The Building Safety Act (the Act) received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022. Whilst many parts of the Act are yet to come into force (and will require secondary legislation to do so), some parts of the Act are already in force or will be coming into force over the next few months. This article sets out what we currently know about when different provisions in the Act will come into effect.
The building industry will already be preparing for the introduction of the majority of the new regime over the next 12 to 18 months. However, some provisions come into effect a lot sooner than this. For example, provisions dealing with the remediation of certain defects under certain leases (which were the most heavily publicised part of the Act) will come into force on 28 June, two months from the date of Royal Assent. Similarly, Building Liability Orders will also be introduced from 28 June.
Commencement dates set out in the Act
Provisions coming into force from 28 April 2022
Section 170 of the Act provides that the following provisions will come into force on the date on which the Act is passed into law (i.e. from 28 April 2022):
- The Building Safety Regulator will be established within the Health and Safety Executive (section 2(1));
- Provisions establishing public proposals and consultations for the implementation of the new regime (section 7);
- Provisions allowing the Secretary of State to authorise the Regulator to charge fees or recover charges in connection with the performance of relevant functions under the Act (section 28);
- The ability for the Secretary of State to make regulations concerning "building safety risks" and the classification of higher-risk buildings as defined (sections 61-70); and
- The right for the Secretary of State to authorise the Regulator to make regulations pursuant to the Act.
Provisions coming into force from 28 June 2022
Two months after the Act was passed into law (i.e. from 28 June 2022), the following provisions will come into force:
- Provisions requiring the remediation of certain defects, including amendments to service charges, the introduction of remediation orders and remediation contribution orders, and provisions dealing with meeting the remediation costs of insolvent landlords (sections 116 to 125 and Schedule 8). (These provisions have potentially significant and wide ranging ramifications for the construction industry as they extend the powers of the First Tier Tribunal to issue Remediation Contribution Orders, not just to landlords and developers, but also to 'Associated Persons' of them. Companies will be considered 'associated' where there is commonality of directorships during the relevant period, or where one company controlled the other);
- Amendments to the Defective Premises Act 1972 to introduce a new s.2A which imposes a duty on those who take on any work on a building that contains a dwelling to ensure that the work does not render the dwelling unfit for habitation (section 134);
- Amendments to the Limitation Act 1980 to extend limitation periods for claims under the Defective Premises Act 1972 and section 38 of the Building Act 1984 (section 135);
- Rules about the regulation of and liability relating to construction products (section 146 and Schedule 11 and sections 147 to 155); and
- Amendments to the Architects Act 1997 (sections 157-159).
Commencement dates set out in the Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No. 1 Transitional and Saving Provisions) Regulations 2022
The Act states that the other provisions of the Act will come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by regulations appoint. The first of such commencement regulations (The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No. 1 Transitional and Saving Provisions) Regulations 2022) has been brought into force and sets out when some further sections of the Act will come into force over the next six months. Our article on the Regulations sets out the key dates to be aware of.
Further commencement dates
We await further detail of when the other sections of the Act will come into force. That being said, the Government’s Transition Plan (which was published with the bill back in July 2021) anticipated that the bulk of the new obligations would be implemented within 12-18 months from the date of Royal Assent (i.e. by April – October 2023).