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Building Safety Act 2022: Don’t Miss The Sixth Commencement Order

As has tended to be the case, the latest batch of provisions of the Building Safety Act 2022 (“BSA 2022”) came into force via secondary legislation with little or no warning or notice on 16 January 2024.  

Who does it affect?

The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No.6) Regulations 2024 (“the Regulations”) have significant consequences for anyone who is the Principal Accountable Person (“PAP”) (and/or an Accountable Person (“AP”)) in relation to higher-risk buildings in England.  These provisions apply to buildings which are at least 18 metres or seven storeys high and contain at least two residential units.  

The provisions which have been brought into force by these Regulations include (but are not limited to) those relating to Building Assessment Certificates, the requirements to assess and manage building safety risks, the requirements to produce a “Safety Case Report”, mandatory reporting requirements, various information requirements, the need for a residents’ engagement strategy and the need for a complaints procedure operated by the PAP.

Higher-Risk Buildings

The Higher-Risk Buildings (Keeping and Provision of Information etc.) (England) Regulations 2024 (“the Higher-Risk Regulations” also came into force on 16 January 2024.  These contain further provisions and provide details of the information that Accountable Persons are required to give to residents, owners of flats in higher-risk buildings and non-resident persons with an interest in or duties in relation to the higher-risk building.  

BSA 2022 – Section 101

Section101 of the BSA 2022 is also brought into force by the Sixth Commencement Order, which creates a criminal offence where an AP (or PAP) contravenes the provisions of Part 4, BSA 2022 (unless the relevant provisions are explicitly excluded from being within the ambit of s.101 BSA 2022) and this places anyone at a significant risk of death and/or serious injury.  

As these provisions have now been introduced, it is now more important than ever that PAPs and where necessary, APs, comply fully with the newly introduced provisions (to the extent that they are not already) and various policies and procedures will have to be put into place as a matter of priority.  

Requirements

The requirements are onerous and include the provision of significant amounts of information to residents and others. as well as the above named policies and procedures. In the case of the residents’ engagement strategy, this will need to be consulted on and then put into action.  

While an application for a ‘Building Assessment Certificate’ does not need to be made until the Building Safety Regulator requests it, the Building Safety Regulator plans to start doing this in April 2024.  Therefore, PAPs will need the Safety Case Report to be ready (and the other documentation required to be submitted) to be able to apply for the Certificate, in addition to needing to comply with the various standalone obligations.

There is a lot of detail in the Regulations and the Higher-Risk Regulations for PAPs, APs and those advising them to get to grips with. Therefore, PAPs and APs will want to make sure that they understand their responsibilities and obligations in relation to these areas and seek advice, as appropriate.

Our expertise

We regularly advise on Building and Fire Safety issues across our Construction, Real Estate Disputes and Regulatory teams.

We are tracking developments on our Building and Fire Safety Hub and Building and Fire Safety Timeline.  Should you require any assistance or any advice in relation to Building Safety please contact your usual contact at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, Oliver Park or Laura Bushaway

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