Rectifying unsightly or dilapidated property is the responsibility of the owner of the building or land. Where the condition of the property is considered to be seriously detrimental to the amenities of the neighbourhood, the local authority can take action under the Building Control Act or the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act.
Dangerous buildings are the legal responsibility of the building’s owners but the local authority has powers under the Building Control Act to take action in certain circumstances.
The Building Control Act allows the local authority to seek an order from the High Bailiff requiring the owner to carry out work to make the structure safe. If it is necessary to take immediate action to make the building safe, the authority has emergency powers to carry out works in order to safeguard the public.
Following notification that a potential danger to the public exists as a result of a dangerous building or structure, a building control officer will carry out an initial inspection. Following this initial inspection a further more detailed inspection may need to be carried out by the authority’s structural consultant.
Immediate measures may require to be taken to safeguard public safety such as closing the highway or restricting access to the premises. Under such circumstances close liaison is required with other bodies such as the police and fire services, the highway authority, the Health and Safety Executive, and service utilities.
Frequently Asked Questions
What will happen if my building is reported as derelict/unsightly etc?
A formal notice can be served on the property owner by the authority using the powers available under the acts. The notice details the work required to deal with the problem, and sets a time period that is considered sufficient to carry out the work.
The property owner has a right of appeal, however subject to any appeal, if the work specified on the notice is not carried out in the time period given, the owner may be liable to pay a fine for failing to comply with the order. In addition the local authority may carry out the work itself and recover any costs from the owner.
Where shall I make reports to?
Complaints regarding unsightly or dilapidated buildings should be made to the building control section.