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The Building Safety Act (the Act) received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022, following a three-year public consultation and legislative process, with the final text of the Act being published on 13 May 2022. The Act implements most (but not all) of Dame Judith Hackitt's recommendations in her 2018 review of the building industry Building a Safer Future and represents the most radical change to the building industry in fifty years.

Over the last few months, public discussion about the Act has been overshadowed by last-minute Government and House of Lords amendments. Many of these amendments were not subject to public consultation, and many industry players are still catching up with the implications of the changes to what is already an extremely technical and complex piece of legislation. 

Certain parts of the Act have come into force immediately (e.g. the Building Safety Regulator assumes its responsibilities), but many of the key provisions will only come into force once the Secretary of State has made further regulations over the next 12 months. Whilst we expect the main bulk of the legislation to come into force in the next 18 months, the Act confirms that some changes will come into force two months from the date of Royal Assent. This includes the provisions dealing with remediation of certain defects (such as the provisions looking at remediation costs, remediation orders and remediation contribution orders) which were the most heavily publicised part of the Act.

The Act is complex and far-reaching, affecting nearly every aspect of the construction industry, and there is still a significant amount of detail to be provided in further regulations and by the Regulator. The industry will need to get to grips with the regime quickly and keep a close-eye on the emerging landscape as further detail becomes available.