The Building Safety Act sets out the statutory obligations and responsibilities of people and key stakeholders across the industry, notably the Dutyholder and Accountable Persons.
A Dutyholder can be an individual or an organisation. They have statutory obligations to ensure building safety at all stages - including after it's built. Non-compliance could lead to criminal sanctions.
Generally, this is a person who holds a legal estate in possession in any part of the common parts is an Accountable Person, but there are exceptions. They may be an individual or body corporate and there can be more than one Accountable Person where there are multiple proprietary interests in the building, hence the primary role of Principal Accountable Person.
A key obligation for the Accountable Person is to create a golden thread for higher-risk buildings. This is a constantly updated digital record of safety information about the design, construction and management of the building. It remains a living asset throughout the lifecycle of the project and must be maintained in accordance with prescribed standards.
You may not know you are an Accountable Person but the consequences of failing in this function can lead to criminal sanctions being imposed.
The Building Safety Regulator (BSR)/ manager
This is a new body within the Health and Safety Executive. The BSR enforces the new regulatory framework for high rise buildings of 7 or more storeys (or that are 18m or higher) and have at least two residential units.
It will give the Accountable Persons clear responsibilities as buildings are designed, built, refurbished and occupied.
The New Homes Ombudsman Service (NHOS)
Newly formed, the NHOS supports owners of new homes looking to raise complaints against developers. The NHOS will investigate complaints and, where appropriate, impose sanctions.
The Act strengthens the powers of the Architects Registration Board to monitor the competence of architects on its register. Architects must now meet new criteria or risk being removed.
The Act also amends the Architects Act 1997. Now, any disciplinary orders will be listed alongside the architect’s name for increased transparency.