Building standards: procedural handbook (third edition, version 1.6)

Clarifies procedures underpinning the Scottish building standards system as set out in the Building (Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 to help with practical operation.

This document is part of a collection

3 Building warrants to build, convert or demolish

3.1 When a building warrant is required

3.1.1. A warrant is required for all building work to which the regulations apply, with the following exception. Building regulation 5 allows work to be done without a warrant if it is work listed in schedule 3 of the building regulations. This work, described in the paragraphs at 2.4, must still meet any relevant requirements of the building regulations.

3.1.2. Except for ‘work not requiring a warrant’, it is an offence for anyone to carry out work to which the building regulations apply without a building warrant. The Act in sub-section 8(3) indicates who is guilty of an offence if a warrant is not obtained before work is done. These people are: 

  • any person carrying out the work; that is a self-build owner or tenant, a developer who is a builder, or a builder; and
  • any person for whom the work is to be done; that is an owner, tenant or developer who is not doing the work but has engaged a builder to do it; and
  • the owner; if the owner is different from the persons above.

For any one project, therefore, a variety of people may have committed an offence. These can include the owners, tenants or developers who order the work to be done, any person doing the work (including the builder) and the owner (when not one of the above). The ways of dealing with this are to report the offence to the Procurator Fiscal or, more normally, to issue a building warrant enforcement notice. Such a notice can only be issued on the relevant person as defined in section 27 of the Act.

Although a builder can be reported for committing an offence, if the builder is carrying out the work on behalf of a client then the builder cannot be served with such a notice (see paragraph 7.2).

3.1.3. The verifier will agree with the applicant what drawings (if any), specifications and other information are required to enable the check for compliance with the regulations, based on the paragraphs at 3.3. A fee is payable at the time of application (see the separate fees regulations, and guidance at paragraphs 3.14 and 3.15, for details).

3.1.4. A building warrant is also required for a conversion, as defined in schedule 2 of the building regulations, even if it is not proposed that building work is to be undertaken (see paragraphs 3.9.5 and 3.9.6).

3.1.5. An amendment to a building warrant is required before work starts on areas of construction that do not follow the proposals in the original approved drawings and/or specifications. If changes are made during construction without an amendment to warrant these could be subject to a building warrant enforcement notice (see paragraphs at 7.2).

3.2 Use of pre-warrant meetings and customer agreements

Pre-warrant meetings

3.2.1. When considering the nature and complexity of a building, a pre-warrant application discussion between the verifier and designers may be undertaken. A pre-warrant meeting would allow for initial discussion on key aspects of design such as fire safety and the means of escape strategy. This could also include discussion around roles and responsibilities during the construction stage.

Use of customer agreements

3.2.2. A customer agreement can aid discussion about the design and programme of work between the verifier and applicant or the appointed agent. This can help both parties to allocate resources at pre-planned timescales. The agreement could cover a range of aspects from pre-application through to completion on site.

3.2.3. Therefore, a customer agreement may be useful for applications which are considered complex in nature. An applicant, or their appointed agent, can request a customer agreement by contacting the relevant local authority verifier.

3.3 How to apply for a building warrant

3.3.1. Applications for building warrant should be made using standard forms. They are available and can be submitted electronically through the eBuilding Standards portal see Alternatively applicants can still submit paper-based applications directly to the local authority. 

3.3.2. The eBuilding Standards service was developed in partnership with all 32 Scottish local authorities and is found on the home page. The portal also allows electronic submission of planning applications through 

3.3.3. At present the verifier is the local authority for the area where the proposed work is to be carried out. The application may be made on paper or by electronic means where the verifier has this facility. The accompanying information can be on paper, in an electronic format or in a combination, as agreed with the verifier. If in paper form, two sets of drawings and one of other accompanying information are normally required but one or two additional copies may be requested by the verifier. Note that durable copies on linen or plastic film are no longer required but drawings should be indelible or read-only format if electronic. The verifier will record the date of receipt of the application for both paper and electronic submissions.

3.3.4. A warrant application may be made and signed by anyone wishing to do building work or this may be done through an agent. Electronic signatures are acceptable when the verifier has the facilities to accept electronic applications.

3.3.5. Schedule 2 of the procedure regulations sets out the information which should accompany an application for a building warrant. This information will normally be provided on drawings but written schedules can also be used where appropriate. Large projects require extensive information but for small or very simple work the verifier may agree to accept less information. Details of the kind of drawings which may be required are given at paragraph 3.3.18. The drawings no longer have to be signed but each drawing in an application must have a different reference number. Advice on presentation of drawings and supporting information is available from the Help Guide on eBuilding Standards and, for paper applications, from verifiers.

To enable the verifier to undertake a comprehensive initial review, a building warrant application should consist of a full set of detailed plans and construction specifications to show compliance with building regulations.

3.3.6. There is an alternative to providing the verifier with all of the detailed information described (see 3.3.5). An approved certifier of design can provide a certificate saying that particular aspects of the work will comply with the building regulations. The use of certifiers of design can reduce the time spent by verifiers assessing information and may speed up the issue of building warrants. Less detail is provided for that aspect (see paragraph 3.3.7) as a verifier is required to accept this certificate, so long as it has been issued in accordance with the conditions which apply to the approved certifier. 

