Reed Smith Client Alerts

Key takeaways

  • From 1 April, 2024, Principal Accountable Persons must be prepared for requests from the Building Safety Regulator for building assessment certificates to ensure compliance with their duties under the Building Safety Act. Failure to comply can lead to criminal offences for Accountable Persons and Principal Accountable Persons.
  • Managing agents without rights under a lease or repairing obligations are not entitled to register as Accountable Persons.
  • The First Tier Tribunal clarified in a recent decision that building managers, where appointed to manage higher risk buildings by an order of the Tribunal, will not be Accountable Persons unless they have rights or repairing obligations under a lease.

Registration of Higher Risk Buildings

As you may recall, all occupied buildings in England and Wales taller than 18 metres (or 7 storeys or more), containing at least 2 residential units required registration with the Building Safety Regulator as ‘Higher Risk Buildings (“HRBs”) by 1 October 2023. The Building Safety Regulator is effectively the Building Control authority for HRBs and any works carried out to HRBs will also need sign off from the Regulator (in lieu of the standard Building Control procedure). Since 1 October 2023, any new HRB must be registered before it can be occupied.

The register of HRBs maintained by the Regulator has now become available to the public and is searchable online using the postcode for the building. Details of the Principal Accountable Person and any Accountable Persons in respect of HRBs will also be available on the website. Knowing who has to register as a Principal Accountable Person or an Accountable Person can still be a tricky question to answer with careful consideration of the leasehold structure required. There has already been a Tribunal decision on the matter, which is discussed below.