What the government’s latest consultation means for the Building Safety Act 2022 and management of higher-risk buildings

The Government has published its response to questions regarding “in occupation” higher-risk buildings. 

Part 4 of the Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA) contains provision about the management of building safety risks in occupied higher-risk buildings. The draft Higher-Risk (Key Buildings Information etc) (England) Regulations 2023 sets out in more detail the allocation of responsibilities and obligations to be provided under that Part. 

In particular, the consultation considered the “key building information” (KBI) which the principal accountable person (PAP) is required to provide to the Building Safety Regulator. 

It is important to note that the KBI differs from the “golden thread”, which is gathered and maintained by those with on-going responsibility for the building’s safe management.

Instead, the KBI is technical data that must be obtained post-construction and submitted to the Regulator. The KBI will be collated in order to analyse and understand trends and risks, so that the Regulator can assess building safety risks across the country’s stock both now and in the future.

On the whole, the responses to the consultation supported the Regulations as drafted – so it seems unlikely that they will be subject to many, if any amendments in Parliament. If approved, the Regulations will come into force on 6 April 2023. 

Under the draft Regulations, the KBI must be provided in electronic form, and includes:

  • The use of the occupied higher-risk building (described by reference to specific categories); 
  • Information about structures that are attached to, or an outbuilding of, a higher-risk building;
  • A description of the materials and fixtures in certain parts of the building, such as the roof and external walls;
  • Information about the building’s structure, storeys and staircases; 
  • Types of energy supply and storage systems in the building; and
  • Details of emergency evacuations plans and fire/smoke control equipment in the building, including the equipment’s location.

The consultation confirmed that the Regulations will not include more specific details about the building, such as floor layout information or the number of residents – because both could quickly become out of date.

Under the draft Regulations, the KBI must be submitted within 28 days of a PAP submitting an application for registration of a new, unoccupied building with the Regulator. The information must also be updated within 28 days of the PAP becoming aware of any changes. It will be crucial for the PAP to be mindful of this duty in order to avoid potential criminal liability.

It is likely that the information provided to the Regulator will be made publicly available - subject to any privacy or security implications - in order to increase transparency in the sector. The consultation confirmed that any publication would be accompanied by a clear explanation of the purpose and content of the data.

The key deadline to remember is 1 October 2023. After this date, it will be an offence for an occupied higher-risk building not to be registered. It is not clear yet how long the registration process for each building will take as this aspect of the consultation has not yet been published. With 13,000 existing higher-risk buildings to be processed by the Regulator, landlords that might be “principal accountable persons” would be wise to submit their applications as soon as possible from April 2023 to avoid falling foul of the Regulations, given the risk of criminal liability and, at the extreme end, imprisonment.


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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