Renfrewshire Council

Building Warrant Process

The building warrant process can be complicated for those who are unfamiliar with the system and are negotiating it for the first time. The section below provides a simple overview of the process.

You may also be interested in reading the Building Standards Customer Journey Guide under the related links.

Do I require a building warrant?

Not all types of work will require a warrant and there are certain types of buildings, services, fittings and equipment that are exempt from the requirements of the building regulations and from the need to obtain a building warrant. A complete list of "exempt work" can be found in Schedule 1 in Section 0 of the Technical Handbooks.

Also, the procedures for obtaining a warrant and submitting a completion certificate does not apply to certain other defined types of work. Work which falls within Schedule 3 of Section 0 of the Technical Handbooks does not require a building warrant but only on the proviso that the work itself complies with the requirements of the building regulations.

If the work you are proposing does not fall within either Schedule 1 or 3 of Section 0 of the Technical Handbooks then building warrant permission will be required. If you have any doubts as to whether or not a building warrant is required for the proposed work please contact us, details below for further advice.

A link to the Technical Handbooks can be found under the Related Links Section on this page.

How do I apply for a building warrant?

To apply for a building warrant please complete the necessary form and return it to us with the correct fee and two sets of plans for work to a domestic building or three sets of plans for work to a non-domestic building. Our guidance notes contain further details on the type of plans we require and the information they should contain, the notes also contain information on building warrant fees.

When making your application we would recommend that you employ a competent person such as an architect, architectural technologist or civil or structural engineer to make the application on your behalf.

Fees

The Building (Scotland) Fee Regulations 2004 set the fees that are charged by verifiers for all types of building warrant applications. The fees are related to the "value of works" of the proposed work and when calculating the "value of works" normal market costs must be used. The building standards section will check the "value of works" to ensure that the correct fee is being paid, the "value of works" is checked against the quarterly review of building prices as published in the Building Cost Information Service of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Fees are set at zero for works to alter or extend a dwelling to improve its suitability for use by a disabled occupant. In this respect, the fee relief relates specifically to works to an existing dwelling house to provide facilities for disabled persons as defined in the building standards, it does not apply to disabled people in general or to the conversion or erection of, a dwelling house.

The fee is subject to a discount where a certificate from an approved certifier of design has been submitted with the building warrant application or when the intention to use a certifier of construction to support the completion certificate process, has been indicated on the building application form.

I have applied for my building warrant - what happens next?

Where a valid building warrant application has been made it will be registered, given a reference number and allocated to a building standards surveyor. The surveyor will then check the application to assess whether or not it meets the requirements of the building regulations.

If the application meets the building regulations it will be approved, if it does not, a report will be sent requesting additional information/clarification on aspects of the proposals or to indicate where the proposals do not show compliance with the building regulations.

On receipt of this report the applicant can then make the necessary adjustments to revise the proposals and resubmit the drawings and specifications, which, if in accordance with the building regulations, will be approved.

We aim to respond to the majority of building warrant applications within 20 working days and to all building warrant applications within 35 working days.

If, for some reason, your building warrant application is deemed invalid we will write to tell you why it is considered invalid and give you advice on what you need to do to make it a valid application.

My building warrant has been approved - what happens next?

Upon granting your application we will send out your approval pack. This pack contains the building warrant, the approved plans, the commencement of works form, the completion submission form and our construction compliance and notification plan (CCNP). It is important that you read these documents to understand what happens next and what is expected of you as the building warrant applicant. Note: if you are using an agent to act on your behalf all correspondence will be sent to them.

The building standards section does conduct site inspections and we rely on you to notify us when the relevant stages of construction have been reached. Our CCNP describes the stages of construction that we wish to inspect and we should be notified at least three days in advance to allow us sufficient opportunity to conduct the inspection. If you fail to notify us we may request that aspects of the work are uncovered to allow a disruptive survey to take place.

On completion of the work the "relevant person" must submit a completion certificate. The completion certificate submission form is supplied for this purpose and it must be signed by the "relevant person". In signing the completion certificate submission form, the "relevant person" is certifying that the completed work meets the building regulations.

The relevant person can be summarised as:

  • the owner, tenant or developer doing the building work or conversion themselves; or

  • the owner, tenant or developer who has employed a builder to do the work for them; or

  • the owner, where the tenant, developer or builder has not submitted the certificate when they should have done so.

The site inspections made by the building standards section help to protect the public interest but do not remove the relevant person's responsibility for ensuring compliance with the building regulations. An agent may sign the completion certificate on the relevant person's behalf but this does not remove the relevant person's responsibility for compliance.

A building warrant remains valid for a period of 3 years from the date it is granted. The applicant must either finish the work within that time or apply for an extension or further period of validity of the warrant, if the works have not been completed. An extension or further periods of validity are granted at the discretion of the building standards section.

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