Property Management in Putney
020 3637 7968
N.B. To the best of our knowledge, the information in this article is correct at the time of publication, but is subject to change
Revised in response to the Grenfell fire, the Fire Safety Act 2021 and the Building Safety Act 2022 make significant new demands that need to be complied with by those deemed Accountable Persons. These requirements vary according to the height of the property with increased measures for high-rise buildings i.e. any property that is 7 storeys or 18 metres and above.
Part 4 of the Building Safety Act identifies new duty holders, who will be known as ‘Accountable Persons’ (APs), for residential high-rise buildings (HRBs). This will be the organisation or person who owns or has responsibility for the building, and/or the person who is responsible for maintaining the common parts of a building, e.g. corridors or lobbies.
The AP will usually be an organisation or business but could also be an individual.
The AP will have a duty to take all reasonable steps to:
If a building has more than one AP, the AP responsible for the structure and exterior of the building will be the Principal Accountable Person (PAP). When buildings have a single AP, that entity or person is the PAP.
As well as their duties as an AP, PAPs must:
Detailed, accurate information about the building will be critical when registering a building and when preparing the safety case report. All occupied buildings must be registered by October 2023. It is an offence if a building is occupied but not registered after this date, however, this is likely to be extended due to the volume of buildings affected and the lack of PAPs.
At present under the standard ARMA guidelines, MIH act as the manager on behalf of the responsible party in carrying out the duties of the Fire Safety Order (2005).
A summary of this is below*:
*This list is not exhaustive
Where our clients are concerned, MIH will continue to review the FRA and action any items required, as per the list above and in accordance with our management agreement.
There are 3 categories of residential building that require progressively more duties:
|Residential Buildings under 11m with 2 or more domestic premises||Residential buildings between 11m and 17.9m||Residential buildings of 18m or 7 storeys and above|
|Fire Risk Assessment||✓||✓||✓|
|Fire Safety Instructions for Residents||✓||✓||✓|
|Secure Information Box||✓|
|Lifts & Key Firefighting Equipment||✓|
Given the additional requirements of the two Acts, MIH has acted quickly to secure resources to help clients manage their responsibilities. As of January 2023, MIH team member, Joe Starkey, will be heading up a Special Projects department to focus specifically on this area.
Joe has a long history in property management, he is very experienced, competent, and dedicated, and has previously operated as acting Head of Department at MIH.
As the appointed agent, MIH are not able to undertake the role of the PAP since appropriate training, credentials and experience is required.
The PAP will therefore be the responsible party in the lease, most likely either the freeholder or Management Company for the building, and whoever takes on the role will take on all the responsibilities set out in the Act. This requirement will come into play once part 4 of the Act comes into force – which is expected to be April 2023.
Alternatively, another appropriate and qualified specialist could provide some assistance and gather information on behalf of the PAP. MIH are working in synergy with several 3rd party services to assist our clients through this process.
In reality, accommodating the change is a challenging task well beyond the normal requirements of a managing agent. The feedback from ARMA members is that the requirements whilst noble, have not considered the realistic capabilities of those who are deemed to be the PAP, nor their appointed professional’s workload. As a result, deadlines may need to change.
In the meantime, MIH has a clear strategy for moving forward and are ready to adapt to change.