Time is running out for existing higher-risk buildings (HRBs) to be registered with the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) by 30 September 2023 under new registration regulations, with the government saying "it is an offence to allow residents to occupy an unregistered [HRB] after this date".
So what must you do?
Take stock of your buildings
First, establish whether you actually have an HRB, under the descriptive regulations that set out what they are.
Working this out is no easy feat, but identifying whether you do or don't have an HRB is crucial. You can find out more in our summary here, plus the government has recently published guidance with working examples.
If you have an HRB, the principal accountable person (PAP), or someone they authorise, registers it.
It can be complicated to work out who the PAP is if there are multiple stakeholders in your HRB. First, you'll need to identify the accountable person (AP) – very generally, the organisation or individual that owns or has a legal obligation to repair any common parts of the building (although there are nuances to this). There may be more than one AP.
If there's only one AP, they're the PAP. If there are more than one then, very broadly, the PAP is whoever owns or has a legal obligation to repair the structure and exterior of the building (again, there are nuances here). There's more government information on this here.
How to register:
You register online.
Make sure you have everything you need first though, which includes:
- A credit or debit card - there's a £251 fee to register each building
- Building name, address and postcode
- A building summary – this includes the building's height (in metres), number of floors, number of residential units, and year of completion
- Names and contact details of your PAP and APs (who you'll already have identified above).
Further detail on what is needed for the building summary is here.
More information needed
After you've completed your application to register your HRB, you'll also have to provide "key building information" (KBI) online, including:
- Fire and smoke controls
- Fire doors
- Energy supplies, storage and generation
- Type of structure
- External walls
- The building’s use
- Building works since the original build
- Connections between structures or to other buildings.
You'll find more detail here, where you'll see the government expects that "you should take all reasonable steps to find this information".
The KBI regulations state that the KBI "must be submitted within 28 days of the PAP submitting an application for registration". There's some speculation about whether the government may be lenient about this timescale but, in light of the KBI regulation's wording and need to register before the end of September, it may be best to err on the side of caution and get this information in ASAP within that 28 day timescale.
In a recent HSE email bulletin, the HSE has said "all registration applications and KBI must be completed on the portal by 1 October 2023."
From that date, all of the above is expected to expand to new HRBs that come into existence, with HSE saying “all new buildings must be registered before being occupied”.
The clock is ticking.
For more on building safety, visit our Building Safety Hub or contact us.