5th March 2024

New rules: The Building Safety Act

The Building Safety Act

By Rebecca Dawson

New rules: The Building Safety Act… Owning a high-rise building comes with its own set of responsibilities. New rules under the Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA) in England came into effect on 16 January 2024 and it is crucial for building owners (and tenants) to understand the new landscape and ensure compliance.

The new BSA rules cover high-risk buildings – those that are at least 18 metres high or at least seven storeys and contain at least two residential units. It will also cover mixed use buildings and some boarding accommodation such as supported housing.

You are an accountable person if you own the legal estate in any of the common parts or have repairing obligations in relation to any common parts. This includes management companies and right to manage companies. The accountable person cannot delegate their responsibility.

The accountable person has several responsibilities including:

  • To register the building with the Building Safety Regulator (BSR). The BSR must be kept informed including being advised of mandatory occurrence reporting.
  • To assess fire safety risks. A comprehensive evaluation is required, including the building’s structure, external walls, and flat entrance doors.
  • To take all reasonable steps to prevent a building safety risk materialising.
  • To reassess at regular intervals.
  • To prepare a safety case report.  This should contain all crucial building information. This is to be readily accessible to residents and the BSR for transparency and collaboration.

There is support available. The government offers various resources, from informative materials to guidance documents:

The ultimate goal is safety:The new BSA rules represents a significant step towards ensuring the safety of residents in high-rise buildings.