The Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA) includes a number of new roles and responsibilities, put in place to help improve building safety. One of the new roles included within the BSA is known as an appointed person or accountable person. Within all occupied higher-risk buildings there needs to be at least one clearly identified appointed person.
Before we go into who can be an appointed person and what their responsibilities are, it is worth us defining what a higher-risk building is, which requires an appointed person. A higher-risk building is a building that is a height of 18 meters or more, or at least 7 storeys, and contains two or more residential dwellings.
Who can be an appointed person?
An appointed person can be an organization or individual who owns or has a legal obligation to repair any common parts of the building, such as staircase, the exterior of the building, corridors etc. Therefore, an appointed person can be any of the following:
- Managing agent
- Resident management company
- Right to manage company
- Commonhold association
What are the responsibilities of an appointed person?
The role of an appointed person comes with a number of responsibilities including to:
- Regularly assess the building safety risks, taking all reasonable steps to prevent a major incident taking place in the building as a result of these risks.
- Provide a ‘Safety Case Report’ which details how building safety risks are being identified, mitigated and managed on an ongoing basis.
- Ensure the building is registered and apply for a Building Assurance Certificate.
- Appoint a suitable and competent Building Safety Manager to support with the management of fire and structural safety risks in the building.
- Establish a process for mandatory occurrence reporting. Any building safety risks will need to be reported to the Building Safety Regulator by the Building Safety Manager.
The role of an appointed person is crucial to maintaining the safety of a higher risk building, and it is therefore vital to ensure an appropriate individual or organization are in place. Having multiple appointed persons can also help to ensure all of the responsibilities are completed to a high standard, as long as those involved work well together. Furthermore, if possible, appointing a Building Safety Director may be a suitable option to ensure any appointed person who feels they need expert support has someone they can utilise.