Last week, the government passed regulations which bring into effect the majority of the rules and regulations in respect of higher risk buildings. These come into effect on 6 April 2023.
A higher risk building is a building containing two or more flats which is at least either seven storeys high, or 18 metres high.
What is the effect of the regulations?
- All existing higher risk buildings must be registered between April 2023 and October 2023.
- From 1 October 2023 all new buildings must be registered with the Building Safety Regulator and obtain a completion certificate under section 76 of the Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA 2022) before being occupied. In practice this will mean that, from 1 October 2023, no lease can be completed in respect of a higher risk building without a completion certificate issued by the Building Safety Regulator.
- There are several new responsibilities on landlords of higher risk buildings that need to be complied with. These include the introduction of the roles ‘accountable person’ and ‘principal accountable person’, preparing and maintaining a safety case, adopting and implementing a resident engagement strategy, and creating a ‘golden thread’ of information.
- There is new prescribed information that will need to be served on tenants under section 47 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987.
- Service charges will need to be considered, as any building safety costs will constitute a special class of service charge and will be subject to its own rules. This will include the costs of complying with the BSA 2022.
The Building Safety Regulator is likely to be inundated with applications, so it remains to be seen how these are dealt with and whether a decision is taken to prioritise some applications.
TLT has extensive experience in this area. If you would like to discuss, please get in touch.
This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at April 2023. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.