Breaking the Building Regulations
Breaking the building regulations can happen when:
- you don't lodge plans before you start the building work
- the builder doesn't give the necessary notice during work stages
- you fail to meet building regulation requirements during site work
When you or a builder break a regulation, it's described as a 'contravention'.
Building Control in the local council is responsible for dealing with breaches of building regulations.
They'll ask a builder to rectify a contravention. If the builder doesn't rectify what's wrong with the work, the council can take legal action.
Where building work doesn't meet the regulations, the council has authority to serve a Building Regulations Contravention Notice.
Building Regulations Contravention Notice
The notice explains:
- the contravention
- how long you have to alter, remove or rectify the defective work
The council usually gives you 28 days to alter, remove or rectify the work.
How to respond to a contravention notice
When you receive a contravention notice, you need to make one of three responses:
- comply with the notice
- challenge the notice
- appeal the notice
Complying with the notice
To comply, you need to alter, remove or rectify the defective work within 28 days.
Challenging the notice
To challenge the notice, you need to ask an expert to write a report with reasons why the council should not have given a contravention notice. You need to send the report to the council. If they reject the report, you can appeal their decision.
Appealing the notice
You appeal to the Department of Finance's Building Regulations Unit against a contravention notice from the council. You need to appeal the notice within 28 days.
You can also appeal a council's decision to:
- reject plans
- refuse to relax Building Regulations
- deem your plans include materials unsuitable for permanent buildings
You have 56 days to appeal rejected plans.Department of Finance
Building Regulations Unit
Level 3, Northland House
3 - 5A Fredrick Street
The council's Building Control office can explain how to appeal.
Many councils and groups in Northern Ireland have formally adopted the principles of the Enforcement Concordat published by the Home Office. For more information, contact your local council: