Building Safety and Rent

20th June 2022 Commercial Litigation

The Building Safety Act 2022 is intended to improve building safety, especially in relation to fire safety in blocks of flats which are deemed to be higher risk. However, it has some interesting provisions that will have wider effects.

Many landlords and agents will be familiar with s47 and s48, Landlord and Tenant Act 1987. These provisions require that tenants are given an address for service in England and Wales. If this information is not given the tenant is not required to pay the rent until it is given. More than one landlord has found possession proceedings collapsing when a tenant asserts that this information has not been given.

For landlords with flats in blocks over 18m there will be a new risk once the Building Safety Act comes into force. For these properties landlords must supply tenants with the building safety information required by the Act. These are:

  • the fact that the property is in a higher-risk building;
  • the names of people responsible for safety in the building;
  • an email address and telephone number to contact those people;
  • a postal address in England and Wales at which notices may be served by the tenant on the on those people;
  • a postal address for the safety regulator created by the Act; and
  • such other information as the Secretary of State may set out in regulations.

This will be an important additional piece of compliance that landlords and agents will need to get on top of in order to avoid problems with rent arrears, especially given the increasing importance of having grounds for possession as the government moves to get rid of s21.

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David Smith is a Partner located in Londonin our Commercial Litigation department

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