Dangerous Buildings and Structures

What is a dangerous building or structure?

The term 'dangerous structure' covers buildings or parts of buildings. It also includes garden walls, fences or hoardings, in fact any built structure that because of its condition could endanger the public.

What makes buildings or structures dangerous?

Buildings, like people, suffer from an ageing process, which can result in the structure becoming weaker. Buildings or structures can become dangerous as a result of poor maintenance, fire, storm, vehicle impact or explosion.

What do you do if you think a building or structure is dangerous?

You need to report the problem directly to your local authority Building Control office either in person or by calling their office.

Building Control is here to help and ensure the safety of the public when a dangerous structure or building is identified. The council's Building Control Officers can offer advice and guidance to property owners.

This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Where necessary the council can require the owner of the dangerous structure to make it safe or, in an emergency, take direct action to remove the danger under powers contained in Sections 77 and 78 of The Building Act 1984.

If you are a building owner or their agent, what will the building control officer do?

A Building Control Officer will visit the site to inspect the structure and arrange for the appropriate action to be taken to maintain public safety.

If the structure is considered potentially dangerous, the owner of the building or structure will be contacted and asked to arrange for removal of it or for repairs to be carried out. A letter to confirm what action is needed and by when will be sent to the owner.

If the structure is considered to be in imminent danger of collapse or part has already collapsed, the Building Control Officer will try to contact the owner of the building or structure to require their urgent action in removing the danger. If the owner is unavailable, unable or unwilling to arrange for the danger to be removed, the officer will arrange for the council's contractor to take the minimum action necessary to remove the danger. This action can often involve putting up barriers or fencing to keep people away from the dangerous area until a more permanent solution is found. All actions taken will be confirmed in writing and if available, the owner will be advised of the likely cost involved.

Where the danger is such that a building becomes uninhabitable we can arrange for a housing officer to contact the occupiers regarding temporary accommodation.

What charges will be made for this service?

The local authority Building Control office has the powers to charge for dangerous structure services and may recover all reasonable costs incurred, including, where the council's contractor is used to deal with the danger, payment of their charges. All charges will be the responsibility of the owner of the building or structure.

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