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The Building Safety Act 2022

Written by: Keoghs Solicitors

Date: 28th July 2023

The introduction of the Building Safety Act 2022 (‘BSA’) aims to provide fundamental reforms to the law and regulation of building safety, which seek to ‘secure the safety of people in or about buildings and improve the standard of buildings’, as well as regulate liability for historic defects in existing buildings.

Although the BSA received its Royal Assent on the 28 April 2022, the full Act did not come into force and most provisions will be ‘staggered’ over a period from around 2–18 months from Royal Assent.

The BSA makes provision to run alongside secondary legislation, including new regulations and statutory instruments.

The main reforms under the BSA are:

  • The introduction of a ‘Building Safety Regulator’ with duties and functions in relation to reviewing and improving building safety standards, and overseeing the new higher-risk building regime.
  • New regulations relating to the planning, construction and occupation of ‘higher-risk buildings’ (HRBs)
  • Changes to the law regarding the liability of developers and construction product manufacturers for building safety defects, including historic defects
  • Further regulations to control the construction products, and the introduction of new regulations for the safety of construction products in the UK
  • Enhanced protections for leaseholders in respect of the costs of remediating building safety defects in their properties
  • More regulations regarding the professional competence of architects, and provisions to regulate the building control profession.
  • The introduction of landlords certificates and the leaseholder  deed of certificate.

The BSA offers protection for leaseholders from the costs associated with the remediation of historical building safety defects in medium- and high-rise buildings. The Act protects qualifying leaseholders (those living in their own homes or with up to three UK properties in total) from all costs associated with the remediation of unsafe cladding, and provides additional protections from non-cladding costs, including the costs associated with interim measures such as waking watch patrols.

Building owners and landlords are now liable to pay to fix historical fire safety defects if they are (or are linked to) the developer of a building with fire safety defects, or if they meet a minimum contribution threshold. If these tests are not met, non-cladding costs can be recovered from qualifying leaseholders; however, these costs are subject to fixed caps.

The BSA includes enforcement mechanisms which require landlords to fix, and pay to fix their buildings, and to secure funds during the process of winding up a company.

If you are looking to buy your first home or looking to buy or remortgage a property please contact our Property Team on 0161 456 8125(Hazel Grove, Stockport)/ 0161 928 9321 (Altrincham).

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