Higher Risk Buildings: Registration Deadline Approaching


Further regulations enacted pursuant to the Building Safety Act 2022 are now in force and owners of higher-risk buildings (meaning a building with at least two occupied residential units measuring at least 18 metres in height or having at least 7 stories) must register those buildings within a new national register, to be managed by the 'Building Safety Regulator'. The deadline for doing so is 30 September 2023. Failure to do so could lead to a fine or imprisonment. It is also an offence to allow the building to be occupied.

Any buildings completed on or after 1 October 2023 must be registered before residents can occupy them.

Who is responsible for registering the building?

The obligation to register a higher risk building falls on the Principal Accountable Person (PAP), who might not necessarily be the owner of the building. The PAP is someone who either holds a legal estate in possession of any of the common parts of the building or a person who does not hold a legal estate but who is under a repairing obligation in relation to those common parts. A PAP could be a landlord, leaseholders, management company, developer or contractor. Establishing who is the Principal Accountable Person is therefore fundamental to the process and one of the first steps to be taken; we can assist you in doing so.

How is registration completed?

Once the PAP has been identified, they can apply to register the higher risk building online using the relevant GOV.UK portal. In order to do so the PAP will need:

  • A method of payment for the £251 registration fee (payable per building).
  • The building's name, address, and postcode.
  • A building summary (to include the height of the building in metres, the number of floors, the number of residential units, and the year of completion of the building).
  • The name and contact details of the PAP and all other accountable persons in respect of that building.

What information is to be provided? 

Within 28 days of an application having been submitted, the PAP must then submit the Key Building Information. Only once the Key Building Information has been submitted and approved will registration be considered to have taken place.

The Key Building Information includes extensive information about the building's structure and fire safety and whilst some of this information might already be to hand, there will be information required that is not readily available such as a description of the materials used in the construction of the external walls of the building, and if there is more than one material, what percentage of the whole each material constitutes. In most cases, investigative works and surveys are likely to be required, and you have only 28 days from the application having been made to provide all of the required information.

What are the sanctions for failing to register the building?

Failure to provide the information within 28 days will cause the application to be rejected. If that happens, the PAP commits an offence under the Building Safety Act as they will be allowing a higher risk building to be occupied after the deadline. The offending PAP could be subjected to an unlimited fine or imprisonment or both. It should also be noted that the Building Safety Act provides in certain circumstances for liability for breaches relating to registration requirements to extend to individual directors, managers and officers of the PAP (if that PAP is a body corporate) in certain circumstances and so individuals could potentially face personal criminal liability. It is also an offence to allow the building to continue to be occupied.

There are also continuing obligations on the PAP to update the Regulator as and when there are any changes to the Key Building Information, and failure to do so constitutes an offence. It is therefore vital that all PAPs familiarise themselves with the nature of the information required.

What should I be doing now to prepare for registration?

Given the strict deadlines and volume of documentation and investigations required you should start to collate all information required to complete the registration process: 

  • Identify higher-risk buildings
  • Identify the PAP
  • Appoint technical specialists and surveyors to assist in preparing the key Building Information.

Our dedicated Building Safety Group can provide advice on identification of the PAP, registration and all matters concerning the Building Safety Act. For more information contact Daniel Barrett, Bhavini Patel or Mark Pritchard.

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Higher Risk Buildings must be registered by 30 September 2023. Failure to do so could lead to a fine or imprisonment.

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