On 5th July 2021, the Building Safety Bill, first published in July 2020, was introduced to Parliament. This is a lengthy document and was subject to change as it worked its way through to gaining Royal Assent as expected in April 2022. The following information may be subject to change.

Following the Grenfell Tower fire in London in June 2017, it became clear that there was a need for government to step in and change legislation for high rise buildings (HRBs) so that a tragedy like this never occurs again. It builds on the recommendations within Dame Judith Hackitts’ Independent Review of the Building Regulations and Fire Safety final report published in May 2018. RICS has been working closely with and advising government on the changes.

We expected the draft Bill, having already undergone pre-legislative scrutiny, to have quite a lengthy passage through the House of Commons and the House of Lords before being passed by Parliament. Royal Assent was achieved 28 April 2022, with an implementation date for some measures as late as 18 months – 2 years afterwards in 2024.

The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No.1, Transitional and Saving Provisions) Regulations 2022 (Statutory Instrument no.561) were published in May 2022 setting out a timeline for implementation of some of the provisions of the Act this year.

The Act is the most comprehensive piece of legislation to hit the built environment in decades. It is divided into 6 Parts;


Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: The Regulator and its functions

Part 3: Building Act 1984

Part 4: Higher-risk buildings

Part 5: Other provisions about safety standards, etc

Part 6: General

 

In addition there are 11 Schedules;


Schedule 1: Amendments of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

Schedule 2: Authorised officers: investigatory powers

Schedule 3: Co-operation and information sharing

Schedule 4: Transfer of approved inspectors’ functions to registered building control approvers

Schedule 5: Minor and consequential amendments in connection with Part 3

Schedule 6: Appeals and other determinations

Schedule 7: Special measures

Schedule 8: Remediation costs under qualifying leases

Schedule 9: The New Homes Ombudsman Scheme

Schedule 10: Amendments in connection with the new homes ombudsman scheme

Schedule 11: Construction products regulations

 

See this link to the Act table of contents, with interactive links to each section.

 

Explanatory Notes have now been published, with interactive links to sections and pages, which will help you navigate through this lengthy Act. These notes also have;


Commencement

Financial implications of the Act

Related documents

 

And finally 3 Annexes;


Annex A – Territorial extent and application in the UK (subject to devolved nations take up). See attached pdf.

Annex B – Hansard References

Annex C – Glossary

The Welsh Government are committed to improving building safety to ensure another tragedy like Grenfell is avoided. Whilst there are differences in approach to rectification of cladding defects and building safety from England, the overall impact should be safer buildings. RICS has been and continues to work closely with the Welsh Govt on these issues.

The Fire Safety Act 2021 was also implemented in Wales, by The Fire Safety Act 2021 (Commencement) (Wales) Regulations 2021, which came into effect on 1st October 2021.

The Building Safety Act 2022 has not yet been implemented in full in Wales, and no new national regulator such as the BSR has been set up. The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No. 3, Transitional and Saving Provisions) (Wales) Regulations 2023 were made on 18th Aug 2023. More information on changes in Wales will be posted here for future reference. See this link to the Audit Wales report published August 2023 on building safety in Wales.

The EWS1 process applies equally to Wales as it does to England. Read the Ministerial / RICS statement published 21st March 2023 here. The extended guidance applicable to Wales is expected to be published autumn 2023, further updates will be made here.

The guidance document ‘Fire safety responsibilities Under Section 156 of the Building Safety Act 2022’ published on the Welsh Government website is for those who have responsibilities for fire safety under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. It covers the changes to the Order made by Section 156 of the Building Safety Act 2022. These new requirements will come into force on 1 October 2023.

The Scottish Government are committed to improving building safety to ensure another tragedy like Grenfell is avoided. Whilst there are differences in ownership legislation and approach to rectification of cladding defects and building safety from England, the overall impact should be safer buildings. RICS has been and continues to work closely with the Scottish Govt on these issues.

