As the world turns and society advances ever forward, the need for adaptations and reforms to the way that we build residential property has grown considerably. Past regulations and guidelines are now outdated by modern standards, but the Government has taken on the responsibility of filling the gaps to ensure that future housing and property development can follow a whole new model with the recent introduction of the Building Safety Bill.
BRAC Developments welcomes the Building Safety Bill and sees it as a positive step forward. We believe it will ensure the competence and qualification of all those involved in the aspect of design, construction and management of all buildings. The groundbreaking reforms will give both residents and homeowners more rights, power and protection against those who compromise their safety.
The Bill overhauls past regulations in order to establish a long-lasting change, setting out a clear pathway that teaches how new residential buildings must be constructed, maintained and made safe.
The Building Safety Bill introduces strict penalties to those who do not follow the rules and requires all developers to sign up to the New Homes Ombudsman scheme to maintain proper standards throughout all projects.
Building owners and landlords must make a clear effort to manage any apparent safety risks that relate to their property, following clear rules of responsibility for safety throughout the design, construction, completion and occupation of high-rise residential buildings. An essential feature of the new Bill is the requirement to maintain a golden thread of information through the entire life cycle of high-risk residential buildings. This contemporaneous information must also be provided to the Building Safety Regulator whenever important advancements or changes are made.
Building owners have an obligation to maintain this information so that any risks can be addressed and reduced, particularly in situations where social housing providers are investing in the construction of new high-rise residential buildings. Building owners must also demonstrate to the appropriate officials that they have effective measures in place to manage any safety risks that they face throughout their project, and anyone who fails to fulfill their obligations will likely face a hefty fine or even criminal charges.
The Building Safety Bill will establish new provisions to the Landlord and Tenant Act which was originally introduced in 1985. It covers the repair work that’s required to establish total building safety, and such charges will henceforth be referred to officially as ‘building safety charges’.
These charges cover the landlord or leaseholder’s building safety costs (the costs incurred for a higher-risk building in connection with building safety measures that are required under the Act). If leases do not reference an obligation for the landlord to carry out the required building safety works, then a right of access for the aforementioned works and/or a request for the leaseholder to pay for such works will be automatically implied. Landlords will have the power to make demands every 90 days, and leaseholders must pay within 28 days of the demand for payment.
Landlords should begin considering how to prepare for these changes and charges to get the most of out the new Building Safety Bill.
BRAC Developments and its sister companies all work to exacting standards and have all health and safety aspects at the heart of all the projects they complete. We believe this Bill will not make a significant difference to the way we work already. Our clients can therefore be assured of our continued commitment to meeting these standards in future.