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Retrospective Approval (Regularisation)

It's not uncommon for building work to be undertaken without first gaining Building Regulation approval. Where this happens, problems often arise when it is time to sell your property. This leaflet provides information about the regularisation procedure and how to sort out the difficulties.


The Regularisation procedure allows the Local Authority to consider giving approval to work after it is completed.

This power does not replace the enforcement powers already available to the local authority and does not provide a short cut for those who failed to follow the correct procedure.

Regularisation Procedure

Regularisation is a procedure which property owners follow where problems arise in the conveyancing, i.e., selling, of property.

It is important to note that an owner is under no obligation to make an application for a Regularisation Certificate; equally, the Council is under no obligation to approve it. An application for a Certificate can relate only to completed work.

Please consult the Building Control service prior to making an application. They will say what information is required and the fee they have to charge for the type of work involved.

However, in order to assess whether compliance with Building Regulations has been achieved, the Council can ask the applicant to 'open up' work which assumes a reasonable level of co-operation between the applicant and the council.

An application for a Regularisation certificate can only be made where

  • the work commenced after 11 November 1985
  • the work came within the scope of Regulations, and no application was made at the time

Issue of Certificate

Before a certificate can be issued the Council must be reasonably satisfied that the works conform to the Building Regulations and that there is no risk to the health and safety of persons in or around the property.

The Council may then

  1. Say whether additional works are required to meet Building Regulation standards, or
  2. Issue a Certificate indicating that the unauthorised works are as far as can be ascertained appear to be compliance with the Building Regulations standards

Note: It may not be possible to provide a Regularisation Certificate for electrical works carried out by a Non-Registered Part P Electrical Installer (this includes any electrical works or electrical alterations carried out in conjunction with building works)