Building regulations - a guide

What happens if I do work without approval?

The Local Authority has to see that building work complies with the Regulations.  If the work does not comply, you may be asked to alter or remove it.  If you fail to do this, the Local Authority may serve a notice requiring you do so within 28 days, and you will be liable for the costs. 

If you disagree with the Notice you should tell the Council and seek advice from a suitable qualified person.  The time limit will then be extended to allow discussions between your adviser and the Council to take place.

Are there penalties for contravening the building regulations?

If you contravene the Regulations by building without notifying the Local Authority or by carrying out work which does not comply, the Local Authority can prosecute.  If you are convicted, you are liable to a penalty not exceeding £5,000 plus £50 for each day on which each individual contravention is not put right after you have been convicted.  If you do not put the work right when asked to do so, the Local Authority have power to do it themselves and recover the costs from you.

Can I obtain retrospective approval for building work carried out without notification?

Yes.  The Building Regulations allow you to "regularise" unauthorised building work that has begun since 11 November 1985.  However, in applying for this "regularisation" of unauthorised work you must be prepared to open up as much of the construction as necessary so that the Building Control Surveyor can check you are complying with the Building Regulations in force at the time of construction.

If this is carried out and the works comply or if alterations are made to ensure compliance with the Regulations a "Regularisation Certificate" will be issued.  If works do not comply or you are not prepared to open up the necessary areas for inspection no further action will be taken and a "Regularisation Certificate" will not be issued.

There is a charge payable (which is not subject to VAT) to the council for this type of application.  The money must be deposited with your application for it to be valid.  Details are attached to the application form.  This Regularisation Charge is not refundable whether or not you obtain a "Regularisation Certificate".

Building control


Tel: 020 8313 4313

Fax: 020 8313 4604

Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, BR1 3UH