On receipt of a certificate of design, the verifier must undertake a check of the certification register, as set out at paragraph 1.9.3

When a warrant is granted based upon information which includes a certificate of design, any subsequent application for amendment to warrant which includes revisions to the certified design must be reviewed by an approved certifier of design and a new certificate issued to support the amended application. 

3.3.7. The information provided must allow the verifier to clearly identify the scope of the certified work and allow consultation with other authorities when necessary (see chapter 14). The information on the certificate of design should match that provided on the building warrant application form in respect of:

  • the location of the project;
  • the description of works; and
  • the description of the stage of work (if applicable) (see 3.5).

The applicant must also provide information to the verifier, including certified works, to inform any site inspections the verifier wishes to make. Using structural certification as an example, the approved certifier of design may be required to provide the applicant with details of beam sizes, bearings, etc., for the verifier, for use by the verifier in discharging their duties. 

When a specialist contractor is to provide a structural element, the detailed information required for completion of the certificate of design may not be available until a later date resulting in a delay to obtaining a building warrant. To accommodate this situation, the structural certification scheme permits the certification of specific details to be undertaken sometime after the certification of the general structural arrangement has been completed and a warrant (or staged warrant) has been granted. The certificate of design must be accompanied by a schedule (known as schedule 1) which lists any structural items or details that the certificate does not cover in detail and, once the details have been finalised, the approved certifier issues the finalisation notice (known as Model Form Q). 

If an approved certifier is used they must retain, not just the information submitted, but all the details relevant to the project as set out within the relevant scheme guide. This is a requirement of their membership of a certification scheme. It should be noted that certificates of design or construction should only be issued in respect of works for which building warrant approval is required. They should not be issued on works that are exempt from building regulations under schedule 1 or works not requiring a warrant under schedule 3. Further information on the level of information to be submitted with a building warrant application may be found in Procedural Guidance on Certification on the BSD website at

3.3.8. If the application is for alteration or extension of an existing building, enough information on the existing building must be provided to demonstrate that it is not being adversely affected. For example, subdivision might result in the means of escape in the remaining part having to be checked, so these should be shown. There may also be related repair work, which is not subject to the requirement for warrant, but which should be shown on warrant drawings where it results in, or affects, work that requires a warrant. For example a damaged plasterboard lining may have to be replaced, which could affect the sound resistance or thermal insulation of a wall. The requirement to show the existing building may also apply to work done to meet the requirements of a warrant to convert. It may even be applicable when the warrant for conversion does not entail building work or demolition associated with the conversion (see paragraphs at 3.9 for more detail of application of regulations to existing buildings).

3.3.9. Where a relaxation of the regulations relating to the application is obtained (see paragraphs at 4.3) this must either form part of the application or, if obtained after the application is made, be added to it. Any additional information required by the verifier also becomes part of the application when submitted.

3.3.10. In most cases, the first response to an application will include a request for further detail drawings and specification. When planning a project, the time allowed to obtain a warrant should include time for providing such information as well as processing by the verifier.

3.3.11. The warrant application should include sufficient information to allow the verifier to check for compliance with building regulations. If a warrant application is submitted without the appropriate fee it should not be accepted. If the appropriate fee is provided and it appears to the verifier that all of the information is present the application can be accepted. However, if all the information is not submitted the verifier may, when appropriate, accept the application with the condition that the applicant submits the information within 42 days from the date of receipt. If the requested information is not submitted within 42 days, the verifier may consider the application withdrawn and return the application and fee to the applicant. The conditional acceptance of an application should only be used to prevent applications lacking key pieces of information having to be rejected immediately.

3.3.12. When new legislation and guidance is about to be introduced the conditional acceptance of an application must be carefully considered by the verifier. It is extremely important to ensure that applicants are not prematurely submitting substantially incomplete applications to avoid compliance with incoming legislation and guidance.

3.3.13. The amount of the fee, which is related to the ‘value of the works’, is set by separate fees regulations (see paragraphs at 3.14 and 3.15 for details of the current fees). The fee is subject to discounts where certificates of design form part of the application and/or where it is indicated in the application that certificates of construction will be included with the completion certificate submission.

Note, however, to qualify for a discount, the certificate(s) of design should be provided as part of the application, either for warrant or for amendment of warrant. The intention of the system is that any certificates of design should accompany the warrant application, at which point they attract a discount on the warrant fee. If an applicant wishes to submit a certificate at a later date, this should be accepted by the verifier as additional information. If the applicant confirms this on the application form and provides details of the approved certifier and approved body (including their registration numbers) they are using, they will still be eligible for the discount. If they do not provide confirmation the fee cannot be discounted. When a discount has been given, the certificate must be provided before a building warrant can be granted.

3.3.14. Section 7 of the Technical Handbooks specifies six aspects of sustainability to meet Standard 7.1. All new buildings are required to have a statement of sustainability (sustainability label) covering all six aspects. The baseline level (‘bronze’) is for an aspect of sustainability and the label itself records compliance with Sections 1 to 6 of the Technical Handbooks. Optional two upper levels of sustainability are defined for buildings which applicants may choose to adopt. 

3.3.15. Information on the eight aspects of sustainability that must be addressed and how they are reported in the sustainability label is provided in Section 7 of the Technical Handbooks. The definition and application of the eight aspects differs between new domestic and new non-domestic buildings.