The Building Safety Act 2022 does not generally apply in Scotland. For the only relevant parts refer to the Annex A – Territorial extent and application in the UK (subject to devolved nations take up).

The Act will create a clear, proportionate framework for the design, construction and management of safer buildings in England in the years to come (note the Act will not apply to Scotland and in limited parts to Wales, and Northern Ireland).

It will strengthen the construction products regulatory regime, with new requirements to make sure more products are safe, while paving the way for a National Regulator for Construction Products to oversee and enforce the rules.

A new developer tax, and a levy on developers, are also being introduced to ensure that the industry makes a contribution to the costs of correcting existing defects in buildings. To date, over 30 large developers have committed to a Government pledge to rectify defects in buildings they built going back 30 years. Not all developers have yet committed.

Responsible Actors Scheme

Regulations to implement the first phase of the Responsible Actors Scheme passed into law on 3 July 2023. Eligible developers who do not join the Scheme and comply with its conditions will have planning and building control prohibitions imposed on them.

Change made:

Updated with information on and links to the Building Safety (Responsible Actors Scheme and Prohibitions) Regulations 2023, that passed into law on 3 July 2023.

A higher level of competency will be required for the regulated roles referred to in the Act of Principal Designer and Principal Contractor for residential high-rise buildings (HRBs). In addition, a new Building Safety Regulator (BSR) will have responsibility and oversight of the whole building control profession for all buildings. This means all building control professionals (public sector and private sector), private building control approved inspector firms, building surveyors (in respect of design), building managers, quantity surveyors and project managers are all affected by the Act.

An Interim Industry Competence Committee has been established by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) ahead of the Act requirements for an Industry Competence Committee, and this interim committee will be ensuring that competence of all involved in the design, construction, and management of buildings is ramped up, including resident engagement and communications.

RICS is currently reviewing our pathways and competencies framework, comparing our requirements at the point of entry to the profession against the frameworks being created for the new regulated roles. 

This follows making knowledge and understanding of fire safety a core competency requirement for chartered building surveyors in 2018, having already been a core competency requirement for chartered building control surveyors.

Any changes will be consulted on; however, we do anticipate that for those professionals who wish to work on HRBs, there will need to be an accreditation with demonstrable third-party validation as well as a public register. Training will also be developed to support our professionals through these changes.

The new role of Building Safety Manager (BSM) is now scrapped.

Building owners will be required to manage safety risks, with clear lines of responsibility for safety during design, construction, completion and occupation of high-rise buildings. The focus of the Act is on building structural safety and fire safety only, not other aspects.

It will also require a ‘golden thread of information’, with safety considered at every stage of a building’s lifetime, including during the earliest stage of the planning process (Gateway 1).

Building owners will need to demonstrate that they have effective, proportionate measures in place to manage safety risks, and will need to register their buildings. Any incidents will also need reporting to the Building Safety Regulator, which will be within HSE.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 will also be amended, to ensure tougher sanctions for non-compliance. Those who don’t meet their obligations may face criminal charges.

Residents in high-rise buildings will have more say in the management of their building in future. They will be able to raise building safety concerns directly to the owners and managers of buildings, who will have a duty to listen to them.

And if residents feel concerns are being ignored, they can raise them with the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) directly.

All homeowners will also have more than twice the amount of time, from six years currently to thirty years, to claim compensation for sub-standard construction work as a result of amendments to the Defective Premises Act 1972, extending the time in accordance with the Limitation Act.

This will apply retrospectively – meaning that, properties built up to 30 years prior to this change coming into effect will be able to bring a claim for compensation for defective work.

However, the Act will not affect the current requirements for leaseholders to contribute towards the costs of remediation for combustible cladding and other building/fire safety defects where government funding is not available, for blocks below 11m. For buildings 18m+ / 7-stories or more, the Building Safety Fund is available for cladding remediation and the Government have committed again to the principle that leaseholders should not have to pay. For 11-18m buildings, a further £4Billion fund has been announced, and developers and product manufacturers are expected to pay. However, there is a cap of £10K outside London, and £15K within Greater London so leaseholders may have to still contribute, but only if all other options have been exhausted.

