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Building Regulations Enforcement

Labc LogoThis page contains a guide to the provisions of section 35, 36 and 37 of the Building Act 1984. For further information please refer directly to the Building Act 1984.

Introduction

Failure to comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations can, as a means of last resort, result in formal enforcement action being instigated under the provisions of section 35 and 36 of the Building Act 1984.

The following is a guide to the provisions of section 35, 36 and 37 of the Building Act 1984. For further information please refer directly to the Building Act 1984.

Section 35 (breach of building regulations)

If a person contravenes any provision in the Building Regulations, to which section 35 of the Building Act 1984 applies, that person is liable on summary conviction of a magistrates court to a fine not exceeding level five (currently £5,000.00) and a further fine not exceeding £50.00 for each day the default continues after conviction.

Section 36 (removal or alteration of offending work)

Without prejudice to proceeding with action for a fine as indicated in section 35, a local authority can, by notice, require that the owner of the property:-

  • pulls down or removes the work or
  • if the owner so elects, to effect such alterations to make it comply with the regulations.

If a person to whom a notice has been given fails to comply with the notice within 28 days or such longer period as allowed by a magistrates court, upon application to the court, the local authority may carry out the works and recover from the owner the expenses reasonably incurred.

A person aggrieved by the giving of a section 36 notice can appeal against the notice in the first instance to the magistrates court. Please refer to section 40 of the Building Act 1984 and if they are further aggrieved by the decision of the magistrates court may appeal to the Crown Court see section 41 of the Building Act 1984.

Section 37 (obtaining a report where a section 36 notice is given)

The person upon whom a section 36 notice has been given, may by notice to the local authority within 28 days, or such longer period as allowed by an application to a magistrates court (see section 36), give notice of his intention to obtain from a suitably qualified person a report to be considered by the local authority with a view to withdrawing the notice. The period allowed for the submission of the report extends the period of the section 36 notice up to 70 days.

If the report is not considered by the local authority to establish that the works are in compliance with the regulations the default provisions allowed by section 36 still apply and the local authority can carry out the necessary works and recover their reasonable expenses.

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