3.3.16. Where an application for building warrant is made for one or more new buildings, the applicant must declare if the proposals have been designed to any of the optional upper levels of sustainability. Where they have chosen to do so they also declare the level of sustainability that will be achieved for each of the eight aspects of sustainability. This enables the verifier to assess the application appropriately. When the application relates to multiple buildings it should be made clear which level for each aspect applies to which building.

3.3.17. Where a building warrant application for a new building is submitted on or after 9 January 2013, it should be accompanied by a statement identifying how the feasibility of high-efficiency alternative heating systems was considered and taken into account in developing proposals. This analysis is required under Article 6 of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, 2010/31/EU and noted in the introduction to standard 6.1 in the Technical Handbooks. Further guidance is provided in Annex 6C of the Domestic Technical Handbook and Annex 6E of the Non-domestic Technical Handbook.

Figure 2: Building Warrant

Process Of Obtaining A Building Warrant

Figure 2: Building Warrant


1. At present the verifier is the local authority for the area where the work is to be carried out.

2. Applications should be made on the application form with fee, plans and information on materials, etc. Include any certificate(s) from certifier(s) of design.

3. Warrant may be granted subject to conditions or continuing requirements.

4. Applicant must notify verifier, in writing, within seven days of the commencement of work on site.

5. Applicant must give verifier details of any work that they intend to cover with a certificate of construction prior to works commencing to the affected part on site.

3.3.18. An application for warrant or amendment to warrant should be accompanied by the information listed below (this is an expansion of schedule 2 of the procedure regulations). Note however that the verifier has discretion over the extent to which the information must be provided, so that minor work can be treated more simply.

A. List for application for warrant to erect

1. General arrangement drawings comprising:

  • a plan of the foundations, each floor and any roof;
  • sections through the building; and
  • an elevation of each face of the building.

Note: all to be at a scale not less than 1:100 (1:50 preferred), with drawings to a larger scale as necessary to show the particulars needed to determine the application and to show the relevant particulars set out below.

For all buildings (but see notes a and b:)

  • The level of the site of the building, lowest floor and adjacent ground (including any road), all in relation to one another and some known datum.
  • The position, materials and dimensions of foundations, walls, windows (including opening area and direction of opening), doors (including direction of opening), floors, roofs, chimneys and flues, ventilators and ventilation ducts, stairs, landings and balconies, protective barriers and such other parts of the building as the verifier requests.
  • Details of construction including any frame and size and position of reinforcing material.
  • Details of calculation of loading and strength.
  • Indication of compartment and separating walls and floors and details of fire stopping.
  • Position, materials and dimensions, including gauge or weight, of any damp proof course or other moisture barrier.
  • Position of any sanitary facility or other built in equipment.
  • Position, materials, dimensions and form of any drainage or ventilation pipe (including the line, depth and inclination and means of ventilation of every drain and the relationship to any sewer, sewage treatment works or other outlet into which drains are to discharge).
  • Position, materials, dimensions and form of any traps, manholes and access openings.
  • Such particulars as are necessary to show that the works involved will be conducted in accordance with building regulations 13, 14, 15 and 17.
  • The position and dimensions of any lift well, lift car, machine room and platform lift.
  • The escape routes available as means of escape from fire including dimensions.
  • The position of any ground hydrants, fire mains and fire appliance access.
  • Any supplementary information, as requested by a verifier, so as to allow an application to be properly considered, such as ground condition or fire engineering reports.
  • Any supplementary information required to meet the upper levels in any aspect of sustainability.

In addition, for buildings having sleeping accommodation:

  • the position and number of socket outlets, carbon monoxide and smoke alarms in dwellings;
  • the position of automatic fire detection and carbon monoxide alarms in residential buildings; and
  • the position of automatic life safety fire suppression systems in residential care buildings.


a. Some of the above may be presented in a written specification as agreed with the verifier, or may not be required where an approved certifier of design is covering aspects such as structural matters. However, for complex buildings strategy diagrams for structure and fire may be required even where an approved certifier of design is used.

b. Each drawing must have a unique reference number, to identify the drawing.

2. A block plan to a scale not less than 1:1250 (1:500 preferred) to show:

  • the size and position of the building, and any adjoining building as it affects the proposal;
  • a north point;
  • the position, width and level (in relation to some known datum) of any road, court or footway adjoining the building or from which there is access to the building; and
  • the boundaries with land in different occupation and any notional boundaries needed to determine compliance with the standards.

3. Where the site is not identifiable from the block plan referred to above, a location plan to show:

  • the position of the site, to a scale not less than 1:2500 (1:1250 preferred), and a north point.

B. List for application for warrant to extend

  • Plans and specifications, as detailed in A, of the extension and of the building so far as it is affected by the extension. The drawings must, if the verifier requires, identify new work, materials used, downtakings etc.

C. List for application for warrant to alter, to convert, or to provide services, fittings or equipment

  • Plans and specifications, as detailed in A, but only so far as is necessary to show that the building after the proposed alteration, conversion or fixture will comply with the building regulations.
  • The drawings must, if the verifier requires, identify new work, materials used, downtakings etc.
  • An assessment of the existing structure may be required if the proposed work is reliant on it for compliance e.g. if loads are significantly changed.
  • In the case of certified self-contained projects to install particular services, the details to be provided may be specified in the scheme.