The leaseholder protection provisions of the Building Safety Act came into force 28 June 2022, at which point landlords will be financially liable, in law, for the remediation of historical building safety defects. Moreover, the ultimate owners of buildings can no longer hide behind shell companies: they must take responsibility for the dangerous buildings they own. Anyone who chooses to breach the statutory protections will be committing a criminal offence. Individuals involved in such criminal activity could face up to 10 years in prison, in addition to the consequences for their companies. Criminal exploitation of leaseholders will be treated as a matter of the utmost seriousness.

RICS is aware that there is a potential issue with leaseholders being granted lease extensions after 14 Feb 2022. These may not have the protections granted by the BSA. We recommend leaseholders seek legal advice and carefully consider how to preserve the BSA protections before proceeding with a lease variation or new lease. See also this advice by government, particularly s.26-s.28.

1) What are my building owner’s legal obligations?

2) Non cladding remediation costs: summary

3) Remediation costs: what leaseholders do and do not have to pay

Those responsible for the safety of high-rise residential buildings in England have six months from April 2023 to register with the new Building Safety Regulator.

The Building Safety Regulator was established to protect high-rise residents from unsafe building practices in England in response to the Grenfell Tower fire.

Under the Building Safety Act, high-rise residential buildings which are 18 metres tall or higher, or at least seven storeys, with two or more residential units are defined as ‘higher-risk’.

Across England there are approximately 12,500 of these buildings and the new regulator will require all of them to be registered from April 2023, with a named person responsible for maintaining their safety.

A new campaign aimed at owners and managers of high-rise residential buildings will highlight their new legal duties. It will call on those responsible for the safety management of higher-risk buildings to prepare for a new wave of regulatory change to ensure that they are ready to step up and comply.

The registration process is a crucial stage in setting up the new building safety regime.  Registering buildings in scope will be a legal requirement and owners and managers who fail to comply by October 2023 will be investigated and may face prosecution.

Applying to register a high-rise residential building? See this guidance for a Principal Accountable Person here.


Guidance on registering multiple structures 

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has published guidance to help register buildings with complex structures.

If your building has two or more structures that are attached, you need to assess the 'independent section' criteria to see if they count as one building or should be registered separately.

Read the guidance on building definition and independent sections.

What is the statutory definition of a ‘higher-risk building’?

A higher-risk building (HRB) is defined as a building in England that:

  • is at least 18m in height or has at least 7 storeys; and
  • contains at least 2 residential units.

A ‘residential unit’ is defined as a ‘dwelling’ or any other ‘unit of living accommodation’, and so has wide meaning.

The concept of ‘dwelling’ as applies under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985  is likely to apply (‘a building or part of a building occupied or intended to be occupied as a separate dwelling, together with any yard, garden, outhouses and appurtenances belonging to it or usually enjoyed with it’).

The addition of the alternative ‘unit of living accommodation’ gives the term a much wider meaning since it is likely to include (for example) student accommodation and other temporary accommodation where basic amenities are provided (although secure residential institutions, hotels, & military barracks / MOD living accommodation are not within scope).

The Higher-Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations 2023 regulations indicate that, during the construction phase, the definition of higher-risk buildings is extended to include care homes and hospitals that meet the height requirement. Note that this extension does not apply to the occupation phase.

Stricter regulatory standards over higher-risk buildings

Higher-risk buildings are subject to numerous requirements, both during the construction and occupation phases:

  • Construction phase – There is a new building control regime, ‘Gateway’ requirements, and the imposition of various duties, culminating in obtaining a Completion Certificate from the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) before occupation can occur.
  • Occupation phase – There is a new occupation regime, with a requirement for Accountable Persons and the Principal Accountable Person to fulfil various duties, including for the latter the duty to ensure that the building is registered with the BSR.

