What are we going to do?
We are standardising the information that those responsible for high-rise residential buildings will need to provide to the regulator and are introducing greater transparency to empower residents, local communities, and interest groups.
As part of the new building safety regime, we are bringing in a system of checks on high-rise residential buildings. These checks will be carried out by the Building Safety Regulator.
For the building (or where there are two or more Accountable Persons for a building), a Principal Accountable Person will be the person who has responsibility for the structure and exterior of the building. The Principal Accountable will, as needed, coordinate on behalf of the Accountable Persons and will be responsible for providing the regulator with specified information needed for the checks.
All occupied high-rise residential buildings will need to be registered with the regulator. The regulator will publish the information from registration in a national register of high-rise residential buildings.
Those responsible for high-rise residential buildings will also need to apply to the regulator for a Building Assessment Certificate. The Building Assessment Certificate will be displayed within the building where it can be seen by residents.
How are we going to do it?
All occupied high-rise residential buildings will need to be registered with the Building Safety Regulator. To do this, the Accountable Person will be required to provide the regulator with key details of the building (e.g. address, height, number of flats), and information about the Accountable Person(s) and any Building Safety Manager.
The regulator will use the information from registration to compile the national register of high-rise residential buildings, which will be publicly available. Registration will also provide information about the building to the regulator who will then use this for effective regulation, for example by providing additional information in support of prioritising the certification process.
New buildings must be registered with the regulator before they become occupied. This is necessary to ensure that the regulator is aware of the intention to occupy the building, and that there are clearly identifiable Accountable Persons responsible for managing building safety risks.
Existing occupied buildings will need to be registered within a transition period following the new regime coming into force, which will last around six months.
After registration, the Accountable Person for a high-rise residential building will need to apply for a Building Assessment Certificate at the direction of the regulator.
To apply for a Building Assessment Certificate, the Accountable Person will need to send certain important documents to the regulator, including a copy of the Safety Case Report, details about the Mandatory Occurring Reporting System, and a copy of the Residents’ Engagement Strategy.
The regulator will look at the documents and assess whether the Accountable Persons are managing their building’s safety risks and keeping residents safe. The regulator may also send an inspector to the building. If the regulator is satisfied that, at the time of assessment, the Accountable Persons are managing their building effectively and keeping residents safe, it will issue a Building Assessment Certificate for the building. Where the regulator has concerns, it will advise the Accountable Person what further steps are required and will issue a certificate when the required action has been taken. Where necessary, enforcement action will be taken to ensure the safe management of the building.
The regulator will be responsible for letting the Accountable Person know when they need to apply for their Building Assessment Certificate, via a call-in notification. Once the Accountable Person has received this notification (which will likely be via email) they will have 28 days to send all the required documents to the regulator.
New buildings will be called to apply for their Building Assessment Certificate within six months of occupation.
As there are over 12,500 existing occupied high-rise residential buildings in England, it will take the regulator around five years to assess them all for the first time. Therefore, the regulator will need to prioritise which buildings to assess first. You can find more information about this in the Building Assessment Certificate Transitional Arrangements factsheet.
Buildings will be reassessed periodically by the regulator. How often will depend on the specific building, but every high-rise residential building will be reassessed at least every 5 years.
Residents of high-rise buildings need to feel confident that their building is safe. Residents also need to know who is responsible for keeping their building safe. The Independent Review recommended that there needs to be a Building Safety Regulator for the whole of the building in relation to fire and structural safety in occupation which can hold Accountable Persons to account with robust sanctions where necessary. The building registration and certification processes will achieve this by giving residents transparency about who is managing their building and providing information about when the building was last assessed by the regulator.
The Building Assessment Certificate is a mechanism that allows the regulator to assess whether, at the time the application is considered, the Accountable Persons are keeping residents safe and managing building safety risks on an ongoing basis. The Building Assessment Certificate shows to residents that the Accountable Persons are doing this at the time of assessment.
The regulator will be able to take enforcement action against the Principal Accountable Person and Accountable Persons if they don’t comply with the registration and certification requirements.
How often will registration and certification take place?
For new buildings, registration will need to take place before the building becomes occupied. Existing occupied buildings will need to be registered within a transition period following the new regime coming into force.
The Building Safety Regulator will call in new buildings for certification for the first time within six months of occupation. Existing occupied buildings will be assessed over a five-year period. Other existing buildings, for example those which have gone through a change of use (e.g. an existing block of offices converted into flats) will be assessed for the first time within six months of occupation.
All high-rise residential buildings will be reassessed for the Building Assessment Certificate at least every five years.
How long is the Building Assessment Certificate valid for?
The Building Assessment Certificate is designed to show that, at the time of assessment, the Regulator was satisfied that the Accountable Persons were managing the safety risks in their building effectively and keeping residents safe. The Accountable Persons are responsible for managing the building and ensuring it continues to remain safe.
The regulator will reassess every building at least every five years.
What should I do if I have concerns about the management of my building?
The Accountable Persons are responsible for managing the building and ensuring it is safe. Where residents have concerns, they should raise them with the relevant Accountable Person(s). If not satisfied with the action taken, then residents should make a complaint to the regulator.