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Building Safety Bill receives Royal Assent

The Building Safety Bill received Royal Assent yesterday and passed into law as an Act of Parliament. 

The Bill was introduced by the government nearly a year ago, following the Grenfell Tower disaster, in which 72 people died, and Dame Judith Hackett’s subsequent independent report.

The Act marks the biggest overhaul in building safety regulations in nearly 40 years.  This major piece of legislation will update and amend other laws, such as the Landlord & Tenant Act of 1985, the Defective Premises Act of 1972 and the Building Act of 1984.

Several important aspects of the built environment will change, from fire-safety costs to provisions for disabled people. The aim is to eradicate the catalogue of errors that led to the 2017 west London fire. 

Amendments to the Bill were hotly debated in the House of Lords, while some have failed others are included in the new Act.  The Lords amendments include provision for the Building Safety Regulator to both assess and report on the benefits and costs of measures to improve the safety of people in or about buildings, with systems such as fire suppression, stairways and ramps, certification of equipment and provision for people with disabilities by 2024. 

The role of building safety manager does not appear in the legislation as a result of concerns.   The cost of implementing a safety manager for high-risk buildings is likely be picked up by leaseholders.  According to the latest amendments, an “accountable person” will be responsible for a high-risk building, but the specific legal requirement has been dropped.

Last updated 05 May 22