Building warrants

A building warrant is required for all building work to which the regulations apply with the following exception -  Building Regulation 5 allows work to be done without a warrant if it is work listed in Schedule 3 of the building regulations. This work must still meet any relevant requirements of the building regulations. A Building Warrant is also required for a conversion, as defined in Schedule 2 of the building regulations, even if it is not proposed that building work is to be undertaken.

Building Standards will agree with the applicant which drawings (if any), specifications and other information are required to comply with the regulations. A fee is payable at the time of application (see list of fees under further information ). 

Before work starts on areas of construction that do not follow the proposals in the original approved drawings and/or specifications an amendment to your building warrant is required. If changes are made during construction without an amendment to warrant these could be subject to a building warrant enforcement notice.

It is an offence for anyone to carry out work to which the building regulations apply without a Building Warrant. The Building (Scotland) Act 2003 in sub-section 8(3) indicates who is guilty of an offence if a warrant is not obtained before work is done. These people are:

  • any person carrying out the work who is a self build owner or tenant, a developer who is a builder, or a builder
  • any person for whom the work is to be done that is an owner, tenant or developer who is not doing the work but has engaged a builder to do it
  • the owner, if the owner is different from the persons above

For any one project, therefore, a variety of people may have committed an offence. These can include the owners, tenants or developers who order the work to be done, any person doing the work (including the builder) and the owner (when not one of the above). The ways of dealing with this are to report the offence to the Procurator Fiscal or, more normally, to issue a building warrant enforcement notice. Such a notice can only be issued on the relevant person as defined in section 27 of the Act. Although a builder can be reported for committing an offence, if the builder is carrying out the work on behalf of a client then the builder can not be served with such a notice.

The Customer Journey explains the roles and responsibilities of the home owner in relation to the building standards process, and gives helpful guidance to those who intend to carry out building work and where to seek help.

Contact Information

Planning & Building Standards
Telephone: 01563 576790
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