Scope of the draft Building Safety Bill
Since the publication of the draft Building Safety Bill (the Draft Bill), there has been much talk of the wholesale reform of the regulatory system for building control and safety that the legislative proposals represent.
What has perhaps not been focused on quite so much is the scope of the Draft Bill and to which buildings it applies, and it appears that there has been some confusion across the sector as to whether the proposed changes to the current system will apply only to "Higher-Risk Buildings", or whether they will apply to all buildings regardless of their height.
In the attached table, we have listed each of the draft clauses contained in the Draft Bill and have classified them as being either:
- Relevant to Higher-Risk Buildings only;
- Relevant to all buildings; or
- General provisions (for example, provisions relating to how the new Regulator will operate) that will still be of relevance to landlords who do not have any Higher-Risk Buildings in their portfolio.
It is clear that, whilst there is a significant body of reform which will focus on Higher-Risk Buildings alone, there will be key considerations which apply across the sector to all buildings (for example, the duty to keep the safety and standard of buildings under review pervades the entire sector, as does the dutyholder regime set out in clause 38 of the Draft Bill).
Given the challenge that the legislative reforms will present to the sector, it is important now more than ever for the sector as whole to take stock of how the legislative reforms will impact their stock as a whole, and not focus solely on the impact on Higher-Risk Buildings.