D. List for application for warrant to demolish:

  • a block plan, to a scale not less than 1:500, showing the size and position of the building to be demolished and its relationship to adjoining buildings and boundaries with land in different occupation;
  • a statement of the method by which the building is to be demolished;
  • a statement providing information on the construction of the building to be demolished (this may be a section of the building to be demolished, but photographs of the existing, or original as built drawings, may provide enough information – to be agreed with the verifier);
  • particulars appropriate to show that the work involved will meet the requirements of building regulations 10 and 13 to 15; and
  • if the building is not to be demolished in a continuous operation, the dismantled stages in which it will be left.

E. List for application to amend any warrant under section 9(4) or 9(5) of the 2003 Act

  • Plans and specifications, as detailed in A, but only so far as is necessary to show the further information required or the proposed amendment.
  • In the case of an amendment to a previously certified design (see paragraph 3.6.11), the information supplied should be sufficient to allow the verifier to clearly identify the scope of any certified work, to allow any necessary consultation with other authorities (see chapter 14) and to assist any site inspection the verifier may wish to make.

F. Directions

  • Relaxations are covered in detail in chapter 4.

G. Supplementary information

  • This part of the schedule covers details such as requiring dimensions to be figured, plans to be drawn in a clear and intelligible manner and the requirement for plans to have a reference number.

3.4 Late application for building warrant

3.4.1. Where work for which a building warrant is required has started without a warrant, an offence has been committed. However, to deal with these cases where work has started without a warrant, perhaps through ignorance of the law, a way of regularising the situation is needed. The Act, therefore, allows a late application for warrant to be submitted at any time before the works on site are complete. If the works are complete, a late completion certificate may be submitted (see 5.3).

3.4.2. Importantly, the standards that apply to a late application are those at the time of application, not when the building started, so changes may be required even to parts of the project that have been completed if it does not meet the relevant standards.

3.4.3. Full drawings are required, as for a normal application. If the construction is well advanced the verifier may request parts to be exposed so that adequate checks can be made and a higher fee is charged to cover such difficulties. These disadvantages to starting work before obtaining a warrant are not designed as a penalty, which would arise from any action taken in relation to the offence, but are necessary to allow proper consideration of the work. (Note, the requirements relating to late applications, such as the need to meet the standards applying at the date of application, do not apply to applications for amendment of warrant).

3.4.4. If, before a building warrant application is approved, it is discovered that works started on site prior to the submission of the application, the application form has been completed fraudulently.

In such instances, the verifier should arrange for the application form to be altered or replaced to indicate that the works have commenced and the higher fee charged (see 3.15). It should be noted that, where works commence on site after the submission of the building warrant, the application should not be treated as a late warrant and the higher fee cannot be charged.

3.4.5. The Act and procedure regulations permit certification of design and construction in late applications but certification schemes may discourage certification of work started without a warrant, except in particular cases defined in the schemes.

3.5 Staged warrants

3.5.1. In some projects, particularly for commercial buildings, a building cannot be fully designed until the eventual occupant is identified. Specialist sub-contractors, who are often needed to complete the detailed design of parts of the building, may also not be identifiable at the outset. The Act allows for warrants to be granted in such cases, in the following ways.

3.5.2. The initial submission to the local authority should be made using an Application for Building Warrant Form. For each subsequent stage an Application for Amendment of Warrant should be used. 

3.5.3. The applicant has to agree with the verifier which later stages of work cannot commence until details of those stages are provided. The warrant for the whole project is then granted with a condition that work on the identified stages does not start until the necessary information has been submitted and an amendment of warrant for the next stage(s) granted. Thus work on piling or foundations can start before the rest of the design is finalised. It is the responsibility of the applicant or their agent to apply for the amendment of warrant in good time to allow checking and approval so that site work can continue smoothly.

3.5.4. An application for a staged warrant, as described above may include a certificate from an approved certifier of design if that is applicable to the stage in question. If the certificate covers the whole of a particular aspect of design, for example the structure, then subsequent application(s) for amendment will have to include updated certificate(s) which relate to the stage in question and must also take responsibility for the work up to that point.

3.5.5. The fee for a staged warrant is payable in full at the time of the initial application, based on the estimated total value of the project. A discount is available for any certificate of design presented with the application, or where the applicant confirms on the application form details of the approved certifier and approved body (including their registration numbers) they are using and/or for any certificate of construction indicated in the application as to be included in the completion certificate submission. For the later amendments the fee will be as in paragraph 3.15. No discount is available for updated certificates of design covering the same section of the Technical Handbooks but any certificate covering a new aspect of design could attract a discount on the fee payable for the amendment, where the estimated value of the additional works exceeds £5,000. Any other arrangement for collecting the fee payable, for example a phased payment rather than all with the original application, is at the discretion of the verifier. 

3.5.6. The principle of staged warrants can be applied to work on existing buildings, for example, where a specialist piece of work may only be fully designed after work has progressed to a stage where full dimensions are available. For example a metal stair may only be finally detailed when alterations to floors are completed.

