A New Era of Safety for High-Rise Residents

If you live in a high-rise residential building in England, it’s time to familiarise yourself with the new building safety laws that put your rights and well-being front and centre.

The Building Safety Act 2022 ushers in a new era of enhanced protections and empowerment for residents of these ‘higher-risk’ buildings.

At the heart of these reforms is the recognition that residents deserve a voice in the safety decisions that affect their homes and lives. The new legislation ensures clear processes for reporting issues and a mandate that your grievances will be taken seriously.

Key Resident Rights Among the key rights afforded to high-rise residents are:
• Assurance that safety risks in your building are being effectively managed
• Access to ongoing information about efforts to improve safety
• Empowerment to voice concerns, with the certainty they’ll be addressed
• Clear, accessible information regarding all safety matters

The new rule is the requirement for every high-rise residential building to have a Principal Accountable Person (PAP). This individual is legally obligated to manage the building’s safety effectively and can be held accountable for fulfilling their duties.

If you have concerns, you now have a direct line to the PAP for your building. Clear protocols are in place for expressing issues or filing complaints, giving you the confidence to speak up without fear of repercussions.

The newly established Building Safety Regulator (BSR) is a crucial part of the government’s response to the Grenfell tragedy.

As Philip White, Director of Building Safety at HSE, explains: “Residents are at the heart of our regulatory efforts. It’s vital for us to amplify their voices and recognise the role they play in the safety of their buildings.”

The BSR works closely with a residents’ panel, whose members provide invaluable insights based on their real-life experiences. This engagement helps shape the regulator’s approach to ensuring high-rise safety standards.

A Safer Future for All Marlene Price BEM, a member of the BSR Residents Panel, sums it up perfectly: “Everyone should feel safe in their home, including the millions who live in high-rise buildings. The Building Safety Regulator is working to make this ambition a reality.”

So, if you live in a high-rise residential building, take the time to understand your new rights and the accountability measures in place. Your safety and peace of mind are now enshrined in law, with robust mechanisms to ensure your voice is heard and your concerns addressed.

This has been adapted from an article by the Health and Safety Executive. To access the full article click here.

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