The registration process for higher-risk buildings opened on 12 April 2023, and anyone responsible for registration must make sure their building has been registered by 1 October 2023, or face a possible fine or imprisonment. The key information about the registration process is set out below.
Which buildings need to be registered?
All higher-risk buildings which are occupied, including new buildings and existing buildings.
“Higher-risk building” means all high-rise residential buildings 18 metres tall or higher, or at least 7 storeys tall, with two or more residential units.
How many buildings are affected?
The government estimates there are currently 14,000 existing buildings that need to be registered, as well as any new buildings which qualify as “higher risk buildings”.
When does registration start?
The Building Safety (Registration of Higher-Risk Buildings and Review of Decisions)(England) Regulations 2023 came into force on 6 April, and the Building Safety Regulator opened the registration process on 12 April.
What is the deadline for registration?
Occupied higher-risk buildings must be registered by 1 October 2023, failing which penalties will apply (more information about the possible penalties is set out below).
Who is responsible for registration?
The Accountable Person (the person responsible for the building’s safety) is responsible for registering the building.
However, if there are multiple Accountable Persons, the “Principal Accountable Person” (or “PAP”) – which is essentially the person responsible for the walls and structure of the building – must take responsibility for registration.
The AP or PAP can authorise someone else – such as a managing agent – to register the building on their behalf, but responsibility stays with them.
How can I register my building?
The AP or PAP needs to follow the registration process on the government website (Register a high-rise residential building – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)), pay the registration fee of £251 and provide:
- information about why the building is higher-risk (including the number of floors, the height of the building, the number of residential units);
- the address of the building;
- the year it was built;
- details of each Accountable Person and the “PAP”; and
- details of the building certificate for a completed building (which will vary depending on when that certificate was issued, and whether it falls within the new building control regime under section 32 of the Building Safety Act 2022).
Do I need to do anything else after registering?
Yes – within 28 days of registration, the AP or PAP must then provide the information set out in theHigher Risk Buildings (Key Building Information etc)(England) Regulations 2023.
Full details of the information to be provided is in our previous engage post (What’s new in Fire Safety? 2023 changes so far – Hogan Lovells Engage), but in short, the AP or PAP must provide:
- details of any ancillary building (which is attached to, but does not form part of the main building), and whether it is also a higher-risk building;
- the principal and subordinate use of the higher-risk building (and any ancillary building, outbuilding or below ground level floors), and any change in use since construction;
- details of the material used in the external walls (and any fixtures attached to them), insulation, roof, and structure of the building;
- the number of storeys below ground level, and the number of floors served by each staircase;
- the type of energy supply and storage system used; and
- a description of the type of evacuation strategy in place for the higher risk building, and a list of the fire and smoke control equipment within the building and their locations.
Do I need to update the regulator after registration?
Yes – the AP or PAP must update the regulator within 14 days of any change to the registration information provided, or where a new building certificate is issued.
What happens if I don’t register by the deadline?
Failure to register an occupied higher-risk building by 1 October 2023 could lead to a fine or imprisonment. Further regulations are anticipated in 1 October 2023 to set out more detail on enforcement and penalties.
Can I remove my building from the register?
If the building no longer needs to be registered (either because it’s no longer occupied, or because the residential element is removed), the PAP can apply for it to be removed, or the Building Safety Regulator can remove it of its own volition.
This is a new and complex process, and this is just a summary of the steps involved. If you think you may be required to register, we can provide you with more tailored and detailed guidance.
Source: J D Supra