3.5.7. A completion certificate will not normally be accepted until all stages are complete; however, there are occasions when a completion certificate can be accepted before all works covered by a staged building warrant are complete. For example, individual certificates would be accepted in relation to a phased housing development where additional buildings are to be the subject of further stage(s). It is not possible in a staged warrant application to have separate completion certificates for shell and for fit out. If an applicant wishes, perhaps for contractual arrangements, to split a shell from fit out work, separate warrant applications can be made for each and individual completion certificates accepted for each. However, as a completion certificate has to certify the building complies with the building regulations as well as the warrant drawings, a warrant granted for a shell should include a continuing requirement that effectively prevents occupation of the completed shell until the fit out is completed. Such a continuing requirement should quote the provisions of the regulations which the fit out has still to satisfy.

3.6 How a building warrant application is assessed, decided and issued

3.6.1. Receipt of an application for warrant should be recorded immediately if delivered by hand, electronically, or by post during the verifier’s office hours. The date of receipt is otherwise the first working day after receipt. An application may only be rejected in certain circumstances, defined in regulation 8. An application is subject to a detailed procedural check shortly after receipt, with a technical check being carried out later. There is no normal time for this check, as the time taken can vary considerably depending on the complexity of the project, the quality of the application and the use of certificates of design. Verifiers do, however, publish target times for responding to and dealing with applications. There are also long stops in the legislation to prevent applications from lying indefinitely (see 3.6.8). An applicant can enter into a customer agreement with the verifier where specific target times will be agreed. The agreement is likely to cover a range of aspects from pre-application through to completion on site.

The application check involves two main parts:

First, a procedural check of the registered details of any person who has signed a certificate of design submitted in support of the warrant application using the certification register (see 13.2). 

  • The verifier may only accept a certificate if:
  • the person is approved as a certifier of design on the date of signature; and
  • the firm is an approved body on the date of signature by the certification coordinator; and
  • both are registered under the same scheme which is relevant to the work being certified.

The verifier should also check that the certificate relates to the warrant application, for example, building address, description of works and description of stages are consistent. Note that for certificates submitted just after a change in regulations, particularly where signed before the change, the verifier may wish confirmation that the certificate correctly relates to the standards applicable at the date of the application. If the register check shows that either the approved certifier or approved body were not approved at the date of signing the certificate, the verifier must inform the scheme provider using the certification register (see 3.6.10). In such a case, the verifier should allow the applicant to obtain certification from another approved certifier or from another approved body with the appropriate designation. Where this is not possible, the verifier may agree with the applicant to take responsibility for checking the design in return for the appropriate fee (payment of the discount given when the warrant application was made – see 3.15). The application must be adjusted to alter the details of the approved certifier. Second, a detailed technical check of those aspects of work that are not certified is made, assessing the application against the relevant standards in the building regulations. The Technical Handbooks and other guidance documents issued by Scottish Ministers will assist verifiers to fulfil this duty.

3.6.3. The check may result in an immediate decision to issue a warrant but more usually a report, known as the ‘first report’, will be produced indicating failures to comply or areas requiring further clarification. The report should provide a level of detail sufficient to identify clearly which standards must be addressed or what further information is required. The report should not comment on work subject to certification but may cover the relationship of certified matters with the other parts of the building or aspects of the design which are outwith the certification. A verifier may also ask for such details of the certified matters as are considered necessary to check the certified design on site (see paragraph 3.3.7). A verifier is required to respond to an application for a building warrant within a period of three months from the date of receipt of the application. If a verifier has not responded within three months, or as otherwise extended, the building warrant application is deemed to be refused.

3.6.4. The applicant must make any necessary adjustments to the proposals and submit appropriate revised drawings and specifications until the verifier is satisfied that the work can be carried out:

  • in accordance with the building regulations; and
  • when the warrant is for construction, demolition or the provision of services, fittings or equipment, that nothing on any plan or specification indicates the work when completed will result in a failure to comply with the building regulations.

If any aspect of the design is certified, the applicant must inform the certifier if the verifier requires any significant adjustment to be made to the proposals. The certifier must certify the revised design.

Revisions should be clearly highlighted on amended drawings. This will enable verifiers to assess revisions more quickly and reduce the need to request further information. This is applicable for all applications, particularly for those submitted through the eBuilding Standards portal.

3.6.5. Before granting a warrant, a verifier may require the applicant to consult other bodies, may offer the opportunity for consultation through issuing lists of applications or may consult directly. For details of the types of consultation appropriate for different situations see chapter 14.

3.6.6. The application for a building warrant is based on a model form and includes certificates for all available certification schemes. When the warrant is issued, one copy of the drawings and any specifications, as finally approved after any necessary amendment, are returned to the applicant, in the format in which they were received. The verifier will retain a copy of the warrant or amendment to warrant, and any other copy of drawings or information requested, e.g. for use on site. When a warrant has been granted, a copy of the warrant or amendment, including any continuing requirement imposed, together with the principal set of plans and any certificates from approved certifiers, must be sent to the local authority for inclusion in the building standards register.

3.6.7. A warrant may be subject to conditions, in the following ways.

  • A staged warrant (see paragraphs at 3.5) has conditions preventing work on later stages being carried out until an amendment of warrant has been issued.
  • A relaxation (see paragraphs at 4.3) related to an application may have conditions that must be met.
  • A warrant may be subject to continuing requirements (see paragraphs at 7.3 and 3.5.7).
  • A warrant may be granted subject to a limited-life condition (see paragraphs at 3.8).
  • A warrant to demolish includes a condition setting a time period within which the demolition must be carried out.

