Out-Law News 1 min. read
27 Jun 2023, 10:04 am
The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) has updated the registration process for high-rise residential buildings in England.
The 2022 Building Safety Act (BSA) requires people and organisations responsible for the safety of high-rise residential buildings in England to register them with the BSR, which is part of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). They must also provide key building information (KBI) about the structures, including the way the risks of fire spread and structural failure are managed.
Katherine Metcalfe of Pinsent Masons said that the registration portal, which opened in April, initially only had limited functionality. “It was possible to register the name of the building and identify the new duty holders, but the system did not allow the submission of KBI. The government has now confirmed that this second part of the portal has gone live.”
The owners and operators of serviced apartments who were hoping to use the hotel exemption will now need to register their buildings and prepare for the occupation phase duties
“For buildings which have already been registered, duty holders must now go back into the portal and provide the key building information. For unregistered buildings, the process should be smoother and capable of completion in one go, provided that the information is to hand. The government published guidance last month on what key building information is required,” she added.
According to the BSR, all existing higher-risk residential buildings need to be registered on the portal by 1 October 2023. Last week, the government also published new guidance on what types of building are classed as higher-risk buildings for the purposes of the BSA. Metcalfe said that the guidance offered welcome clarity on the status of hotels and other serviced accommodation.
She added: “The BSA specifically excludes hotels, but the status of serviced apartments, short-term holiday lets and similar services was a considerable grey area in the legislation. The guidance is clear that serviced apartments are not hotels, and therefore can be higher-risk buildings. Similarly, a short-term let is still a residential unit. The owners and operators of serviced apartments who were hoping to use the hotel exemption will now need to register their buildings and prepare for the occupation phase duties.”
The changes come as section 223 of the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill makes its way through parliament. Currently at the report stage in the House of Lords, the Bill would give the government the power to replace the HSE as the building safety regulator for England.
20 Mar 2023