New roles and responsibilities

The building safety reforms give dutyholders clear accountability and statutory responsibilities. These apply while buildings are being designed, built, refurbished and occupied.

New roles

Accountable person

Part 4 of the Building Safety Act identifies new dutyholders – 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. It may also be an organisation or person who is responsible for maintaining the common parts of a building, for example 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:

  • prevent a building safety risk happening, with building safety risk defined as ‘spread of fire and/or structural failure’
  • reduce the seriousness of an incident if one happens

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:

  • register existing buildings with the Building Safety Regulator (BSR), they can do this between April 2023 and October 2023
  • register all new buildings before occupation

All occupied buildings must be registered by October 2023, it is an offence if a building is occupied but not registered after this date.

PAPs must also:

  • prepare a safety case report for the building
    This should show that:
    • APs have assessed all building safety risks and
    • taken all reasonable steps to control them
  • give the safety case report to BSR on request – BSR will examine it during the building assessment
  • apply for a building assessment certificate when directed by BSR

Detailed, accurate information about the building will be critical when registering a building and when preparing the safety case report.

Existing roles with new responsibilities

During design and construction

Existing dutyholders under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 will have new duties. These dutyholders are clients, designers, principal designers, contractors and principal contractors. Their new duties will be to:

  • plan
  • manage
  • monitor

their activities in relation to building regulations.

The dutyholders will keep their existing duties, including: 

  • co-operating with other dutyholders
  • communicating and sharing information
  • co-ordinating and putting systems in place to plan and manage work
  • ensuring competence: appointing people with the right skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours for the work they need to do

Related content

Visit GOV.UK for more information about building safety reforms:

Is this page useful?

Updated 2023-10-02