Note that when a warrant is issued, there will be a requirement to inform the verifier when work starts on site, and at other stages the verifier deems necessary (see paragraph 3.11.1). A verifier will also have to be informed when approved certifiers of construction are to be used. These requirements are not formal conditions of the warrant, which are limited by the Act, but are a requirement of the procedure regulations.

3.6.8. A building warrant application that has not been granted within nine months of the date of the first report is automatically determined to be refused unless a longer period is agreed with the verifier.

This prevents applications that have run into difficulties lying unfinished. A fresh application and fee are necessary if the application is to be reconsidered. The first report should give clear warning of this procedure to the applicant. The verifier may consider it prudent to issue a further letter closer to the ‘deemed refusal’ date, reminding the applicant of the impending action and advising what options are available to them. If the warrant has not been granted within the statutory time period or the period has not been extended, the verifier may consider issuing formal notification of the ‘deemed refusal’.

The time period is extended by any time taken to obtain a view or a relaxation from Scottish Ministers or a response to a consultation request or if there is agreement between verifier and applicant.

3.6.9. Where a warrant application is refused, the verifier ensures this information is sent to the local authority to be recorded in the building standards register. The principal plans and specifications, together with any amendments, including any certificates submitted in support of the application, are retained in the normal way but the remaining drawings and information are returned to the applicant in the format in which they were received, along with a formal refusal. An applicant or their duly authorised agent has the right to appeal to the Sheriff Court in respect of a verifier’s decision to refuse to grant a building warrant or if the warrant is deemed refused as in 3.6.3 or 3.6.8. This process is covered in Section 6.

3.6.10. Whether or not a warrant is refused, where an application includes certificates submitted by individuals who do not hold appropriate current designations or by bodies that are not currently approved to co-ordinate certification of such matters, the verifier should inform the Building Standards Division.

3.6.11. Where an application for amendment of warrant affects work that has been certified, the certifier must reassess and recertify the work in question. Any arrangements that may become necessary to replace a certifier are a contractual matter but certification scheme providers are expected to offer assistance to identify alternative certifiers.

3.6.12. When a warrant has been granted, work may start on site. It should be noted however that a grant of warrant does not preclude the need to have any other legal requirements, such as planning permission, in place before starting work. There will be other considerations also, such as the position of existing services like gas pipes or power cables, which are outside the remit of the building standards system. It is the responsibility of those wishing to build to check with utility companies before work starts. When the verifier grants the warrant, they will include a Construction Compliance and Notification Plan (CCNP). This will detail the particular stages of the work they wish to inspect or where alternative evidence should be provided. The verifier must be notified when work is to start, and notified in advance of the other stages noted in the CCNP (see paragraph 3.6.7 and 3.11.1).

3.6.13. When an applicant decides to withdraw an application there is no refund of fee, and the entry remains on the building standards register.

3.7 Duration of warrant

3.7.1. A building warrant is valid for three years, commencing the day it is granted. The applicant must either finish the work within that period or apply for an extension of the warrant. An application for extension is required to be made before the expiry of the warrant, although verifiers have the power to accept late applications in cases of hardship. If the verifier agrees to extend the warrant, the first extension will be for nine months. There is no legal limit to the number of extensions but they are at the verifier’s discretion and the need for further extensions will have to be very clearly justified, for example, by the size or complexity of the project. To prevent misuse of extensions of time, verifiers have the power to insist that work done after the expiry of the original warrant must meet the building regulations in force on the date of the application to extend the expired warrant. This is, however, only likely to be appropriate where little work has been commenced.

3.7.2. It should be noted that an amendment of warrant does not alter the period for which the original warrant is valid. A specific application as in paragraph 3.7.1 is necessary if more time is needed.

3.7.3. Although a building warrant is granted to a particular applicant, if a building is sold while under construction, the effect of the warrant transfers to the new owner or indeed all the persons having an interest in the building. In other words construction may continue and on completion the new owner must submit the completion certificate (see chapter 5 for details of submitting completion certificates).

3.8 Limited life warrants

3.8.1. Where a building is intended to be used for a limited period of time it may not be necessary to apply all the standards for a permanent building. The Act allows building regulations to specify which of the standards should not apply and lets the procedure regulations set a time limit. This limit is currently five years for a ‘limited-life warrant’ and is measured from the date of acceptance of the completion certificate for the building or, if applicable, the date of any permission for temporary occupation or use.

3.8.2. It is important to stress that this type of warrant is intended for buildings that will be removed by the end of the time limit and removal is a condition of the warrant. An application to demolish is required at least three months before the limit is reached, unless otherwise agreed with the verifier. It is possible for the owner to apply for an extension of the limit but this is at the discretion of the verifier.

It is an offence to fail to demolish (or otherwise remove) by the time limit set in the warrant unless an extension of time has been granted (not just applied for). Continued occupation of such a building after the time limit can be prevented by the Courts.

3.9 Application of regulations to existing buildings

3.9.1. Extensions to existing buildings must be constructed in such a way that the extension complies with all current standards that are relevant to the construction and use of the extension.

