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Breach of the building regulations

This content applies to England

Failure to comply with building regulations may amount to negligence.

When a property is built or extended, there is usually an obligation to comply with building regulations.[1]

Compliance may also be required for alteration projects, such as:

  • replacing fuse boxes and connected electrics 
  • installing a bathroom (when that involves plumbing work)
  • replacing windows and doors
  • adding extra radiators to a heating system

For certain work that is to be carried out by a tradesperson registered with a Competent Person Scheme there may be no requirement on the property owner to apply for building regulations approval.

A person who is harmed by a failure to comply with the regulations may have an action in negligence, unless the regulations state otherwise.[2] This could occur where a landlord undertakes improvements to a tenant's property but does not comply with the building regulations, and this failure causes harm to the tenant.

The information on this page applies only to England. Go to Shelter Cymru for information relating to Wales.

[1] Building Regulations 2010 SI 2010/2214, as amended.

[2] s.71 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

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