Building warrant FAQs

  1. Does the Building Standards Unit provide a pre-application advice service?
  2. What is a building warrant?
  3. How can I get a Building Warrant?
  4. What is a building conversion?
  5. Can I start work on my building before obtaining a Building Warrant?
  6. Can I submit my own application for a Building Warrant?
  7. Can my Building Warrant application be fast-tracked?
  8. What should be shown on the plans that I submit in support of my warrant application?
  9. When I'm making an application for a Building Warrant, do I need to notify the neighbours?
  10. What happens after I have submitted my building warrant application?
  11. What happens after the building warrant has been issued?
  12. Do I need to have both a planning application and a building warrant?
  13. Can I submit a building warrant online?
  14. Assuming there are no problems, on average how long does it take for a building warrant to be issued?
  15. What can happen if I carry out building works without a Building Warrant?
  16. Can my neighbours object to my plans?
  17. What do I do after the Building Warrant has been granted?
  18. How long is a building warrant valid for after it has been issued?
  19. What do I do if I want to make changes to the proposals I have set out under my Building Warrant?
  20. If I wish to appeal against a decision I have received for my building warrant application, how do I obtain a view from the Scottish Ministers?
  21. Can Falkirk Council recommend agents and builders?
  22. Do I need a building warrant if the property is owned by Falkirk Council?
  23. Do I need a building warrant if the building is owned by me?
  24. Do I need a building warrant if Falkirk Council have given planning permission?
  25. Do I need a building warrant for maintenance or repair work?
  26. Do I require a building warrant if the works are all internal?
  27. If work has been carried out on my property sometime in the past, how can I find out if a building warrant was issued?
  28. If work has been carried out on my property, and I do not have a building warrant, what can I do?
  29. What do I do when I think the works are finished?
  30. Where can I find more information about the Regulations and Technical Handbooks?
  31. How can I provide my feedback on my views of the service?
  32. How do I complain?
  33. How much does it cost to submit an application for a building warrant?

Does the Building Standards Unit provide a pre-application advice service?

Yes. You can discuss any plans with the Development Management and Building Standards Unit in person between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday at the Building Standards Office or by calling 01324 504985.


What is a building warrant?

A building warrant is the legal permission to begin building work, convert or demolish a building.


How can I get a Building Warrant?

You can get an application form from the Verifier or download it from the Building Standards section.

You can also pick up a form at any One Stop Shop/Advice and Support Hub or at the Building Standards office; Abbotsford House

If you have chosen an architect, you can ask them to apply for you


What is a building conversion?

A conversion is a change of use of a building which will cause the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 to apply - for example, changing a loft space from storage use to an apartment, or a garage into a bedroom. A building warrant is required for a conversion, even if no building work is carried out.


Can I start work on my building before obtaining a Building Warrant?

No.


Can I submit my own application for a Building Warrant?

Unless you are familiar with the Building Regulations requirements, you are strongly advised to choose a qualified person, such as an architect, to apply for you.


Can my Building Warrant application be fast-tracked?

We aim to respond to all applications within 20 working days. In special circumstances, we may agree to assess an application within a shorter timeframe.


What should be shown on the plans that I submit in support of my warrant application?

Your plans should show:

  • The location and nature of your plans and how they relate to any existing buildings
  • The type of materials and products being used
  • The size of rooms
  • The position of appliances planned
  • Drainage details

You may also need to provide:

  • A soil investigation report
  • A ground contamination report
  • A mineral report
  • Structural certification and calculations
  • An energy rating report
  • Information on how the site will be secured and what precautions will be in place to protect the public

For further advice please contact our Development Management & Building Standards Unit or seek independent professional advice.


When I'm making an application for a Building Warrant, do I need to notify the neighbours?

You do not need to tell your neighbours when you apply for a building warrant. You will need to tell your neighbours if you are submitting a planning application, particularly if the property has shared elements or links with adjoining properties.


What happens after I have submitted my building warrant application?

Your application will be entered into the Building Standards register. It will be assessed against the requirements of the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004.


What happens after the building warrant has been issued?

You may start work if you have received all the permission you need for the work to be carried out. You must let us know in writing when the work is starting and when it is completed. You will also need to give us the option of inspecting the works and attending tests, such as drainage tests, at certain stages of construction.


