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Owners and developers responsibilities

Your responsibilities under the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 

The property owner is legally responsible for ensuring that all work complies with the building regulations. The local authority can take enforcement action against the property owner where this is not the case. 

Before applying for a building warrant, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are either the property owner, or that you have written permission from the property owner. 

The property owner should ensure that all work requiring a building warrant is undertaken by qualified and experienced building professionals, ideally registered with a reputable trade or professional body. If in doubt, seek advice from your local authority building standards service or from a reputable building professional (such as an architect, building surveyor or structural engineer) or from your local authority building standards service. 

You are the the "relevant person" under the Act, and your responsibilities as a building owner, developer or homeowner, MUST complement the verifier role.

 

The verifier role

Building standards surveyors are not required to supervise or monitor every activity on a building project nor can they be present at all times. The supervision of building work is the responsibility of the building owner or developer who should appoint a building professional to supervise the work to ensure the standard of workmanship is satisfactory and meets the building regulations.

The purpose of the building standards system is to protect the public interest. It is not intended to provide protection to a client in a contract with a builder. The system, therefore, does not so much control building as set out the essential standards to be met when building work or a conversion takes place, and only to the extent necessary to meet the building regulations. 

 

Construction work cannot begin before the building warrant has been approved. 

If a warrant is not obtained and work is started then this will lead to additional costs for the processing of a building warrant where no warrant was obtained first, or a ‘late’ completion certificate that will normally be required when selling your property. This can also jeopardise the sale or reduce the value of the property. Your local authority may also require work to be opened up to show that compliance with the building regulations has been achieved. 

Once work has commenced: 

You should ensure its progress is supervised by someone with sufficient expertise. The aim is to ensure that work is completed in accordance with the approved plans and is compliant with the building regulations. For all building, repair and maintenance work – even work that is not required to satisfy the building regulations – it is recommended that you use the services of someone who has the professional skills and relevant experience relevant to the work, for example an installer having current membership of an accredited registration scheme operated by a recognised trade body of professional body. 

The inspection of building work in progress is an important part of the building standards procedure. However it must be stressed that inspections by the verifier are to protect the public interest in terms of compliance with building regulations, not to ensure that all the work is constructed as the person paying for the work would want it.

Responsibility for compliance with the building regulations lies with the relevant person (usually the owner or developer). Therefore any checks made by a verifier do not remove any responsibility from the relevant person who is required to certify all the completed work as being in accordance with the approved plans, details and building regulations by the submission of a Completion Certificate to the Verifier

In signing the Completion Certificate the relevant person is declaring that any work has been carried out in accordance with the approved building warrant plans and in addition also confirms work complies with building regulations.