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Building Safety Act 2022: Commencement Order No. 6

The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No.6) Regulations 2024 (SI 2024/40) came into force on 16 January 2024. The Regulations bring into force the significant building safety management duties imposed by Part 4 of the BSA upon any accountable person and/or the principal accountable person for an occupied higher-risk building (defined for these purposes as a building that is at least 18m or 7 storeys and contains at least 2 residential units).

The following provisions of the Act are brought into force by Commencement No.6: 79 – 88, 90 – 98, 101, 102 and 111. Sections 79 to 93 (as commenced) provide the range of new duties upon accountable persons or PAPs for such higher-risk buildings, including the following:

(a) Sections 79 – 81, a duty to apply for a building assessment certificate,

(b) Section 82, a duty to display a building assessment certificate,

(c) Section 83, a duty to assess building safety risks,

(d) Section 84, a duty to take reasonable steps to manage building safety risks,

(e) Sections 85 and 86, a duty to prepare and provide to the Building Safety Regulator a “safety case report”,

(f) Sections 87 and 88, duties to keep prescribed information and provide it to the Regulator and others,

(g) Section 90, a duty upon an outgoing accountable person to give prescribed information to the (incoming) accountable person and to the Regulator;

(h) Section 91, a duty to produce a residents’ engagement strategy to promote participation in making building safety decisions.

In addition, provision is made for complaints procedures to be established by the PAP (section 93) and Regulator (section 94). Whilst, the new regime for enforcement of building safety obligations by the appropriate accountable person against residents and owners, and by the Regulator against accountable persons is commenced with the introduction of Contravention Notices (section 96) and Compliance Notices (section 100) respectively.

In amongst these provisions, it should be noted too that sections 87(4) and 90(7) create criminal offences where an accountable person fails without reasonable excuse to comply with the related duties. With section 101 providing, more broadly, that an accountable person commits an offence if, without reasonable excuse, they contravene any ‘relevant requirement’ so as to place anyone in or about the building at critical risk jury.

Most of these duties were expected to come into force in October 2023; the date was pushed back due to lack of Parliamentary time. Nonetheless, there are no plans at present to push back the April 2024 start to assessing compliance; beginning with the taller buildings with the greatest number of residential units, as well as high priority buildings such as those with un-remediated hazardous cladding.

The Higher-Risk Buildings (Keeping and Provision of Information etc.) (England) Regulations 2024 (SI 2024/41) also came into force on 16 January 2024. The purpose of these Regulations is to specify the information and documents that the Accountable Person must keep and share as “golden thread information” with those who have an interest in relation to a higher-risk building.

Further, you will want to know that the register of HRB’s compiled by the Regulator should be opening today (Monday 5 February 2024), so that anyone can search for individual buildings by postcode. A resource that is bound to bring increased public exposure and subject all concerned to greater scrutiny.

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