BSR issues enforcement warning to PAPs and APs over duties’ failure 

Principal Accountable Persons (PAPs) and Accountable Persons (APs) must ensure they have met their legal duties under the Building Safety Act 2022 or face enforcement action for non-compliance, the new Building Safety Regulator (BSR) has warned. 

The new regulatory regime for “higher-risk buildings”, which came into force on 1 October 2023, introduces new legal duties for PAPs and APs, who are responsible for managing building safety risks in high-rise residential buildings. 

This includes making sure they have actioned an extensive list of legal requirements to safeguard the safety of residents.

For example, from 1 October, the PAP, who is responsible for ensuring that fire and structural safety is being properly managed for the entire building, is required to prepare a safety case report as soon as possible. This must happen when the building is already occupied or becomes occupied or when they are appointed as the PAP.

As part of this process, the PAP must include the AP’s assessment of the building’s safety risk and the steps they have taken to prevent them happening or reducing the severity of any incident that does happen.

As the BSR will want reassurance that the building’s safety is being managed properly, it will ask PAPs and APs to provide the safety case report on request.

The PAP’s legal duties also include preparing a residents’ engagement strategy that sets out how residents will be involved in building safety decisions. APs are also required to engage with residents and perform duties that relate to this strategy.

The BSR is reminding PAPs and APs that they must take appropriate action to prepare for and be ready to implement their legal duties, which also include providing information to residents and a procedure to report mandatory occurrences. 

In early December the Health and Safety Executive published its Enforcement Policy Statement for the BSR, with section 2 covering regulation of the building control profession. 

"Our communications strategy for PAPs/APs will continue to ensure that all those who are responsible for building safety are aware of what they must do and how best they should deliver it."

 

The document outlines the range of enforcement tools at the BSR’s disposal in cases where it finds the new requirements under the Building Safety Act 2022 are not being implemented. Starting with verbal and written advice, the severity of action rises to the issue of enforcement notices and, in the most serious cases, prosecution.

As the statement notes: "We will take proportionate enforcement action, considering the seriousness of any misconduct/contravention, how far short the individual or organisation has fallen, or the extent of non-compliance when determining what action we will take."

Last week, the BSR reminded interested parties that the final piece of secondary legislation for the in-occupation phase had passed through the Parliamentary process. It is understood that the outstanding provisions of the in-occupation legislation will come into force shortly. 

In a statement, the BSR Secretariat said: "With the in-occupation legislation coming into force we will be increasingly communicating with residents directly to ensure they are fully informed.

"Our communications strategy for PAPs/APs will also continue to ensure that all those who are responsible for building safety are aware of what they must do and how best they should deliver it."

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