What is a ‘relevant building’?

New rights and remedies have also been introduced to protect leaseholders (amongst others) in relation to existing relevant residential buildings in England that:

  • are 11m+ in height or more than 5 storeys; and
  • contain at least 2 dwellings.

These include:

  • Remediation Orders – which can be sought against a landlord (usually the building owner) to require the remediation of specified relevant defects.
  • Remediation Contribution Orders – which require a specified body corporate or partnership to make payments to a specified person for the purpose of meeting costs incurred or to be incurred in remedying relevant defects. There is a very wide scope of who can be subject to these orders, with the courts even able to look beyond the corporate veil to parent and sibling entities, or to consider those who were associated with an insolvent landlord.
  • Schedule 8 Leaseholder Protections – which include that landlords cannot include the costs of cladding remediation works into the service charge.

Note that the application of these provisions is narrower since the wide-ranging alternative ‘unit of living accomm1odation’ is not relevant to the definition of buildings in scope for these protections.

The Higher-Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations 2023

Guidance on the criteria for being a higher-risk building - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Criteria for determining whether a building is a higher-risk building during the occupation phase of the new higher-risk regime - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Criteria for determining whether a new building that is being designed and constructed is a "higher-risk building" - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Criteria for determining whether an existing building is a higher-risk building during building work - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Government has laid the Higher-Risk Buildings (Key Building Information etc.) (England) Regulations 2023 (applicable to England only) in Parliament. The regulations were subject to the affirmative procedure, meaning they were debated and approved by both Houses of Parliament before they became law. They are now in force with effect from 6th April 2023.

A copy of the regulations can be found here and the associated explanatory memorandum can be found here. A government response to the consultation on the regulations can be found here.

Read the HSE guidance published here.

The regulations set out the high-level information (the key building information) that the Principal Accountable Person (the person responsible for the repair of the structure and exterior of the building) will have to provide to the Building Safety Regulator.  The regulations also clarify the parts of a higher-risk building for which Accountable Persons are responsible, when there are multiple Accountable Persons.

The key building information is high-level information that will enable the Building Safety Regulator to: analyse trends and risks in high-rise residential buildings;  prioritise the assessment of the fire and structural safety in existing high-rise residential buildings and so effectively tranche the call-in and assessment of Safety Case Reports; identify similar buildings or systems if an issue emerges. The key building information is high level information and will not contain all the information that will be required in the golden thread.

Clarifying the parts of a building for which Accountable Persons are responsible is essential where there is more than one Accountable Person involved in the ownership of a higher-risk building. Residential building ownership is not always straight forward with multiple Accountable Persons having entered complex lease arrangements dictating the repairing responsibilities of different parts of the building. The regulations will enable those involved in the building safety management of a higher-risk building to identify which Accountable Person is responsible for a particular part of a building in relation to their responsibilities under the Building Safety Act.

Some residential properties primary use is residential flats but have private car parks and/or gyms/ swimming pools solely for the use of residents (not public use). These are secondary uses. HSE has confirmed that they only wish to know about the main largest secondary use and only one.

A question in the key information is “What type of insulation is used in the outside walls of (property name)?” – HSE have confirmed;

  • This is the insulation in the outside walls.
  • The options listed are the ones that BSR wants to know about, it is not an exhaustive list. If the exact option for your building is not included in the drop-down answers please select ‘not known’ where available, or apply the closest fit for your building from the available options.

A higher-risk building (HRB) is defined as a building in England that:

  • is at least 18m in height or has at least 7 storeys; 

Sections of The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 also are applicable to buildings over 11m / 5 storeys or more, so it is important to know the height of a building.

Counting the number of storeys should be fairly easy, but remember not to include the basement if the floor is below ground level – it is only the ground floor and all stories with accommodation above, not including plant rooms etc on/in the roof.

