While the Building Safety Act 2022 (“Act”) received royal assent on 28 April 2022, as ‘enabling’ legislation, few of the Act’s provisions came into force at that time. Instead, various of the Act’s sections have slowly come into force over the course of the past year.
However, from tomorrow, 6 April 2023, change will come swiftly as some 44 sections of the Act and three new regulations will all come into force.
One of the immediate areas of concern for those responsible for higher-risk buildings (“HRBs”) is the obligation for such buildings to be registered with the new Building Safety Regulator (“BSR”).
At the recent Culture Change in Construction seminar, Deputy Chief Inspector of Buildings for the BSR, Chris Griffin McTiernan confirmed the intention for all HRBs to be registered by no later than October 2023, with it being a criminal offence if a HRB is not registered.
While the registration site is yet to open, The Building Safety (Registration of Higher-Risk Buildings and Review of Decisions) (England) Regulations 2023 outlines the information which will be required upon registration including, but not limited to:
- details and contact information of the accountable person(s) (“AP”), being the organisation or person which owns or is accountable for a building;
- where there is more than one AP, confirmation of who is the principal AP and contact information for each AP (“PAP”);
- description of the building which, among other things, includes the height (as determined in accordance with the Act) and year the building was built;
- for existing buildings (i.e. those completed before 6 April 2023), the date and reference number of the building control completion certificate and the name of body who issued the certificate or, if this information cannot be obtained, an explanation of the steps taken to obtain such. (There are different requirements for those buildings completed under the new regulatory regime for HRBs which is also coming into force in the next few months).
The Regulations indicate that there will be a fee of £251 to register a HRB which must be paid at the time of registration, and a building cannot be registered until the fee has been paid.
Once a HRB is registered, there is a separate obligation on APs/PAPs to provide key building information about their HRB to the BSR, the details of which are found in The Higher-Risk Buildings (Key Building Information etc.) (England) Regulations 2023. Such information, to be provided in electronic form within 28 days of the submission of the application to register the HRB, includes (but is not limited to) use of the building; description of the materials used in the composition of the external walls, insulation and roof; building information such as the number of staircases and type of energy; and a list of fire and smoke control equipment, along with a description of the evacuation strategy which is in place.
As the Government estimates that there are some 12,000 HRBs, the summer is set to be a busy one for those responsible for HRBs, as they gather the information required to comply with their statutory obligation to register with the new BSR before the 1 October 2023 in order to avoid committing a criminal offence.
If you aren’t receiving our legal updates directly to your mailbox, please sign up now
Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.
Edwin Coe LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership, registered in England & Wales (No.OC326366). The Firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. A list of members of the LLP is available for inspection at our registered office address: 2 Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn, London, WC2A 3TH. “Partner” denotes a member of the LLP or an employee or consultant with the equivalent standing.