Building Safety Update

Over the coming months, the construction team will be regularly posting  blogs on the Building Safety Act and related legislation.

The Building Safety Act received Royal Assent in April 2022.  Much of it will come into force by way of secondary legislation. 

We have already  posted on the recent case of Martlet v Mulalley – the first case on external wall systems to reach trial post Grenfell (click here for an article by Adrian Kwintner, Nicolas Oldham and Alison Garrett).  We have also posted on the increase in the limitation periods for claims under the Defective Premises Act and the Building Act (click here for Patrick Wisheu’s blog on this) and the introduction of a new civil claims for construction product liability (click here for Patrick’s blog on this).  Both of these came into force on 28 June 2022. 

Also on 28 June, certain leaseholder protections came into force. Leaseholders will not have to pay for cladding remediation works in buildings:

  • which are at least 11 metres or 5 storeys high;
  • which contain at least two dwellings;
  • where the leaseholder has a long lease of a single dwelling and has to pay a service charge;
  • where as at 14 February 2022 the dwelling was the leaseholder’s principal home or the leaseholder did not own more than 3 dwellings in the UK in total.

It may also be the case that leaseholders which meet the above criteria will not have to pay for other (non-cladding remediation) works which are a building safety risk. A building safety risk is defined as a defect arising between 28 June 1992 and 27 June 2022 which can cause a) the spread of fire; or b) the collapse of the building. If the landlord was (or is associated with an entity) involved in the works which caused the defect, and even if they weren’t involved but the landlord’s group net worth is at least the number of affected buildings (note, it is buildings not dwellings) multiplied by £2 million, then the landlord, not the leaseholder, will have to pay for the remedying of these defects. 

Look out for further blogs on building safety in the coming weeks.

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