To measure the building to establish it’s height in metres, use the useful diagram D6 in p.145 of Approved Document B (Volume 1: Dwellings) to the Building Regulations – see this link. Remember to measure to the finished floor level of the uppermost habitable storey to the ground level on the lowest side of the building.

Regulations 5 and 6 of the  ‘The Higher-Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations 2023’ give the rules -

5.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the height of a building is to be measured from ground level to the top of the floor surface of the top storey of the building (ignoring any storey which is a roof-top machinery or roof-top plant area or consists exclusively of roof-top machinery or roof-top plant rooms).

(2) Where the top storey is not directly above the lowest part of the surface of the ground adjacent to the building, the height of the building is to be measured vertically from the lowest part of the surface of the ground adjacent to the building to the point which is a horizontal projection from the top of the floor surface of the top storey of the building (ignoring any storey which is a roof-top machinery or roof-top plant area or consists exclusively of roof-top machinery or roof-top plant rooms).

6.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), when determining the number of storeys a building has the following is to be ignored—

  • any storey which is below ground level;
  • any storey which is a roof-top machinery or roof-top plant area or consists exclusively of roof-top machinery or roof-top plant rooms; and
  • any storey consisting of a gallery with an internal floor area that is less than 50% of the internal floor area of the largest storey vertically above or below it which is not below ground level.

(2) Where a section is a building pursuant to regulation 4(2) or (4), any storey directly beneath the building which is not below ground level is to be counted in determining the number of storeys the building has.

(3) A storey is treated as below ground level if any part of the finished surface of the ceiling of the storey is below the ground level immediately adjacent to that part of the building.

The Act introduced several significant changes to the Defective Premises Act 1972, namely applying the DPA to extension or refurbishment works to existing residential properties and extending the limitation periods for breaches under the DPA from six years currently to thirty years retrospectively in respect of existing buildings and to 15 years prospectively for new building work.

The extended limitation period for claims will apply both prospectively and retrospectively. The changes allow for residential property owners to challenge sub-standard construction work that may have become apparent after the existing six-year limitation period. This means that work that had previously been discounted as being out of time, could now be resurrected and claims be brought as a result of the retrospective effect of the changes.

Since the Grenfell tragedy, a hardening PII market and insurers concern around the building regulations alongside exposure to fire safety, have resulted in the reduced availability of PII and significant increases in premium cost. The retrospective extension of the period of limitation will not be viewed positively by insurers, who have been concerned by changes to building regulations, and brings back into scope previously discounted risks which have not been priced into their reserves for claims or into the premiums of the risks that they are currently underwriting. At a time when insurers are assessing their construction exposure, the increased limitation period for which claims can be made may result in insurers assessing their involvement in the market.

As a result, the legislative change is likely to negatively impact the availability and cost of PII for RICS regulated firms in an already extremely challenging market. We will work with Government, insurers and other stakeholders to limit the impact of these measures as the legislation is implemented and ensure that adequate and affordable PII remains in place.

The safety case report is a document that summarises your HRB safety case. It identifies your building's major fire and structural hazards. And it shows how you are managing the risks as far as you can.

      The report should give the reader confidence that you:

  • have identified your building's major fire and structural risks
  • are managing and controlling them

These will be required to be prepared by the Accountable Person (see below) and will be called in by the BSR every 5 years, starting with 2024, and who will issue a Building Assessment Certificate. The certificate will not certify a building is safe. The intention will be to start with the riskier potentially less safe buildings. Details of what should be in a Safety Case Report are here. These reports will be available to residents on request.

HSE have published a further five guides on preparing for the new safety case regime and asks for your help in sharing this information. The guides are designed to help those in control of high-rise residential buildings (HRRBs) to meet their legal duties under the Building Safety Act, 2022. As part of the new regime, any ‘in scope’ building will need to prepare a safety case to demonstrate that the building is safe from the risks of fire spread or structural collapse.  An ‘in scope’ means buildings that are at least 18 metres in height or have at least seven storeys and at least two residential units.

