In London, the registration process for high-rise residential buildings is governed by the Greater London Authority (GLA) together with the relevant local authorities, and it’s designed to ensure that high-rise buildings are safe for residents and comply with all relevant regulations and standards.
The Building Safety Regulator opened the registration process for high-rise residential buildings in England on April 12th this year. Under the Building Safety Act 2022, all high-rise residential buildings 18m or taller (or at least seven storeys tall) with two or more residential units need to be registered by 1st October 2023. This process has to be undertaken by the building’s Principal Accountable Person or by someone authorised by them to complete the process — including a fee of £251 per building.
Neither designated posts are permitted to delegate their legal obligations to others, and whilst they can employ a managing agent or company to undertake duties for them, the liability of the building’s safety rests with the accountable and principal accountable persons. Where the posts are undertaken by an organisation, then a single point of contact has to be provided to interested parties such as the Building Safety Regulator, any additional owners for common areas or those with obligations to undertake works within common areas.
These new posts are in addition to the Responsible Person (RP) which was identified and made a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Again, the RP could also be one of these other roles however if not, then the accountable persons need to ensure cooperation and collaboration between all parties. The RP also receives new instructions within the Building Safety Act, which are:
- rather than record an assessment, it must now be recorded or reviewed and, in particular, include the information prescribed
- the RP must not appoint a person to assist them with making or reviewing an assessment unless that person is competent
- where the responsible person appoints more than one person, the responsible person must make arrangements to ensuring adequate cooperation between them.
Buildings with two or more residential units
The RP must provide information to the residents about fire safety, namely:
- the risk to residents of the domestic premises identified by the risk assessment
- the preventative and protective measures
- the name of the RP and an address in the United Kingdom at which the responsible person or someone acting on their behalf will accept notices and other documentation
- the identity of any person appointed by the RP to assist them with making or reviewing an assessment
- the identity of any persons nominated by the RP
- any risks of which the RP has been informed
- any other matters specified in regulations made by the relevant authority
The information is to be provided in a form and time specified in regulations made by the relevant authority. The RP shall keep records of it.
For premises which consist of or include residential units in a high-risk building, the RP must take reasonably practicable steps to ascertain whether there are one or more other persons who are accountable persons in relation to the premises — mutual collaboration and cooperation.
In addition to these requirements, high-rise residential buildings in London may also be subject to ongoing inspections and maintenance requirements to ensure that they remain safe and comply with all relevant regulations and standards.
For more information, contact our specialists in building and fire safety regulations at Derisk.