Building Safety Act 2022 – Landlord Duties
26 September 2023
The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No. 5 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2023 were made on 11 September 2023 and bring into force, as from 1 October 2023, various sections of the Building Safety Act 2022.
The provisions of the Act are complex and wide-ranging in effect, with perhaps its most significant impact relating to occupied higher-risk buildings. These are buildings of above 18 metres (or seven storeys) which contain at least two residential units. For landlords/owners of these buildings, the requirements of the extensive new duties which the Act introduces, in several instances accompanied by tight time-limits for compliance, are significant and include:
- Registration with Building Safety Regulator (“the Regulator”)
An application to register the building must be submitted to the Building Safety Regulator and paid for by 30 September 2023 (the fee is £251 per building). The person responsible for fulfilling this duty (referred to as the principal accounting person the “PAP”) is usually the landlord, but it could be an RTM company or RMC) and they will commit an offence if they fail to do this (unless they had a reasonable excuse).
The Government registration service is accessible at this link.
- Assessment and management of building safety risks
Every person with responsibility for repairing the common parts of the building (referred to as an accountable person (an “AP”) and there will often be more than one in a building) must carry out a risk assessment as soon as possible and then manage building safety risks relevant to the part of the building for which they are responsible. This management duty requires them to takes steps (including carrying out works) to prevent a building safety risk from materialising and to mitigate the severity of impact if it does materialise.
- The golden thread of information
Each AP must keep certain information relevant to building safety risks, including details of the use of the building; details of the material used in composition of external walls, the roof and any insulation; and a description of the building evacuation plan. The PAP must supply the key building information to the Regulator within 28 days of the PAP applying to register that building and thereafter notify the Regulator of any change.
- Provision of information to tenants
The landlord must give to its tenants a notice containing certain building safety information, including details of the PAP. This information must also be included in any demand for rent or other sums payable under the lease. If this is not done, any part of the demand that consists of service charge or an administrative charge will not be payable until the relevant information is provided.
- Costs incurred in taking building safety measures
The landlord is entitled to recover costs incurred in complying with its building safety duties and otherwise taking relevant building safety measures (as well as related legal and other professional fees) from any tenant who holds under a residential lease of at least seven years where the tenant is obliged to pay a service charge. These recoverable costs are added to and attributed to the tenants in the same proportion as their service charge payments.
This publication provides general guidance only: expert advice should be sought in relation to particular circumstances. Please get in touch with Sara Hanrahan or Anthony Van Hoffen if you wish to discuss any of the points mentioned in this note or any other aspect of the building safety regime.
To find out about the landlord duties under the BSA, click here.