Update 01/09/23 –

The Higher-Risk Buildings (Management of Safety Risks etc) (England) Regulations 2023 give further detail regarding safety case reports, building safety risks, building assessment certificates, information etc.

Update 19/09/23 –

New guidance published Preparing a safety case report

The policy intent behind Planning Gateway One (PGO) was introduced into Planning Practice Guidance by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) in June 2021. ‘The changes are intended to help ensure that applicants and decision-makers consider planning issues relevant to fire safety, bringing forward thinking on fire safety matters as they relate to land use planning to the earliest possible stage in the development process and result in better schemes which fully integrate thinking on fire safety’.

The purpose therefore is to ensure that fire safety is thought about at the earliest stage possible and not end up being overlooked at planning permission stage and baked in to any development when it could then prove problematic trying to change the design at a later stage. A development must pass PGO to progress to Gateway 2 (before building work starts).

It only applies currently to residential HRBs and educational accommodation buildings.

Further information is available on the Planning Portal here.

The Accountable Person (AP) is a new role (distinguished from the Responsible Person under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) for residential high-rise buildings (HRBs). This will be the organisation or person who owns or has responsibility for the building. It may also be an organisation or person who is responsible for maintaining the common parts of a building, for example corridors or lobbies.

The AP will usually be an organisation or business but could also be an individual.

       The AP will have a duty to take all reasonable steps to:

  • prevent a building safety risk happening, with building safety risk defined as ‘spread of fire and/or structural failure’
  • reduce the seriousness of an incident if one happens.

Further information can be found here and here.

All building control professionals, both local authority (now to be called Registered Building Inspectors) and private Approved Inspectors (now to be called Registered Building Control Approvers), will come under the new BSR, including private firms. The BSR will therefore be the regulator for all new buildings and any refurbishment, not just HRBs, although will only take a more direct interest as building control body in those buildings in scope (those HRBs 18m+ / 7-storeys or more with two or more residential units, hospitals and care homes that meet the same hight threshold). Developers must from 01 October 2023 apply to the BSR for building control approval before starting work on any projects involving HRBs. See the following links for guidance on how to make an application to the building control authority -

The Building Safety Regulator is now the Building Control Authority for higher-risk buildings in England - Making Buildings Safer

Guidance on how to make an application to the Building Control Authority is available – Managing building control approval applications for higher-risk buildings - GOV.UK

For those who are ready to make an application the service is available on gov.uk – Manage a building control application for a higher-risk building - GOV.UK

Competence validation will be an expected strong focus, and RICS has been working closely with HSE over 2022 and 2023, to understand further how this will need to be demonstrated in future. The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) opened a register of building control professionals in England on 1 October 2023. RICS has been seeking approval as an independent competence assessment scheme provider to ensure that its members can demonstrate their competence to fulfil the different registration classes as defined in the newly published Building Inspector Competence Framework (BICoF). A survey had been issued to all members involved in building control to inform this.

The HSE BSR have stated that all registrants must have an independent competence assessment certificate; and if not can register at Class 1 only. Registrants can upgrade to higher Classes in due course.

Whilst these discussions with the HSE BSR have been ongoing, there were significant hurdles. RICS remains committed to developing the profession and recognises that in the limited timescale available, a joint collaboration with other providers is in the public interest and members interests to address an industry challenge.

The CABE Building Inspector Competence Assessment Scheme (CBICAS) is now open to non-CABE members, as of 1 November 2023.

CBICAS is approved by the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) to provide individuals with evidence of their competence, allowing Building Control professionals to register as a Building Inspector as required under the Building Safety Act (2022).

The scheme follows three key stages;

Stage 1 – application and career portfolio submission

Stage 2 – submission of a technical report and competence statements; and

Stage 3 – a two-part technical report and professional review interview.

