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Identifying and filling the legal gaps exposed by the Grenfell fire

The Universities of Bristol and Kent have been asked by Shelter to conduct this research project.  The project team is Dave Cowan (Bristol), Helen Carr (Kent), Ed Kirton-Darling (Kent), and Ed Burtonshaw-Gunn (Bristol).

Summary of the project

This research project uses a survey method to address three objectives:

  • To set out clearly the gaps in current legislation which may make housing less safe and/or prevent households from remedying problems
  • To set out where lack of enforcement undermines existing legal protections
  • To identify legal remedies to strengthen protection for tenants.

We are seeking evidence from renters and owner-occupiers, lawyers, other professionals involved in looking at the conditions of accommodation, and landlords (social and private).  Findings from this research will be used to produce a report for Shelter and other academic work.  This report and other work will not identify you, your household, or your business/place of work.

Research Ethics

The research is being conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the Socio-Legal Studies Association and the University of Bristol.  This means the information you provide should be anonymised (if you forget to do this, please do not worry as it will be anonymised prior to our analysis).  Please also note that you should not disclose or allege criminal offences – if you do so, we reserve the right either to pass that information on to the police or remove any such allegations prior to our analysis.

Contact Details

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this research, or have any concerns about it please contact the principal investigator, Professor David Cowan (, 0117 954 5224).

On completing the survey, you will be given a personal id number.  You may withdraw your participation from the project at any time prior to publication of the final report on 30th September 2017.  Simply e-mail David Cowan with your personal id number in the subject line.