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Building control enforcement

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Building control enforcement is a formal procedure which enables us to ensure that building work complies with the national Building Regulations.

What the service is for

Enforcement is the final part of the building regulations process. It is used when informal methods have failed to resolve non-compliance with the building regulations. Most issues are resolved by discussion/agreement with the  person carrying out the work (usually the builder).

If someone breaks the building regulations we can take them to the magistrates' court where they could be fined up to £5000 for the contravention, and up to £50 for each day the contravention continues after conviction.

This action (under section 35 of the Building Act 1984) will usually be taken against the builder or main contractor, and proceedings must be taken within two years from the completion of the work. Alternative under section 36 of the Act we can serve an enforcement notice on the owner requiring them to alter or remove work which breaks the regulations. If the owner does not comply with the notice we can do the work itself and recover the costs from the owner.

You can't be served with a section 36 enforcement notice more than 12 months after the date of completion of the building work, but this does not affect our (or any other person's) right to apply to the courts for an injunction for the same purpose.

How long will it take

An enforcement notice will give you 28 days to rectify the building work.

If you wish to contest the notice on the grounds that you believe your building work does comply with the building regulations, you can advise us that you would like to commission a written report from a suitably qualified person about the compliance of your work to persuade us to withdraw the notice. In this event the 28 day period to rectify the building work is extended to 70 days. 

Alternatively, you can appeal against the notice in the magistrates' court and demonstrate that your building work complies.

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