CBICAS is also an Engineering Council approved standard, and successful assessment at Class 2, 3 or 4 will entitle you to register with Engineering Council as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) if you wish.

How to Apply

Read the Complete Guide document to further your understanding of the scheme. RICS members should apply direct to CABE, not RICS.

More information on the scheme, including a 'Webinar Wednesday' introducing building inspector registration

For further information, go to the CABE Building Inspector Competence Assessment Scheme FAQs, and also these RICS Building Safety Act information centre FAQs where regular updates will be posted.

RICS recognises that some members may not wish to avail themselves of this route to registration, and is pleased to be able to also signpost members to the BSCF assessment of competence. RICS works collaboratively with LABC and will provide updates on this route too.

For any queries, please contact standards@rics.org

Three schemes are currently approved by the HSE BSR, and are available to members as appropriate;

The HSE BSR has now published (28 April 2023) the final version BICoF for the transitional period to April 2024 here. See also this link to the OSRs (Operational Standards Rules) and Code of Conduct published by the BSR.

The Code of Conduct for Registered Building Inspectors (RBIs) and Professional Conduct Rules for Registered Building Control Approvers (RBCAs) have now been updated and published 3rd July 2023.

All Registered Building Inspectors, public and private sector, must comply with the Code of Conduct coming into force in April 2024. It sets out the standards of professional conduct and practice required of individuals performing their role as a building inspector registered with the Building Safety Regulator.

The Professional Conduct Rules apply to Registered Building Control Approvers. They set out standards of professional conduct and practice expected of Building Control Approvers in the private sector registered with Building Safety Regulator coming into force in April 2024.

For further information view the:

The Building Regulations etc. (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2023 effective from 1st October 2023.

The Dutyholder and Competence requirements have been tucked neatly into 9 new pages of the Building Regulations, forming a new Part 2A, comprising 17 new regulations. They cover clients, designers and contractors and introduce a statutory duty only to appoint those that the client has evidence to assure them of competence. Designers and contractors have a duty to assess their competence and to turn down work for which they are not competent.

Building Act 1984 (Commencement No.3) (England) Order 2023 (SI 2023/992 (C.58))

This Order brings into force the Building Act 1984 s.33, which makes provision in relation to testing and sampling so far as relating to England, on 1 October 2023.

Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No.5 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2023 (SI 2023/993 (C.59))

These Regulations are the fifth commencement Regulations made under the Building Safety Act 2022 (c. 30) (“the 2022 Act”). Includes transitional provisions in relation to approved inspectors.

Regulation 2 brings into force on 1st October 2023 a number of provisions of the 2022 Act, including amendments to the Building Act 1984 (c.55) (“the 1984 Act”) which in particular provide for the building safety regulator (see section 2 of the 2022 Act) to be the building control authority for higher-risk buildings in England. This is achieved by commencing in particular sections 32 and 46 of the 2022 Act. Section 46, for example, makes it unlawful for initial notices and amendment notices to include higher-risk building work. The amendments to the 1984 Act also provide for section 16 (deposit of plans) to be repealed and powers have been inserted into that Act to provide for applications for building control approval instead. The 2022 Act also provides for those appeals etc under the 1984 Act to the magistrates’ courts to instead be to the First-tier Tribunal. And the amendments have provided for the determination of disputes under the 1984 Act by the Secretary of State to be made to the regulator. The amendments in section 42 of the 2022 Act (building control profession) have been commenced so far as to enable the regulator to register building inspectors and building control approvers.

Regulations 3 to 9 set out transitional and saving provisions, in particular in relation to plans deposited, initial notices given or appeals made before 1st October 2023.

Manage a building control application for higher-risk buildings in England published by HSE 02 Oct 2023.

