Building control regularisation 

Regularisation is a way for local authorities to check and approve unauthorised building work.

Although it is a criminal offence to do building work without getting building regulations approval, we understand that home owners sometimes do not know they need to get approval. If you apply for regularisation, we will do what we can to help you meet the regulations.

If you are selling a property where work has been done without approval, solicitors and buyers may accept a regularisation certificate instead of a building regulations approval completion certificate. But a regularisation certificate is not the same as building regulations approval. 

Types of work that can be regularised

The types of work that can be regularised include:

  • domestic and commercial
  • extensions and alterations
  • roof space conversions
  • garage conversions
  • erection of new buildings
  • change of use
  • installing cavity wall insulation
  • installing a heating system
  • structural alterations 

You cannot apply for regularisation for either of the following:

  • work for which building regulations approval was applied for but no completion certificate was issued
  • work completed before 11th November 1985  

Only local authorities can regularise work.

What regularisation costs

Regularisation is more expensive than building regulations approval. You will pay at least 120% of the approval fee for the same work. Where we find that you need to do substantial extra work, our fee may be more. You will also have to pay for the costs of any extra work we ask you to do.

You will not get a refund if we cannot issue a certificate.

The regularisation process

When we get your application, we will arrange an inspection visit. We may also ask for plans of the work. Where work is hidden, we may ask for the area to be opened up. This might mean, for example, digging a trial hole to inspect foundations or looking inside cavity walls. We will assess whether the work met the regulations in place at the time it was done. If it does, we will issue a regularisation certificate.

If the work does not meet the regulations as they were at the time the work was done, we will tell you what extra work you need to do and give you the opportunity to do the work. We may ask for plans of the new work, especially for non-domestic properties.

As a local authority, we have a duty to enforce the law. This means we may take legal action if work seriously contravenes regulations and you do not resolve the problems. 

We may need to tell other government agencies what we find.

Once we are satisfied the work meets the relevant regulations, we will issue a regularisation certificate.

Where only some of the work complies, we may issue a limited regularisation certificate stating what has been inspected and which work complies or does not comply. A limited regularisation certificate may not be acceptable to potential buyers.

Apply for regularisation

You can apply online, by phone, by email or by post. 

Apply for regularisation

Contact us

01270 375256

Building Control
C/O Delamere House
Delamere Street


Page last reviewed: 10 June 2021