In addition, the whole building must not, as a result of the extension, fail to comply with building regulations if it complied originally or fail to a greater degree if it failed to comply originally. If either of those conditions is not met, the verifier is required to refuse a warrant and certifiers of design must not certify such an extension.

3.9.2. Alterations to existing buildings also attract the full current standards relevant to the alteration work. In addition, the whole building must not, as a result of the alteration, fail to comply with building regulations if it complied originally, or fail to a greater degree if it failed to comply originally.

Again there should be no certification of design and the warrant application must be refused if these conditions are not met.

Note, however, that alterations to an existing building which are part of a conversion in terms of the Act have to be taken further, so that the building being converted complies more fully (see paragraph 3.9.5).

3.9.3. The definition of building in the Act (section 55) makes it clear that in relation to the extension, alteration or conversion of a building, references to building are to, so much of the building as is comprised in the extension or is the subject of the alteration or conversion. Section 10 of the Act, therefore, protects the whole building from the effects of the extension, alteration or conversion of part of a building. However, the intention is to prevent the creation of a worse situation rather than to require other parts of the building to be upgraded to remove existing deficiencies. Therefore, the existing building requires to be sufficiently detailed on the submission drawings to demonstrate that it is not being adversely affected by the proposals.

3.9.4. In the light of that intention, failure or failure to a greater degree, as a result of the proposed work is considered to mean the existing building is deemed to comply unless some aspect is actually altered by the work. The consequence of this for conversions is set out in paragraphs 3.9.5 and 3.9.6. For alterations and extensions is set out in the following examples.

  • When an existing building is altered internally and access to the entrance is not affected, there is no requirement to provide access for disabled people.
  • Where a building is extended, there is no requirement to provide an accessible entrance for disabled people to the extension but if there is suitable access to the existing building it should continue into the extension.
  • If a lift is added to a building, which might allow access for disabled people to an upper floor, there is no requirement to alter existing door or corridor widths on that floor, nor to add refuges on an escape stair.
  • In a dwelling, if an accessible WC is available on the entrance level there is no requirement for any new WC to meet the access standard but the accessible WC cannot be removed and be replaced by one, on say the first floor.

Note, however, that the above comments do not take account of obligations that might arise under any other legislation, such as that controlling the workplace or requiring equal access to services for people with disabilities.

3.9.5. Conversion of a building, if it is a conversion of a type set out in schedule 2 of the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004, brings different requirements from those that apply to alterations. It is not just the planned work that must meet the standards; when converted, the whole building is required to meet all the standards. There are two important qualifications to that requirement because few existing buildings can reasonably be altered to meet all aspects of current standards. Firstly, schedule 6 to regulation 12 lists those standards which can be met by improving a building to as close to the full requirement as is reasonably practicable (see paragraph 3.9.6). Secondly, it is important to remember that functional standards allow some flexibility in deciding what is acceptable (see paragraph 3.9.8). Historic buildings also require sensitive application of the standards (see paragraph 3.9.9).

3.9.6. The building regulations define ‘reasonably practicable’ as “...having regard to all the circumstances, including the expense involved in carrying out the building work”. The way to proceed is that an applicant has to show how any failure of the building, as it is proposed to be after conversion, is being addressed. Except for historic buildings (see 3.9.9), it is only in exceptional cases that it is likely that taking no action is acceptable but it will be normal for many of the identified standards that the full current requirements will not be met. The regulations do, however, require the building to be no worse than before, so the construction must either be left untouched or be altered in a way that is closer to compliance with the standards. The individual sections of the Technical Handbooks to the building regulations give guidance on what is likely to be an acceptable standard.

3.9.7. In other cases where the occupation or use of an existing building changes, i.e. cases which do not fall within the definition of conversion, there are no standards applied to it unless there is alteration or extension work done, in which case the guidance in paragraphs 3.9.1 to 3.9.4 applies.

3.9.8. Notwithstanding all of the above, there will always be cases when working with existing buildings that adopting solutions based on whatever is in the Technical Handbooks or other guidance documents will not be suitable. Rather than deal with these cases by relaxations, as previously, it is now possible for the verifier to use judgement as to whether a standard is adequately met. In difficult cases it will be possible to obtain a formal view from the BSD to assist the decision or where it is the functional standard itself that is not applicable, a relaxation may be requested from the BSD.

The approach expected from verifiers is that where relaxation might have been accepted in the past it can be approved, if necessary with whatever compensating features that might previously have been requested under ‘conditions of relaxation’. A similar approach applies to certifiers of design, although the option of a formal view is not available to them (see paragraph 4.2.6).

3.9.9. For historic buildings and traditional buildings, the judgement of what is reasonably practicable must be made in a wider context. Section 35 of the Act gives specific protection to certain historic buildings in relation to statutory notices. However, a wider range of buildings may need sympathetic consideration. Historic Environment Scotland use the following definitions:

Historic building means a building of architectural or historic interest. An historic building does not have to be listed by Scottish Ministers or lie within a conservation area to be deemed to have special interest or significance.

Listed building means a historic building, which has been included in a statutory list because of its special architectural or historic interest.

