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Building warrant enforcement notices (s27)

It is an offence for anyone to carry out work to which the building regulations apply without a building warrant (except for work not requiring a warrant – hyperlink to appropriate section),

In the following cases, where the local authority’s Building Standards Service consider it necessary, a ‘building warrant enforcement notice’ may be served on the relevant person.  The three cases are:

  • that work requiring a warrant has been or is being done without a warrant
  • that work has been or is being done that is not in accordance with a warrant that has been granted; or
  • that a limited life building has not been demolished by the expiry of the period for which a warrant has been granted.

A building warrant enforcement notice may require:

  • for ongoing work without a warrant, that a building warrant be obtained
  • for completed work without a warrant, that a completion certificate be submitted and the verifiers acceptance obtained
  • for work not carried out in accordance with the warrant, that the work be altered to comply or that an amendment of warrant covering the changes be obtained; or
  • for a limited-life building that has not been demolished, that a warrant for the demolition be obtained and the building demolished.

The relevant person will be: -

  • the owner for the demolition of a limited-life building
  • the owner, tenant or developer doing the work or conversion themselves; or
  • the owner, tenant or developer who has employed a builder to do the work for them.

In cases where the relevant person cannot be found or no longer has an interest in the building, the current owner.

The notice will specify: -

  • a date by which these actions must be completed, although it will never be less than 28 days after the notice takes effect; and
  • the date of effect will also be specified on the notice.

Copies of notices will be sent to the owner and/or occupier of the building if they are not the person receiving the notice.  A copy will also be served on any other person with an interest as determined by the local authority.

In some cases, the local authority Building Standards Service will specify particular steps that must be taken in complying with the notice.

  • Where work that needs a warrant is being carried out without a warrant or not in accordance with a warrant, the local authority may specify on the notice that work is suspended (other than work for complying with the notice).
  • The notice may also specify particular steps that must be taken to comply and that may include the removal of works that are unlikely to comply even after alteration.
  • To comply with the notice a warrant must be obtained, not just applied for, before works may start again.

If, by the final specified completion date, the relevant person has not met the requirements of the notice, that person is guilty of an offence.  The local authority may then carry out the necessary work to make the work comply and can recover the costs from the person. For further guidance see The Buildings (Recovery of Expenses) (Scotland) Act 2014.

The principal Act is the Building (Scotland) Act 2003

More information is available from the Building (Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2004​ and the Procedural Handbook Third Edition Version 1.4 February 2015