16 August, 2022
Following the Grenfell Tower Disaster in June 2017, The Building Safety Act 2022, compromising of 6 parts, received Royal Assent this April creating provisions for the standards of buildings and the safety of people in or about buildings.
The reform amends previous legislation such as the Architects Act 1997, The Defective Premises Act 1972 and The Building Act 1984 and has a large focus on high-risk buildings which are defined as high rise residential buildings, hospitals and care homes which are at least 18m or seven storeys high and contain at least two residential units.
Following the disaster at Grenfell, Dame Judith Hackitt was appointed to undertake an independent review of building regulations and fire safety. Her recommendations for a "golden thread" of information aimed to ensure buildings are designed and maintained safely and places a duty on those responsible to ensure an information management system is kept up to date and accurate. The review has influenced and shaped The Building Safety Act 2022 which now places a duty on those who work in the course of business in relation to any part of a relevant building and outlines both the scope of that duty and who the duty is owed to. Not only has the Hackitt review caused change now, but its recommendations will shape future legislation which will be implemented over the coming years.
New rights against manufacturers of construction products are being introduced which means where such products cause a building to be unfit for habitation, the manufacturer could be liable to pay damages for personal injury, damage to property or economic loss and may have to also pay costs contributions towards the costs of remedial work.
The Building Safety Act 2022 requires that safety of the intended building must be addressed at the planning stage, before the start of works and again at practical completion and extends the limitation period for claims under the DPA 1972 from 6 years to 15 - 30 years depending on which section the claim is brought under. A claimant can bring an action against a defendant for works completed up to 30 years before the Act came into effect and the claims period for work completed in the future extends from six to 15 years.
Ultimately The Building Safety Act 2022 aims to prevent disasters such as Grenfell happening again and hopefully the implementation of secondary legislation over the coming months and years will mark a significant change in the way the industry operates.
For further information please contact Kitty Shaw.
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