News & Insights

Defective Premises Act (DPA)

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In our latest blog, Senior Associate Katie Edwards provides a short and focused summary on the key amendments to limitation periods in the Defective Premises Act (DPA) following the introduction of the Building Safety Act (2022).

The Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA) has altered the position significantly in terms of Defective Premises Act 1972 (DPA).

The most significant is arguably the amendment to the previous limitation period under the DPA.

The amendments introduced by the BSA 2022 in relation to limitation provide that:

a. the limitation period applying to causes of action under section 1 of the DPA, which accrue after section 135of the BSA comes into force, will be 15 years

b. causes of action under section 1 of the DPA which accrued before section 135 of the BSA comes into force, will be subject to a limitation period of 30 years

c. in cases where the 30-year period in paragraph b above would expire within a year from the date section 135 comes into force, the limitation period will continue until the end of that year

Care should be taken however in instances where parties have already settled disputes or where a determination from the Court has been provided as section 135(6) provides that a claim cannot be made under section 135of the BSA if a matter has previously concluded (including where such claims were determined on the basis of limitation).

Further to the amendments of limitation, section 2A of the DPA (as amended by s134 of the BSA) now imposes a duty on those who take on any work on a building that contains a dwelling to ensure that the work does not render the dwelling unfit for habitation. This is provided that the work was carried out during the course of business.

This duty is an expansion of the previous duties imposed by the DPA and the extended limitation period for claims under the DPA to 15 years, but it will apply only to work completed after section 2A has come into force.

It is also important to note that it is possible to raise historic claims under the DPA and this should be thoroughly examined following these significant amendments to the DPA.

Should you wish to learn more about these changes and their potential implications for you, please contact our building safety team:

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