Can you stop time on a building developer defect claim?
In short yes. Where the Buildng Safety Act extended 15 or 30 year limitation periods (effectively inserted into the Defective Premises Act 1972 and the Section 38 Building Act 1984) are near their end, residents, building owners and their advisors should seek to enter into standstill agreements with the potential defendants as soon as possible.
The time periods to watch out for are
Defective Premises Act 1972: Specifically the Act extents the limitation period to 15 years prospectively for claims under s1 and s2A (claims that accrue after the Act takes effect); and to 30 years retrospectively for claims under s1 (claims that accrued before the Act takes effect).
Section 38 Building Act 1984: The Building Safety Act 2022 finally brings Section 38 of the Building Act 1984 into force. It provides for claims for up to 15 years after works have been completed. Section 38 provides that a breach of building regulations which causes ‘damage’ is actionable, unless the building regulations provide otherwise. This section applies to "all buildings not just dwellings" and may be helpful for residents or owners of buildings with fire safety defects, as those defects are often breaches of building regulations. The Building Safety Act 2022 does not provide the same 30 year retroactive period.