In February, we published a blog discussing a few of the principal updates arising from the government consultation on the new building safety regime for occupied higher-risk buildings under the Building Safety Act 2022 (the Act). A further response has now been published to provide greater clarity on the registration process, together with an updated set of regulations which are set to come into force today (6 April 2023). We’ve set out some of the key updates arising from the response below and what they mean for registration under the regime.
Under the Building Safety (Registration of Higher-Risk Buildings and Review of Decisions) (England) Regulations 2023, all existing occupied higher risk buildings in England are to be registered with the national Building Safety Regulator (the ‘Regulator’).
What are the timings?
The register is due to open on 6 April 2023 and the deadline for registering existing occupied higher-risk buildings is 1 October 2023. Failure to register within this six-month window could lead to criminal prosecution.
Interestingly, although section 77 of the Act provides that it will be a criminal offence not to register the relevant building with the Regulator by 1 October 2023, this section is not yet in force and the regulations published so far do not refer to buildings needing to be registered by this date. That being said, the deadline for registration is stated clearly by the Regulator on their website and so we’re expecting that the government will issue further regulations in due course which will bring section 77 into force and trigger the registration window. In the meantime, we would recommend assuming that the register opens on 6 April with the deadline for registration being 1 October 2023.
Who needs to register?
The Act provides that the principal accountable person (“PAP”) will be responsible for registering the building with the Regulator under the regime, which is expected to be via an online portal. The government accepted in their latest response, however, that in practice a PAP is likely to benefit from the support of a third party (for example, by way of a managing agent) who may be better placed in terms of the knowledge and skills required to deal with the registration formalities. As a result, the regulations confirm that an agent may submit the application on the PAP’s behalf provided that they are authorised by that PAP to act on their behalf and the name and address of that person is provided on registration. That said, ultimately the responsibility for registration, and the accuracy of the information provided, remains with the PAP.
What information is required?
The PAP is required to submit key building information within 28 days of applying to register a building under the regime. The key building information required has been amended by the regulations as follows:-
- Where the PAP is not an individual, the nominated individual provides its name and ‘address’ rather than its name and ‘title’.
- Where the year of completion is not known, it will be possible to submit the age band on the Regulator’s online system.
- A statement from the applicant confirming that the information is true and accurate to the best of their belief will not be required, as this should be implicit and avoids the risk of a PAP seeking to delegate their statutory duties to an agent via registration.
If any of the information provided on registration subsequently changes, the PAP must notify the Regulator of these changes within 14 days of becoming aware of them.
For existing buildings, the PAP must confirm to the Regulator whether, to their knowledge, the building met the appropriate building standards applying at the time of completion. For buildings constructed under the new regime, the PAP will be required to provide the unique reference number when applying so that the Regular can establish that it has granted the relevant completion certificate prior to the building being occupied.
How much will it cost?
A registration fee of £251 will be payable upon registration.
With the registration window looming, it’s crucial that all owners of higher risk buildings collate the key building information as soon as possible to allow sufficient time to register before the deadline.
For further information please contact: