The new Building Safety Act 2022: How does it affect leasehold buyers?
In response to the Grenfell Tower disaster, the government has introduced the Building Safety Act 2022, a new legislation that aims to improve the safety of buildings in the UK.
In 2017, the Grenfell Tower fire started in a fourth-floor flat in the 24-story residential building, and spread throughout the building, causing 72 deaths and injuring 70 others. The incident exposed deficiencies in fire safety regulations, building standards, and safety within the construction industry.
It led to a nationwide review of building safety regulations and practices and as such, the UK government established the Building Safety Programme.
The Act introduces a new regulatory regime that places greater responsibility on building owners, managers, and developers to ensure their properties are safe for occupants.
This Act will come into effect in April 2023 and has implications for those buying or selling homes, particularly those involving leasehold properties.
To comply with the new legislation, conveyancers must now provide mortgage lenders with confirmation that the properties adhere to the requirements of the Act.
What is the Building Safety Act 2022 legislation in the UK?
The Building Safety Act 2022 legislation aims to improve the safety of residential buildings that are 18 meters or higher, or have 4 or more storeys. The new regulations and standards, include requirements for building owners to assess and manage the risks of fire and structural collapse.
The requirements include:
- The appointment of a Building Safety Manager for high-rise buildings.
- A Building Safety Certificate to demonstrate compliance with the new regulations.
- A new Building Safety Regulator to oversee the implementation of the new requirements.
What does the Building Safety Act mean for the property industry?
Conveyancing solicitors involved in the buying and selling process of leasehold buildings will need to be more diligent when doing due diligence checks on leasehold properties.
They must ensure that they obtain all the necessary information about the safety of the building and its compliance with the new regulations before proceeding with any transactions.
Section 5 of the Lenders' Handbook
states that the mortgage lender should ensure that the leasehold property meets their requirements, which may include obtaining a professional valuation and a copy of the lease agreement.
Since the Act highlights the importance of ensuring that the property meets certain conditions, conveyancers may need to obtain confirmation from the seller's conveyancer that the building is safe. For instance, they may need to confirm whether the building has been or will be modified under the Building Safety Act 2022, as well as get copies of any Landlord's Certificates and Leaseholder Deed of Certificate.
How Can GloverPriest Help?
At GloverPriest, we provide friendly and transparent legal advice. If you would like further advice on your property, please don’t hesitate to speak to one of our expert lawyers today. Complete our enquiry form.