Dangerous and unauthorised work

The owner of the building/structure is ultimately responsible for dealing with the danger. The council, however, may take action it considers necessary to alleviate or remove the danger.

Dangerous & defective structures may occur due to:

  • old age
  • deterioration or settlement

And may include:

  • walls leaning over or being unstable
  • roof tiles being blown off in high winds
  • chimneys damaged by storms

Or by a more dramatic cause such as:

  • explosion
  • fire
  • impact
  • storm damage

Our surveyors are on call-out during working hours and work with other emergency services to provide advice and guidance. We may take steps on issues affecting public safety which may include:

  • fencing off areas
  • shoring up
  • putting scaffolding up or 
  • demolition

The control of dangerous buildings and structures forms a very important part our service. Unstable brickwork, roofs and boundary walls, fire damaged buildings etc represent, potentially, a very high risk to public safety and are therefore given a high priority.

If a building or structure poses a potential danger to public safety or the building occupants, we may take appropriate action to alleviate or remove the danger. When necessary we have legal powers to require owners of buildings or structures to remedy the defects. If they cannot deal with the matter within a reasonable time we may direct contractors to carry our works to make the building or structure safe. 

You can contact us by email (bcpoole@bcpcouncil.gov.uk) or call 01202 633250, or on 0800 506050 outside of office hours.

I have done the work with no building regulations, what happens now?

Where work has been carried out without building regulations approval an application may be submitted for what is termed a regularisation certificate (under regulation 13A of the building regulations 1991 (as amended)). This regulation process can only be used for work commenced on, or after, 11 November 1985 where building regulations approval would have been required but was not sought. The work will need to comply with the building regulations in force at the time the work was carried out, therefore this date may need to be proved to us.

Making an application

An application for a regularisation certificate should have the following:

  • 2 copies of the regularisation certificate submission application form
  • 2 copies of plans and particulars showing how the alterations/building/extension(s) have been constructed. These need not be to scale, but should be sufficient to clearly show the work undertaken

A fee is payable at the time the regularisation application is submitted. This is a single payment in respect of each building, to cover all site visits and consultations. The fee attracts a premium on standard fees and is currently 120% of the equivalent building notice fee. No VAT is payable on this type of application.

What happens next

When we receive an application for a regularisation we will conduct an inspection of the work. We may require you to expose the work or have tests made, and provide samples of materials.

When we are satisfied that we have sufficient information to establish whether the work satisfies the relevant legislation we will notify you of any work that is needed in order to satisfy the legislation, or issue a regularisation certificate. We will continue to consult and provide checks until satisfied that any necessary remedial work is complete.

When we are satisfied that the work complies with the regulations you will be issued with a regularisation certificate, which should be kept in a safe place for reference in any future property transfers/sales.

There is no guarantee that existing work will be able to comply with the building regulations. In such cases we will be unable to issue a regularisation certificate.

Unfortunately due to the nature of this type of application there is no set time limit for how long this application will take to be completed. It may be the case that we just come and view what you have done, and then issue a certificate, or on the other hand we may ask you to expose the works that have been carried out to ensure you have used the correct materials and that it is habitable.

How do I report unauthorised work?

Where work has been carried out without building regulations approval an application may be submitted for a regularisation certificate. The local authority and building owner need to agree that the unauthorised work is controllable under the building regulations. The fee for such an application attracts a premium on normal fees and is currently 120% of the equivalent building notice fee.

Further details and fee advice are available from us on the contact details in the top right hand box on this page.

If you believe work is being carried out without approval please contact us and we will investigate it further.

Are there any penalties for contravening the building regulations?

Yes. Contravention of the building regulations by building without making an application to the local authority (or approved inspector), or by carrying out work that does not comply, may lead to a criminal conviction and a fine not exceeding £5000 plus £50 per day continuing fine following conviction. Both the owner and the builder have a responsibility to make sure a building regulation application is made before work starts and that notification of the various stages is given to us.

What happens if I do the work without approval?

Although it is not an offence to carry out work without approval, it is an offence not to provide the required notices, e.g. submission of an application, notification of works started, etc. Therefore if you did not submit an application, you may be liable upon conviction by a magistrates court to a fine of up to £5000 for each offence committed and a further fine of up to £50 for each day the default continues.

We have a legal duty to see that work carried out on site complies with the building regulations. If the work does not comply, you may be asked to carry out alterations to achieve compliance or to remove the work in contravention. If you fail to do this, we may serve notice upon you requiring you to do the work and you may be liable for the costs incurred by the council.

Page last updated: 02 October 2020
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