The strength of the DNA damage checkpoint critically influences cell fate, yet the mechanisms behind the fine tuning of checkpoint strength during the DNA damage response (DDR) are poorly understood. Here we show that Rad54B--a SNF2 helicase-like DNA-repair protein--limits the strength of both the G1/S and G2/M checkpoints. We find that Rad54B functions as a scaffold for p53 degradation via its direct interaction with the MDM2-MDMX ubiquitin-ligase complex. During the early phases of the DDR, Rad54B is upregulated, thereby maintaining low checkpoint strength and facilitating cell cycle progression. Once the p53-mediated checkpoint is established, Rad54B is downregulated, and high checkpoint strength is maintained. Constitutive upregulation of Rad54B activity, which is frequently observed in tumours, promotes genomic instability because of checkpoint override. Thus, the scaffolding function of Rad54B dynamically regulates the maintenance of genome integrity by limiting checkpoint strength.