Building Regulations Prosecution Successfully Defended

Judith Thompson

Samuels Solicitors LLP were recently instructed by a client who was being prosecuted under Section 35 of the Building Act 1984, in relation to non-compliance with the 2010 Building Regulations. The local authority alleged that our client had failed to make adequate provision for carrying rain water away from the property in question.

We instructed an expert at an early stage, to assist our client. As this is a "strict liability offence" our client had to plead guilty.

However, we were able to mitigate our client’s position on the basis by arguing that:

  • the council had issued a completion certificate without inspecting the property;
  • warning letters from the council did not make it clear that the completion notice would be withdrawn;
  • the client had been let down by cowboy builders and professionals in relation to Party Wall Act matters; and
  • that the client would, at his own cost, be carrying out works of remediation to the property.

As a result, the client received an absolute discharge, meaning he was not punished at all for the offence. Further, because of the council’s failings the prosecution solicitors were not able to recover their costs from our client. 

In the background of the matter, is a neighbour dispute involving allegations of nuisance and trespass. The absolute discharge in the criminal proceedings relating to the alleged breach of Building Regulations, will considerably assist our client in any future civil claim which might be brought against him.

We at Samuels Solicitors, based in North Devon, have a great deal of experience in dealing with many different types of disputes about property, including alleged breaches of building regulations, disputes about boundaries and construction disputes. We can help with all types of disputes with neighbours, and in relation to issues which arise because of mistakes in the conveyancing process.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you with any of the issues which may be affecting your property.