The Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA 2022) was a ground-breaking legislative reform. It overhauled existing building safety regulations and created many new legal obligations for property owners and those in construction.
One of these obligations is the registration of existing occupied higher-risk buildings (HRBs).
From April 2023, HRBs must be registered with the Building Safety Regulator. If you fail to do this by October, you may face a penalty for non-compliance.
Here, we explain the process: who needs to register, what they need to do and how to do it.
Building Safety Regulator
The BSA 2022 created three new bodies to supervise and enforce the new legislation: the National Regulator of Construction Products, the New Homes Ombudsman and the Building Safety Regulator (BSR).
The BSR operates within the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to oversee the safety and performance of all buildings in England.
It has three main functions:
- Overseeing the standards and safety of all buildings
- Guiding and encouraging industry individuals to new levels of competence
- Implementing the new regulatory framework for high-rise buildings
The BSR will also maintain the new national register of occupied high-rise buildings.
What is Building Safety Act Registration?
The new national register will collect critical safety information for all existing occupied HRBs in England. The number of which is estimated to be between 12,000 to 14,000 structures.
What is Classed as a High-Rise Building in the UK?
All occupied buildings considered higher risk must be registered. ‘Higher-risk’ means high-rise residential buildings.
A high-rise residential structure has at least:
- Seven floors (storeys) or is at least 18 metres in height
- Two residential units
It’s important to note that a high-rise residential building can be one or more connected structures. Two or more structures must be registered as a single building if they’re connected by either:
- A walkway, lobby or basement that contains a residential unit
- An internal wall containing normal-use doors
Registering a Building
Who is Responsible for Registering
Whoever’s accountable for the building’s safety needs to register it. This may be the owner (or owners) of the building or an organisation such as a commonhold association or local authority. The person or organisation accountable for a building’s safety are referred to as the accountable person (AP).
When there is one person acting as the AP, that person must register their building with the BSR.
Where there are multiple accountable persons, whoever is responsible for the safety of the external walls and structure of the building becomes the principal accountable person (PAP). The PAP is then duty-bound to register the building with the BSR.
Where an organisation acts as the AP, one person from within that organisation should be authorised to complete the registration process. They act as the single point of contact for the BSR but the responsibility for registration stays with the organisation.
Individual accountable persons may also authorise other people to register a building on their behalf but the legal responsibility always remains with the AP.
What Information Do You Need to Register?
If you’re responsible for registering your building, you need to submit the following information about your building:
- The number of floors at and above ground level
- Height in metres
- Number of residential units
- Year construction was completed
This information is required for all separate high-rise structures that may make up the building.
You will also need to provide information about yourself and any other accountable persons.
After you’ve completed your application, the BSR will ask for more detailed building safety information. This additional material is listed in The Higher-Risk Buildings (Key Building Information etc.) (England) Regulations 2023 but will generally include the following:
- The use of the building
- The materials used for the external walls, roof and insulation
- The number of staircases
- The evacuation strategy currently in place
- A list of fire control points
- The type of energy supply
It can take significant time to gather the relevant paperwork and information, so start your application process as early as possible.
Is There a Deadline for Registration?
Occupied high-rise residential buildings must be registered with the Building Safety Regulator by 1st October 2023. Your application will need to be completed online by 30 September 2023.
Is There a Registration Fee?
Yes. You must pay £251 to register each building. The fee is payable via credit or debit card.
What Happens If You Don’t Register?
You’ll be investigated by the BSR if you fail to register your building.
The BSR will likely aim to work with you to resolve the issue but there is a risk of further penalties. You may find yourself liable to prosecution and imprisonment.
It’s possible for the BSR to remove accountable persons from the role and appoint its own special measures manager if they deem it necessary for building safety.
Where Can I Learn More About the Building Safety Act?
Legal duty holders can struggle to get to grips with any new legislation. And the Building Safety Act 2022 is not just any new legislation. Its reforms are having a widespread impact on construction, property maintenance, fire safety and building management.
Registering your high-rise building is considered critical in stamping out unsafe building practices. And the BSR is acting accordingly. You need to understand the roles of accountable persons and principal accountable persons. Failure to register can have serious consequences. Make sure you know your legal duties and give yourself enough time to complete them
And this May, it’s more affordable than ever to complete your building safety training. Every building safety course in our library is on sale to celebrate Building Safety Month. Or purchase a 10-course bundle and save 25% off normal price. Sale prices and offers expire on 31st May 2023 so shop now.