A guide to the registration of higher-risk buildings

read time: 2 min

The Building Safety Act 2022 and associated regulations introduce new obligations for landlords and other parties responsible for the repair and maintenance of buildings classed as ‘higher-risk’.

What is a higher-risk building?

A higher-risk building is a building which is at least 18 metres high or is a minimum of seven storeys and in either case contains at least two residential units. The measurement must be taken from ground floor level (disregarding any basement/floors below this level) to the floor of the top storey (unless the top storey is exclusively used for housing plant and machinery, in which case this floor may also be disregarded).

Please note, higher-risk buildings are also relevant buildings (i.e. buildings which are at least 11 metres high or a minimum of five storeys) for the purposes of the Building Safety Act 2022 (the Act) and we refer to our guidance on landlord’s certificates in this respect here.

Should a higher-risk building be registered?

Yes, the deadline for registration was 30 September 2023 for higher-risk buildings where two or more residential units within the building were occupied as at that date.

Who is responsible for the registration of a higher-risk building?  

An ‘accountable person’ (AP) under the Act is a person (or corporate entity) responsible for the structural and fire safety risks in respect of the building i.e. a party that owns or has an obligation to repair structure/exterior/common parts.  

APs include landlords and management companies with repairing obligations and there can be more than one AP in respect of a building.  

The ‘principal accountable person’ (PAP) is the AP that owns or is responsible for the repair to the structure/exterior of the building and it is the PAP that is responsible for the registration of the higher-risk building.  

What if a higher-risk building is not registered?  

Failure without reasonable excuse to register a higher-risk building is an offence liable to imprisonment and/or a fine.  

Registration can be checked using the property postcode at https://www.register-high-risebuilding.service.gov.uk/public-register/search  

How we can help  

It is important that PAPs and APs understand their status, obligations and potential liability under the Act. If you need assistance in this respect please contact Marjorie Batten, Caroline Frampton or Sian Gibbon.

Sign up for legal insights

We produce a range of insights and publications to help keep our clients up-to-date with legal and sector developments.  

Sign up