The Building Safety Act 2022 – Will it affect you?
It is now five years since the Grenfell Tower tragedy which brought the safety of high rise blocks of flats into sharp focus. The Building Safety Act 2022 (“the Act”) received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022 and will introduce a stricter regulatory regime designed to improve standards and safety in the construction industry. It will also introduce new duties on those involved with the design, construction and block management as well as provide new protections for leaseholders.
The Act will come into force in stages over the next 12 – 18 months, but it is important that those involved in the construction industry as well as landlords, property managers and leaseholders are aware of the forthcoming changes.
- changes the regulatory regime in respect of fire safety and specifies that there must be clearly identified people who are responsible for safety;
- requires the appointment of an “Accountable Person” to manage safety risks;
- creates a Building Safety Regulator to oversee the safety standards of buildings;
- creates a New Homes Ombudsman to assist with resolving disputes between buyers of new homes and their developers;
- creates a Construction Products Regulator to regulate products used during construction;
- creates a strict regime for buildings that are over 18 metres or 7 storeys, and contain at least 2 residential flats, which will be known as “higher risk buildings”;
- establishes a “Gateway” points system, to ensure building safety requirements are met at each relevant stage of the design and construction of higher risk buildings;
- specifies that accurate information about the building’s construction and management is kept by duty holders to ensure that a “golden thread” of information is maintained;
- protects leaseholders in relation to the costs of remediation works. Costs relating to the removal or replacement of cladding will be borne by the developer, freeholder/building owner and, if applicable, government funding. Costs relating to non-cladding related fire safety issues will flow down from the developer/product manufacturer to the freeholder/building owner and any leaseholder contributions that may be required will be capped (at £15,000 in London and £10,000 elsewhere);
- extends the time period within which claims can be brought against a builder/developer under the Defective Premises Act 1972 for defective works. The time limit has been increased from 6 years to 30 years (for historic claims) and 15 years (for new claims).
The Act is an important and timely piece of legislation which will impact the construction, maintenance and management of some leasehold blocks. In order to ensure compliance with the relevant provisions, as they come into force, clients will need to be aware of the new duties and liabilities so that they can make the necessary preparations.
For more information about the impact of the Building Safety Act 2022, please contact Joanne Macdonald in our Property Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanne has been working at SLC Solicitors since 2018 and has experience in landlord and tenant law with particular specialism in lease extensions and variations.