Do I need to have both a planning application and a building warrant?

Some projects will require both. For more information and advice, please contact the Development Management and Building Standards Unit.


Can I submit a building warrant online?

Yes. Please visit our Building Standards online area for information on how to submit your application form, building plans and payment options.


Assuming there are no problems, on average how long does it take for a building warrant to be issued?

We aim to respond to you within 20 working days. However, various factors can have an impact on the time we take to make a decision on your application.

These factors include:

  • The standard of plans, specifications and information provided
  • The workload of the Development Management & Building Standards Unit
  • If we require any additional information from you or your agent

What can happen if I carry out building works without a Building Warrant?

It is an offence to carry out work without a building warrant and legal action could be taken against you.


Can my neighbours object to my plans?

If you do not require planning permission, your neighbours cannot object to the plans in your building warrant application.


What do I do after the Building Warrant has been granted?

You may start work once you have received your approved building warrant. You must tell us when work will begin. You must arrange routine inspections and drain tests or drain inspections. Drain tests must be carried out prior to backfilling and when the work is completed.


How long is a building warrant valid for after it has been issued?

A building warrant is valid for three years from the date of issue. You can apply for an extension if the work has not been completed in that time.


What do I do if I want to make changes to the proposals I have set out under my Building Warrant?

If you wish to change your plans, please contact our Development Management & Building Standards Unit who can advise you.


If I wish to appeal against a decision I have received for my building warrant application, how do I obtain a view from the Scottish Ministers?

Scottish Ministers can give a view on the extent to which planned building work meets the regulations. This is not an unofficial appeal system, but to clear up genuine doubts from applicants or Verifiers about what meets the regulations.

The Ministers will only give a view if they think it fit. If you would like a view, you should contact the Scottish Building Standards Agency (SBSA) who act on behalf of the Ministers. They will reply stating whether or not they are prepared to give a view, what the fee is and when a response will be given.


Can Falkirk Council recommend agents and builders?

No.


Do I need a building warrant if the property is owned by Falkirk Council?

Yes. You will also need approval from our Housing Department.


Do I need a building warrant if the building is owned by me?

Yes.


Do I need a building warrant if Falkirk Council have given planning permission?

This varies depending on the project. Please check with our Development Management & Building Standards Unit.


Do I need a building warrant for maintenance or repair work?

No.


Do I require a building warrant if the works are all internal?

A building warrant is needed for some internal work. Our Development Management & Building Standards Unit or the Technical Handbooks on The Scottish Government website can advise you on this.


If work has been carried out on my property sometime in the past, how can I find out if a building warrant was issued?

As a council, we are required to keep a Buildings Standards register for all warrant applications and decisions. These registers can be viewed by the public.


If work has been carried out on my property, and I do not have a building warrant, what can I do?

If work has started without a building warrant, an application can be made at any time before a completion certificate has been accepted for the building. A late application fee will be applied. We may request parts of the construction to be exposed for inspection before a building warrant is issued and changes may be required if the work does not meet the correct standards.


What do I do when I think the works are finished?

When you applied for a building warrant, the application package contained a completion certificate form. You must complete this form when the works are finished and return it to our Development Management & Building Standards Unit. The works will be inspected and if we are satisfied, we will issue an ‘acceptance of completion certificate’ notice. If the works are rejected, we will tell you the reasons for rejection.


Where can I find more information about the Regulations and Technical Handbooks?

Please visit The Scottish Government website. You can also speak to our Development Management & Building Standards Unit.


How can I provide my feedback on my views of the service?

You may give your opinions of the service provided by our Building Standards staff by:

  • Completing an after-service Customer Satisfaction Card
  • Speaking with the Development & Building Standards Manager or writing to
    Development & Building Standards Manager
    Abbotsford House
    Davids Loan
    Falkirk
    FK2 7YZ
  • Applying to be included on the Building Standards Customer Focus group

How do I complain?

You can complain using our formal complaint procedure or in writing to the Building Standards team.


How much does it cost to submit an application for a building warrant?

The fee for submitting your building warrant application is a sliding scale based on the estimated value of the works. You can view the table of fees on our Building Warrants page. A fee may not be required if the works are to change or extend a home to provide facilities for a disabled person, provided the works only benefit that person.