Building Blocks: The Building Safety Act 2022
Tuesday 3rd May 2022
The much anticipated Building Safety Act is now law having received Royal Assent on 28 April. Those involved in building work such as property developers, contractors and freeholders will have greater accountability for a building’s integral safety, in particular with ‘higher-risk buildings’.
What Made it into the Act?
To name but a few of the changes introduced by the Act:
- Retrospective claims for defective work will be subject to a 30-year limitation period. Prospective claims will be subject to 15 years limitation.
- Property developers must provide at least a 15-year warranty for new build homes.
- All categories of ‘duty holder’ must meet minimum standards of industry competence.
- Increased liability on those who supply or market defective or misleading ‘construction products’.
- Prohibitions on certain people from being involved in the safety work of buildings.
- High Court ‘building liability orders’ for joint or several liabilities of companies.
Guidance from the Government is expected to follow shortly.
What Can You do to Prepare?
To prepare for the changes, most of which take effect between 12 and 18 months from now, a building’s “accountable person” (usually the freeholder or management company) needs to start thinking about:
- Conducting risk assessments in any existing buildings caught under the Act.
- Preparing a ‘safety case report’ to assess the building’s safety risk and outline how the building will be managed on a day-to-day basis.
- Preparing for the mandatory reporting requirements to the Building Safety Regulator (part of HSE).
- Establishing a digital ‘golden thread’ of information to satisfy each of the three gateways.
- Establishing a system for investigating complaints.
The Act is hundreds of pages long and amends several pieces of secondary legislation. With any new law coming into force which could affect your business, it’s important that expert advice is sought.