The Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA) is an attempt to improve the UK’s building standards, following the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower, which was five years ago this week.  The Act received Royal Assent late in April and has ended almost a year of debate by both Houses of Parliament.

Whilst not all the Act’s provisions will come in immediately, there are some key areas that developers and tenants should be aware of. The Act will apply to England and Wales however Scotland’s law slightly differs.

All higher-risk buildings (residential buildings over 18 metres tall) must now have an “Accountable Person” who will be responsible for the overall building safety. This will likely be the owner of the building and will be responsible for taking all reasonable steps to reduce building safety risk, report relevant safety information to residents, and carrying out fire and structural safety risk assessments.

The BSA creates a new cause of action for anyone with a right or interest in the property (e.g. a tenant or current owner) to bring a claim against a party in breach. ‘The party’ includes anyone who creates construction products which are installed in the building and have the potential to result in the property being unfit for living.

Before now, there was no relationship between the current owner and the manufacturers of construction materials, but the BSA is introducing more accountability within building safety standards.

The final key implication to note from the BSA is that leaseholder contributions have been limited to Higher-risk buildings and capped at £10,000, or £15,000 in Greater London. The Government rejected amendments to cap the amount at zero.

At SFI, we are fully equipped to advise and consult on any next actions for your business or development. Please contact us with any questions or discuss the above further.