Building Safety Act remediation orders: some takeaways about directions and case management 30 October 2023
Kavish Shah shares key take aways about Building Safety Act remediation orders, in light of recent experience in the First-tier Tribunal.
Building Safety Act remediation orders: some takeaways about directions and case management
1. In light of the policy of the Act, the Tribunal is not generally impressed by delay in engagement with proceedings.
2. At a Case Management Hearing (“CMH”), the Tribunal will aim to give directions through to trial, rather than create further delay in giving only partial directions with a view to then coming back for another CMH.
3. As a reminder, it is open to parties to apply to vary directions later on if there becomes a need to do so.
4. Notwithstanding the tendency to lean against delay, the Tribunal can be persuaded that there are genuine difficulties in securing a quick date for a fire safety expert to attend premises and produce a report (given the number of instructions they must be receiving at the moment!). However, proper evidence should be provided of such difficulties and attempts should be made to contact more than just a couple of experts. The Tribunal will try not to make directions that practically cannot be met, but there is a need for some speed.
5. The Tribunal may not be wholly interested in arguments that (1) a relevant landlord is already carrying out some works due to an enforcement notice from a local authority or (2) the developer is dragging its feet so the relevant landlord cannot move faster. The regimes are different. As such, disclosure of all documents relating to these points may not be ordered so as to not muddy the waters.
The Building Safety Act 2022 received Royal Assent in April 2022. It is seen as an “overhaul” of previous regulations and changes how residential buildings should be constructed, maintained and made safe. A group of Falcon Chambers barristers have studied the Act, analysed how it has been interpreted in courts and tribunals thus far, and have first-hand experience of BSA cases. In this series of articles Paul Letman, Catherine Taskis KC, Cecily Crampin, Camilla Chorfi, Julia Petrenko, Daniel Black and Kavish Shah set out key issues property law practitioners should be aware about the BSA 2022.
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