The Benefits Of Building Regulations (And Why They Come Up In House Moves)

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Building Regulations control the methods and materials to be used in the construction of a new property or for certain works carried out to an existing property, such as extensions, wall removals, or gas, electric, and glazing installation, to ensure that proper safety standards are maintained in all properties.

Building Regulations should not be confused with Planning Permission, a separate requirement of various works one may wish to carry out on a property.


Building Control, or their approved inspector, will review plans and make routine site inspections to check the relevant stages of works.

Once works have been completed, provided Building Control are satisfied that the works did not contravene Building Regulations, a Completion (or “Final”) Certificate will be issued.

Some works can be signed off by the installer or engineer themselves.

“CPS” means that a Compliance Certificate was issued under the Competent Person Scheme, which the UK Government introduced to allow contractors and installers to self-certify that their work complies with Building Regulations as an alternative to submitting a building notice or using an approved inspector.


In the event Building Regulations are breached, or works carried out without certification, enforcement proceedings for such a breach can only be brought within two years by the Local Authority, dependent on the type of breach; the lack of Building Regulations sign-off in a recently constructed property may suggest that it may not have been constructed to the proper standards and that it may be unsafe.

The local authority can, within a year of the works, force the owner to either remove the breach/installation/building or bring the works up to standards.

If there is a risk to health and safety, the Local Authority can obtain an injunction to prevent further works from continuing in breach of Building Regulations.

However, the Building Safety Bill 2021-22 intends to change enforcement periods to up to ten years.

Building Regulation Benefits

The problem with a lack of Building Regulations is two-fold:

  1. The first issue is financial, in that the Local Authority and Building Control could take enforcement action against you to bring any defects in the works up to Building Regulations’ standards and require you to pay for such works.
  2. The second issue is from a safety perspective. Works should have been carried out to a suitably safe standard fit for occupation of the Property. Failure to do so can render a property unsafe to live in.

Because of a lack or beach of Building Regulations, a property may be considered uninhabitable. Or there may be a risk of expensive remedial works being necessary, which the owner would have to pay for.

This, therefore, affects mortgagability. A lender would not want to risk their security on a property too unsafe to live in or where the cost of remedial works affects a homeowner’s ability to meet their mortgage payments because all their resources are being used to reinstate the Property to a suitable habitable condition.

The Risks Of Not Having Building Regulations

Buyer’s Solicitors will need to check that properties have the correct Building Regulations certification where works have been carried out, often for works such as replacement windows, extensions, or gas boiler installation.

But often, Sellers cannot produce any evidence of Building Regulations Consent, Completion Certificates or Installation Certificates, either because the documents have been lost or were never provided to them when they purchased the Property themselves many years before.

Local Authority Searches carried out by Buyer’s Solicitors will reveal Building Regulations Applications or Notices.

But sometimes these will not reveal any such consents, either because the Local Authority were never informed of the works by installers for works under Competent Persons Scheme, or no consents were ever requested from Building Control.

Lack of certification presents a risk that the works were never signed off because they were unsafe. Or even if they are safe, carries an inherent risk that the Local Authority could seek enforcement action to rectify defects, which could be costly.

This would affect both the Buyer’s and their Lender’s ability to proceed.


Where any works have been carried out to a property for which there is no evidence of compliance with Building Regulations, conveyancers will often turn to indemnity insurance policies.

Typically, these insurance policies are designed to provide financial cover and protection if Building Control was ever to issue Notices for remedial works to be carried out, the costs for such works are then covered by the insurance provider in return for a one-off premium payable upon completion when taking out such a policy, thus providing the financial cover necessary to enable Buyers and Lenders to proceed.


We would always encourage Buyers to obtain a Survey Report.

Copies of the Survey Report should be sent to the Buyer’s Solicitors to check along with their searches and enquiries, to ensure any works carried out to the Property have been correctly signed off and certified, or to ensure appropriate insurance is obtained to provide the financial protection for lack of compliance.

Where evidence of Building Regulations cannot be obtained, or if Building Regulations documents are missing, buyers should refer to their Surveyor for advice, particularly for those parts of the Property which are used as habitable spaces. A structural engineer’s opinion may also be required to ensure the occupier’s safety.

Bennett Griffin And Building Regulations

At Bennett Griffin LLP, our conveyancers have extensive experience in reviewing information and searches to ensure that evidence of compliance with Building Regulations is sought for any works that may have taken place to a property, advising sellers, buyers, and mortgage lenders alike where any risks may be involved.

Our property team would be happy to chat if you need legal help or guidance with building regulations.

You can contact our solicitors by calling 01903 229999 or emailing


This content, first published in August 2021, was updated on 18 July 2023.