06 Apr 2023

Legislation on the registration of higher-risk buildings comes into force in England

The Building Safety (Registration of Higher-Risk Buildings and Review of Decisions) (England) Regulations 2023 have come into force today, marking the opening of a six-month period for the registration of existing higher-risk buildings with the Building Safety Regulator.

Under the new regulations, the principal accountable person must register building/s with the regulator between 6 April and 1 October 2023. After this date a principal accountable person would commit an offence if a higher-risk building was occupied but not registered. We understand that although the regulations have come into force today, the portal to do this won't open until 12 April 2023.

Buildings are defined as higher-risk if they have at least two residential units, and the building is:

  • Is at least 18 metres in height; or:
  • Has at least seven storeys.

As part of the registration process, the principal accountable person must submit a large amount of information about each building. This includes confirmation of the identity of the principal accountable person, basic information about the building, the building certificate, and a range of recently confirmed ‘key building information’, extending to:

  • The presence and use of any ancillary buildings
  • The materials used in the building composition, including any external wall insulation and roofing
  • The main structural materials and structural design of the building
  • The presence and number of storeys and staircases
  • A description of evacuation strategies in place for the building, including fire and smoke detection equipment.

The regulator estimates that there are around 12,500 buildings in England that are defined as ‘higher-risk’, and which all must be registered by in the six-month period.

Accountable persons can sign up to receive more information on registration here. The government has also published new guidance on the role and duties of accountable persons and the principal accountable person for a high-rise residential building.

Matthew Scott, CIH policy and practice officer said: "While this is a key and welcome milestone in the new building safety regime, the definition of eligible buildings remains complex and confirmation of the key building information was made only a matter of days before the legislation came into force. We hope that the regulator will continue to work closely with social landlords and those defined as principally accountable to ensure that the registration process is as smooth and as simple as it can be."

At CIH, we're fully committed to keeping a watching brief on the development and functionality of the registration process, and we welcome feedback from CIH members on any issues or practical problems that they might encounter.

To share any comments or questions, please contact our policy team.