Factsheet 36 - Building Regulations and how they apply to letting and property management


The Building Regulations

What are Building Regulations?:

Building regulations ensure the health and safety of people in and around buildings by providing functional requirements for building design and construction.  If you want to put up a new building, extend or alter an existing one, or provide fittings in a building such as drains or heat-producing appliances, the building regulations will probably apply.  They may also apply to certain changes of use of an existing building even though construction work may not be intended.

Department of Communities and Local Government's explanatory booklet on the DCLG website  www.communities.gov.uk provides more information on the situation in England and Wales.  The Local Authority Building Control Officer or an Approved Inspector will be able to confirm whether Building Regulations apply in a specific case.  Failure to comply with the building regulations is a criminal offence.  Local authorities also have the power to require the removal or alteration of work that does not comply with the requirements.

Electrical safety in dwellings, Part P:

From 1 January 2005 all electrical work in dwellings will need to comply with Part P requirements and be carried out by persons who are competent to do the work.  See Letting Factsheet 37 for more details.

Sound insulation (Part E): 

In January 2001 the Government published proposals for changes to Part E of the Building Regulations (Resistance to the Passage of Sound) to include:

  • a number of technical changes designed to increase the sound reduction between dwellings.

  • proposals to deal with sound transmission between noise sensitive rooms in dwellings. It was also originally proposed that post-construction testing (PCT) would be required to demonstrate compliance with Part E.  The construction industry took the view that a set of Robust Details (RDs) could be designed that would be expected to exceed the requirements and would therefore not need to be tested on site and would save on costs.
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