In cases where no immediate action is considered necessary but the building is considered to be in a dangerous condition, the local authority may serve a dangerous building notice. A dangerous building notice is not required if emergency work completely removes the danger, however, if part of the building is still dangerous a notice must be served. Where the building is merely defective after the emergency work, however, a defective building notice may be sufficient - see Defective Buildings Notice section. Before serving a notice, the local authority may write to the owners advising of the intention to serve a notice to have the danger permanently removed and may also call a meeting if considered beneficial.
A dangerous building notice contains the following information:
- the name and address of the owner
- the address of the dangerous building
- a list of any co-owners and their addresses
- the commencement and completion dates for remedial work (appropriate timescales set by authority)
- the dangerous aspects of the building and the work necessary to comply with the notice, including any protective works and specialist supervision required and offering options where possible, for example, repair or demolish
- notes on right of appeal
- a warning on the consequences of failing to carry out the stipulated works.
Copy notices will be served on the occupiers of the building if they are not the owner(s). The local authority will also serve a copy notice on any other person appearing to have an interest in the building.
An owner may appeal to the sheriff within 21 days of the date of the notice and this delays the effect of the notice. There is no further right of appeal against the decision of the sheriff.
If circumstances change after a notice has been served, for example, to a situation that requires urgent action, a notice may be withdrawn or any aspect waived or relaxed, allowing the authority to take urgent action. Notice of such a change is required before action only if reasonably practicable.
If, by the final specified completion date, the owner has not complied with the notice, the owner is guilty of an offence. The local authority may then carry out the necessary work to make the work comply with the specified provision and can recover the costs from the owner For further guidance see the 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