In the first of our briefings on the Building Safety Bill, we focussed on the new, more stringent, building safety regime that will apply during the development and construction of certain residential buildings, known as “higher-risk buildings”. But how does the Bill envisage that the safety levels achieved through competent construction of a higher-risk building are maintained once the building’s residents have taken occupation? This is the topic addressed in the second of our briefings on the Bill.
The intention of the Bill is to identify the dutyholder who is responsible for managing the building safety risk and to create a framework of statutory responsibilities through which this dutyholder (or the Accountable Person as they are referred to) is ultimately accountable for the safety of the building and its residents. These duties are numerous and require the Accountable Person to appoint others, such as a building safety manager, that will support them in fulfilling their statutory obligations.
The Bill does recognise that there is a cost implication to the Accountable Person ensuring that they have taken all reasonable steps to prevent a building safety risk materialising, and introduces a building safety service charge by virtue of which the costs of the ongoing safety management may be passed on to leaseholders. The regime relies (in part) on the parties making mutual commitments to observe their respective statutory requirements in the hope that owners and occupiers can work together to keep the building, and its residents, safe.
You can read more about the ongoing safety risk management regime here…
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