On the 28th of April 2022, the Building Safety Act was given royal assent. The Act has created new legal safety measures to ensure that the way that high-rise buildings are built and maintained is safe and simultaneously protects leaseholders’ rights. This comes five years after the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

The Act aims to protect some leaseholders in flats in England from the cost of replacing the non-compliant cladding with new cladding. If you are a landlord or a tenant, it is important to understand how the work and the act will affect you.

Main points:

  • The Act displays a formal redress scheme which is the starting point for responsibility.
  • The Act applies to tenants who qualify for rectification. This will be the case if the tenant lives in their own house and has 3 properties or less (and are qualifying leaseholders.)
  • Landlords will not be allowed to charge tenants rectification costs to change non-compliant cladding in buildings which are over five storeys.
  • There will now be an independent regulator (or Building Safety Regulator) who will be responsible for unresolved problems.
  • The limitation to claim compensation for construction work that isn’t up to standard will be increased to 30 years.

Although the Act is full of positive changes, it also has the potential to cause some issues. For example, landlords that are trying to change cladding or carry out other building work on the property may find themselves presented with a damages claim from their tenant due to the resulting noise and disruption that occurs.

If you are a landlord, tenant or management company and need advice about this, contact our property law team.