The Building Regulations 2010 as amended by The Building Regulations etc.(Amendment) (England) Regulations 2023 and all previous amendments. Published 01 Oct 2023. Significant changes re HRBs procedures.

The HSE have now advised the RBI register will open on 5 October 2023 and the RBCA register will open on 10 October.  

BSR Charging Scheme - 1 October 2023;

The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) Charging Scheme 1 October was published on 21 September 2023 in anticipation of it coming into force on 1 October 2023.

BSR charges set out in the Charging Scheme, which is made under DLUHC’s Building Safety (Regulator’s Charges) Regulations 2023 published on 5 September 2023 and come into force on 1 October 2023.

The New Home Ombudsman Scheme (NHOS) is an independent redress scheme.  Any new build buyers who have issues with their new home or developer who are not happy with the quality of their home, or the service provided by the Registered Developer will be able to submit a case to the NHOS if their developer doesn’t deal with the complaint effectively.

All developers will need to register with the NHOS and remain members of the scheme.

All RICS professionals who work on new build residential property should be aware of the NHOS and be aware that they may need to submit evidence as part of a dispute brought against the developer they’re working for.

Section 156 of the Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA) makes a number of amendments to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) to improve fire safety in all buildings regulated by the FSO. The changes, which come into force on 1 October 2023, include:

  • a new legal requirement for all Responsible Persons to record their fire risk assessment in full (previously only the significant findings needed to be recorded and only in specific circumstances);
  • a new legal requirement for all Responsible Persons to record the identity of the individual (their name and/or if applicable, their organisation) engaged by them to undertake and/or review a fire risk assessment;
  • a new legal requirement for all Responsible Persons to record their fire safety arrangements (demonstrating how fire safety is managed in their premises);
  • a new legal requirement for all Responsible Persons to record (and as necessary update) their contact information, including a UK based address, and share this with other Responsible Persons and residents of multi-occupied residential premises where applicable;
  • a new legal requirement for all Responsible Persons to take reasonably practicable steps to ascertain the existence of other Responsible Persons and, where applicable, Accountable Persons (a new legal entity made under the Building Safety Act 2022 in the case of higher-risk residential buildings) who share or have duties in respect of the same premises, and to identify themselves to said persons;
  • a new legal requirement for the departing Responsible Person to share all ‘relevant fire safety information’ with the incoming Responsible Person;
  • a new legal requirement for all Responsible Persons in a building containing two or more sets of domestic premises to provide residents with relevant fire safety information in a format that is easily understood by the residents;
  • an increase in the level of fine that can be issued for offences in relation to the intentionally deceptive impersonation of a fire inspector, failure to comply (without reasonable excuse) with specific requirements imposed by a fire inspector (such as by not providing a copy of the fire risk assessment when requested), and failure to comply with requirements relating to the installation of luminous tube signs, to the maximum possible, bringing them into line with all other offences under the FSO, and;
  • a new legal provision that in court proceedings for alleged breaches of the Fire Safety Order, compliance with or deviation from guidance issued under Article 50 may be relied upon as tending to establish whether or not there was a breach of the Fire Safety Order.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/check-your-fire-safety-responsibilities-under-section-156-of-the-building-safety-act-2022

S.156(4) is not at this stage being commenced (duty on RPs to appoint a competent fire risk assessor).

All building owners (Principal Accountable Persons) will need to register a residential HRB 18m or more / 7 stories or more, with the Building Safety Regulator (BSR), by 1st October 2023 or face criminal prosecution. There are approximately 12,500 such buildings across England.

The BSR will begin assessing Building Assessment Certificate applications in April 2024.

All building control professionals will need to register with the BSR by 1st April 2024 - the register will open in October 2023.

S.156 of the BSA comes into force 1st October 2023. This makes a number of amendments to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. S.156(4) is not at this stage being commenced (duty on RPs to appoint a competent fire risk assessor).

Further questions?

Email the RICS Standards team – standards@rics.org

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FAQs updated as of 02 November 2023.