Buildings can become dangerous at any time of the day or night, and to deal with this Building Control are on call 24 hours a day 365 days a year, they respond to requests to attend on site, by Police, Fire Service or members of the public.
The Building Act 1984 empowers Local Authorities to deal with a building or structure which is in a potentially dangerous condition. The Building Control Section has responsibility for ensuring that reported dangerous buildings and structures are dealt with so that no threat is posed to people in the vicinity.
Once a report is received, an experienced Building Control Surveyor will visit the site as soon as possible to assess the danger and associated risks.
If immediate action is needed to remove the danger, e.g. a wall is in danger of collapse, Section 78 of the Act gives us powers to carry out remedial work immediately.
If the owner or occupier of the building/structure is known to Building Control then they will be usually contacted and given the opportunity to carry out works within a strict timescale.
If (as is often the case) the inspection shows the building/structure to be in poor condition but not dangerous, we can advise the owner accordingly.
If the building/structure does not require immediate action to remove the danger we will recommend them to undertake repairs within a reasonable time scale or monitor for a period of time. This may involve a section of the dangerous area being fenced off for public protection.
If emergency measures are taken, the Local Authority will seek to recover the costs of remedial works from the owner(s).
Action can be taken through the Magistrates Court leading to the owner(s) being ordered to carry out the necessary work.