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/ 22 Sep 2022

Recent changes in Building Safety Law

Solicitor Jack Glover attended a seminar this week hosted by Five Paper Chambers which discussed the recent changes in building and safety law, in particular with reference to the new Building Safety Act and case law.

Key takeaways on recent changes in Building Safety Law

The sessions delivered by Nicholas Grundy KC, Stephen Evans and Sonia Rai included an overview of Part 5 of the Act; pros and cons of leaseholder protections currently in force; consideration of “relevant building”, “relevant defect”, “qualifying lease” and “building safety risk”; an analysis of Schedule 8 protections Remediations orders and limitation issues; plus a review of the recent TCC cladding case (Martlett Homes Ltd v Mullaly & Co [2022] EWHC 1813 (TCC)

The key takeaways are as follows:

Changes to limitation periods

The Act now extends the limitation period for prospective claims brought under sections 1 and 2A of the DPA from 6 years to 15 years from the date of practical completion (including latent defects at the time of completion). For retrospective claims, the limitation period is now 30 years, before the Act coming into force, for claims accrued under section 1.

Contribution Orders

An interested person under the Act can make an application for a Contribution Order in relation to a relevant building. Following such an application, a first-tier tribunal can order that a “specified body corporate” must meet the costs incurred or to be incurred to remedy relevant defects. Specified body corporates include landlords (whether existing or qualified at the time), developers in relation to the relevant building and “persons associated” with a person within any of the three preceding categories. Those in a company that may not have been directly involved with previous developments of the “higher-risk” buildings may now be liable for future and historical development projects.

Recent Case Law

The seminar took us through the recent case of Martlet Homes Ltd v Mulalley and Co Ltd20. Whilst this case does not concern the Act directly, it emphasises the Court’s willingness post-Grenfell to allow building owners to pursue claims against contractors in circumstances where combustible cladding materials are installed.

Getting up to speed with the Building Safety Act 2022

This is an ever-changing area of law, with very little case law, having only recently been granted royal ascent. We will continue to monitor the position as it changes. If you would like to speak to one of our property specialists to discuss the recent changes to building safety law and whether they affect you, please contact Solicitor Jack Glover today for an initial consultation. Contact: jack.glover@hanne.co.uk

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