As most will be aware, the Building Safety Act 2022 (“the Act”) received Royal Assent in April 2022 and is being brought into force in stages. A key objective of the Act is protecting the health and safety of residents in high-rise residential buildings, as well as ensuring that those responsible for building defects, particularly cladding and fire safety defects, are required to pay for the costs of remedying those defects.
One particular obligation, is the requirement to register higher-risk buildings.
From this April those responsible for occupied higher-risk buildings will be required to register them with the Building Safety Regulator. A higher-risk building is a building which is at least 18m in height or has at least 7 storeys, and contains at least 2 residential units.
Section 77 of the Act states that it will be a criminal offence for a higher-risk building to be occupied but not registered. This section is not in force but the HSE website states that the deadline for registration will be October 2023 and further regulations bringing section 77 into force are therefore anticipated shortly.
The obligation to register sits with the Principal Accountable Person (“PAP”). An accountable person is a person who owns or is responsible for repairing the commons parts of a residential building. The Act sets out how to identify the PAP where there is more than one accountable person.
The Building Safety (Registration of Higher-Risk Buildings and Review of Decisions) (England) Regulations 2023 which came into force on 6 April 2023 provide that an application to register a higher-risk building must contain certain information. For example, the application must contain the name and details of the PAP and whether the PAP is a Registered Provider, Local Authority, Resident Management company or some other type of organisation.
Certain details about the building are also required on registration, including the number of residential units, its height, the number of storeys, year of completion, and details relating to the local authority completion certificate. There is a fee of £251 to be paid when making application.
Additional regulations, The Higher-Risk Buildings (Key Building Information etc.) (England) Regulations 2023, also came into force on 6 April 2023 and set out further key building information which needs to be provided within 28 days of submission of the application for registration (and within 28 days of the PAP becoming aware of any changes to the key building information).
The key building information, which must be provided in electronic form, includes details about the use of the building, materials used in the external walls, insulation and structure of the building and information relating to fire safety such as the number of staircases, type of evacuation strategy and location of fire and smoke control equipment.
Owners and managers of higher-risk residential buildings are advised to start making preparations and gathering the necessary information with a view to registering their buildings in advance of the deadline.
For more information, please contact Sarah Wasniowski.
Term to exclude all statutory implied terms in a commercial contract not considered reasonable under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977
The Ashfords Unlocking AI Podcast - Episode 5: How will AI shape the future of construction design?
Construction and Infrastructure Law Seminars