Last edited 09 Nov 2020


Regularisation refers to the process of certifying building works that have been carried out without Building Regulations approval. The regularisation process enables people to submit a retrospective application relating to the previously unauthorised works.

Regularisation applications can be made for both domestic and non-domestic works which were started on or after 11 November 1985. Before this date, any work that has been completed is not covered by the procedure.

The local authority’s building control service should be consulted to discuss the particular circumstances of the works prior to a regularisation application being submitted.

Inspections may need to be carried out to determine whether or not the work complies with the building regulations, which may involve opening up the works, carrying out tests, sampling materials, and so on. The application form should be submitted along with a plan of the works done, the layout prior to the works being done, and, if required, plans or details of how to bring the works up to current standards.

When steps have been taken to ensure the building complies with current standards, or if no such work is required, then a regularisation certificate will be issued.

While applying for a regularisation certificate is not a legal requirement, complying with the building regulations is, and failure to comply may cause problems for the owner when they try and pass on ownership.

Manual to the Building Regulations, A code of practice for use in England, published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in July 2020, states: ‘Regularisation certificates can be issued by local authorities retrospectively to indicate that work started after 11 November 1985 which has been completed complies with the Building Regulations which applied at the time the works were done.’

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