A building requires constant maintenance and review to ensure that it does fall into a defective condition. Regular inspections or surveys of your building will help you in meeting your obligation to ensure that it is not a hazard and to plan for future repairs
Where a local authority considers that a building has defects that require to be dealt with to prevent significant deterioration, it can serve a notice on the owner of the building. In the majority of local authorities, it will be the Building Standards Service that will decide if the building is defective and serve the Defective Building Notice.
The defects that can be dealt with are those that can be described as requiring rectification in order to bring the building into a reasonable state of repair having regard to its age, type and location.
As with dangerous buildings notices - see Dangerous Buildings Page, before serving a defective building notice your Building Standards service may consider it useful to call a meeting, particularly if the repairs are likely to be extensive and/or involve a variety of owners.
A defective building notice will specify: -
- a date, not less than 7 days after service of the notice, by which the owner must have begun the work specified.
- that the work must be completed by a second specified date, which will be not less than 21 days after the specified commencement date.
- particular steps which the owner must take in complying with the notice where appropriate.
- that the owner is required to inform the local authority when work is completed and a completion certificate is required whether or not work is done under a warrant.
Should the work be of a nature that does require a warrant, then a warrant must be obtained before the work starts. If an owner has not begun and completed the work by the specified dates the owner has committed an offence. The local authority also has the power to carry out the work necessary to fulfil the notice and to recover from the owner any expenses reasonably incurred in doing so - see recovery of costs page.
If you know of a building in a defective condition, please report it to your Local Authority Building Standards Service for the matter to be investigated.
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