Failing to comply with the Building Regulations

There are two ways someone may not comply with Building Regulations.

  1. Not following the correct procedures for building work, including not submitting a Building Regulation application prior to starting to build and not notifying the Council at various stages that are required, including start and completion.
  2. Not building to the correct standards laid out by Building Regulations.

How are the Building Regulations enforced?

The Building Regulations are enforced by the Local Authority, unless the building is:

  • at least 7 floors or at least 18 metres in height and contains at least 2 residential units.
  • a care homes or hospital of the same floor / height criteria as above.

For such buildings the Building Safety Regulator is the enforcement body.

The Local Authority and Building Safety Regulator can take enforcement action against a person who appears to the authority to have contravened, be contravening or be likely to contravene Building Regulations.

Methods of enforcement include:

  • Prosecutions for fines or imprisonment
  • The issuing of stop notices to ongoing work
  • The issuing of notices requiring steps to be taken to ensure works meet Building Regulations or that the works are removed.

Before undertaking formal enforcement action the Council will consider informal methods of resolution, but in doing so will take into account:

  • The seriousness of the breach or likely breach.
  • The track record of non-compliance.
  • The continued risk to health, safety or the environment.
  • The effects of non-compliance.
  • The likely effectiveness of enforcement choices.
  • Legislation and guidance issued nationally or locally.
  • The need to consult with other authorities or enforcement agencies.

Such enforcement action will always be transparent, accountable, proportionate, and consistent.

Where a private company is providing the building control service, the responsibility for checking that the Regulations are complied with sits with that inspector. However, if the approved inspector is not satisfied that you have complied with the Building Regulations, they will cancel their notice and hand back to the Local Authority who can then take enforcement action.

The Council’s Building Control Surveyors follow the LABC Enforcement Policy which sets out more detail on the way it carries out its enforcement duties to protect the public, consumers, and the environment.