Other documents

The strategy links to other Southampton City Council’s items, including:

Appendix 2 – Definitions

Term Definition
Accountable person An accountable person is an organisation or individual who owns or has a legal obligation to repair any common parts of the building.
Principal accountable person Each building must have one clearly identifiable accountable person, known as the principal accountable person. The principal accountable person is usually an organisation, like a commonhold association, local authority or social housing provider. The principal accountable person owns or is legally responsible for the repair of the exterior and structure of the building
Building safety decision Any decision made by an accountable person about the management of the building, the management of building safety risks or any other decision connected to the duties of an accountable person.
‘Stay put unless’ strategy A ‘stay put unless ’ strategy means the building is safe for residents to remain in their home whilst a fire is being investigated. Residents can choose to leave their flat if they feel unsafe or see fire and smoke.
Full evacuation strategy An evacuation strategy requires residents to leave their flats immediately in the event of a fire and go to an assembly point.
Mandatory occurrence report An accountable person or principal accountable person must submit a mandatory occurrence notice as soon as you can when a safety occurrence is identified. They must then submit a report identifying the safety occurrence.
High-risk building

A higher-rise building has at least:

  • Seven storeys or at least 18 metres high
  • Two residential units or is a hospital or a care home