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Building Control enforcement policy

1. Introduction

Telford & Wrekin Building Control has adopted the Enforcement Policy written by Local Authority Building Control (LABC). The following should be read in conjunction with the LABC Enforcement Policy.

Visit the LABC website to view the enforcement policy

2. What is enforcement

Enforcement is a formal procedure available to local authorities which enables them to ensure that building work complies with the national Building Regulations.

Section 91 of the Building Act 1984 requires the Local Authority to carry out its duties to enforce the Building Regulations. Sections 35 and 36 contain powers for Local Authority Building Control to take enforcement action.

3. When are these procedures used

When an inspecting building control surveyor sees that either work carried out does not comply with the Building Regulations, or when work which would normally be required to be inspected at specific specified stages has been covered over and that Local Authority Building Control has not been given notice/the opportunity to inspect the work at these stages.

4. How do the procedures work

In the majority of cases, the inspecting building control surveyor will try resolve any issues with the works informally with your builder, if you have employed one, or with you personally if you are organising or doing the work yourself. This will usually involve having the defective works being altered or, if an inspection has not been carried out when it should have been, due to a failure to give the l the necessary notice to the Local Authority Building Control, it would mean that the works not inspected will need to be opened up for inspection. These informal methods usually mean that the problem is sorted out within two or three days.

If these informal methods are unsuccessful, the inspecting building control surveyor will formally notify your builder and you of the offending items (email/letter) and advise of period of by when works should be rectified or/and opened up for inspection. 

Irrespective of whether or not the council decides to invoke statutory enforcement procedures, the existence of such a list of unresolved outstanding work on the file will mean that a completion certificate will not be issued.

5. What could happen next

As contravening the Building Regulations is a criminal offence,  under section 35 of the Building Act 1984, depending upon the nature of the outstanding work(s), the council may at its discretion use powers contained in an Act of Parliament called 'The Building Act 1984'.

The two options available are:

  • The Council can prosecute anyone who fails to comply with the regulations. This could be your builder, or even you as the owner, particularly if you are organising the work yourself using different sub-contracted trades. Anyone convicted of contraventions of Building Regulations will usually be fined and the court can also order that the person pay a fine for each day that passes following conviction until the work is put right,
  • Even if the Council doesn't prosecute anyone for the contravention, it can also serve a formal notice under section 36 of The Building Act 1984 upon you as the building owner. This notice specifies the extent of the offending work and the timescale within which it must be put right.

6. What sort of contraventions of building regulations could lead to the Council serving a notice on me under section 35 and 36 of the Building Act 1984

Each building project is different and so it is difficult to be specific about a full list of contraventions where a notice would be served. However, as a general rule, a notice would only be served as a last resort where there are concerning issues in respect of the Building Regulations and associated legislation.  

7. What happens if the owner fails to rectify the works

The council may choose to do the work itself. It doesn't have to, but if it does do the work, it will then recover its costs and the costs of doing the works, from you.

8. Are there any ways to question what the council is doing

Yes. At any stage in the process you are entitled to use the council's complaints procedures. If the problem gets to the stage where a notice under section 36 of The Building Act 1984 is served on you, you can challenge the council by obtaining a specialist report to try and demonstrate that the council was wrong in serving the notice on you in the first place. The way of doing this is specified in section 37 of the Building Act 1984.

Complete our online form to make a complaint

Last updated: 08/04/2022 13:00