Traditional building means a building or part of a building of a type constructed before or around 1919:

a. using construction techniques that were commonly in use before 1919; and

b. with permeable components, in a way that promotes dissipation of moisture from the building fabric.

3.9.10. In applying the functional standards to work done to buildings covered by the above definitions, the particular matter that is significant or important should be considered. Also, the construction and materials of the existing building may have to be considered in light of the standards rather than the Technical Handbooks which assume current materials and construction techniques.

Further advice is available in an Historic Environment Scotland guide for practitioners entitled “Conversion of Traditional Buildings; Application of Building Standards”.

3.9.11. It is the responsibility of the applicant to inform the verifier whether the building which is the subject of the application has any relevant historical significance in relation to either statutory protection or the wider definition in 3.9.9.

3.10 Demolitions

3.10.1. Warrants for demolition, while nominally valid for three years, are usually granted subject to time limits, i.e. a time period from the commencement of the demolition to the completion of works. This period should be set by the verifier in agreement with the applicant.

3.10.2. The information required on the existing building and on the method of demolition, is intended for the purpose of allowing a verifier to judge what is the appropriate provision of protective works to ensure the safety of the general public. Other details of any method statement prepared to meet Health and Safety at Work legislation need not be checked by the verifier. For building warrant approval only sufficient information is needed to ensure the requirements set in regulations 10 and 13 to 15 of the building regulations are met.

3.10.3. The demolition of a building brings additional concerns of a health and safety nature into play and it is important that any extra requirements are considered at an early stage. Further information on environmental, and health and safety matters can be found in paragraphs 14.5 and 14.12.

3.11 Inspections, tests and other evidence

Construction Compliance and Notification Plan

3.11.1. The verifier will issue a Construction Compliance and Notification Plan (CCNP) with the building warrant, setting out the construction stages that have been identified for site visits or other alternative methods to check compliance. 

Compliance with the building regulations is ultimately the responsibility of the building owner. 

It is the responsibility of the building owner to contact the verifier at the notifiable stages. The notification could be done by the agent or builder acting on behalf of the owner. When notified, verifiers undertake checks in line with the CCNP, as part of their responsibility for undertaking ‘reasonable inquiry’.

The number and frequency of checks carried out will depend on the nature and complexity of the building. The verifier may require additional evidence to establish if compliance is achieved. If the verifier has reasonable doubt with regard to compliance and other relevant evidence cannot be provided there may be the need for elements of construction to be exposed by the applicant. Failure to notify the verifier at the relevant stages may affect the acceptance of the completion certificate.

Where an applicant appoints an agent to act on their behalf to obtain building warrant approval, the agent should inform their client of the requirement to contact the verifier at the appropriate stages in accordance with the CCNP.

It must be stressed that the inspections are to protect the public interest in terms of compliance with building regulations, not to ensure that all the work is constructed as the person paying for the work would want it.

A verifier should be notified within seven days of work commencing, when drains are laid but not covered, when the drainage system is completed and when the building is completed. However, it would be beneficial to notify the verifier as soon as possible before work commences.

These items can form part of the stages highlighted in the CCNP, but other stages can be included, where considered relevant by verifiers, depending on the nature and complexity of a building. CCNPs will focus on undertaking inspections for safety critical elements at key stages in construction, for example wall ties, lateral restraints, compartmentation and fire stopping.

In addition to the specified stages in a CCNP, verifiers may also carry out additional inspections in support of reasonable inquiry. 

If there is any non-compliant work, or where workmanship affects the performance of a building element, the verifier will notify the building owner and/or builder to rectify the work. A willingness by owners, builders and verifiers to engage with each other, can result in better working relationships and lessen a necessity to initiate enforcement action. If the building owner fails to act, the local authority has enforcement powers to rectify the work as detailed in chapter 11.

3.11.2. Applicants also need to inform verifiers of any aspect of any work that is to be certified by an approved certifier of construction, before that work starts on site (or elsewhere, in the case of off site prefabrication). Applicants should agree any such declarations with the certifiers identified to do the work, as if subsequently the work is not certified, it may result in the need for disruptive surveys and delay. A verifier should not inspect works on site that are the subject of a certificate of construction.

3.11.3. Should any verifier be actively prevented from undertaking inspections of work, the ‘relevant person’ (see paragraph 5.2.1) submitting a completion certificate for the work can expect to have it refused. Also, Section 27 of the Act gives a local authority power to issue enforcement notices (see chapter 7) where work is being done without a warrant or not in accordance with a warrant and powers to inspect work in progress. If necessary, a verifier (where not a local authority) could request an inspection be carried out by the local authority under these powers.

3.11.4. A verifier may inspect a site or an existing building before issuing a warrant with the agreement of the applicant (and the owner if different). In practice early inspections can be helpful to applicants and verifiers and can assist assessment of an application. Applicants are encouraged to allow such preliminary inspections. Note, however, that where a local authority suspects building work is being done without a warrant it has powers to enter and inspect any premises. Where a building is to involve extensive off site fabrication, it may also assist assessment if inspection of the parts during fabrication could be agreed, although the practicality of such an arrangement will depend on the location of the fabricator.

3.11.5. Under section 41(2) of the Act, a verifier may request a ‘materials test’ if they consider it necessary. These tests are to establish whether an application for a warrant should be granted or whether a building being constructed under a warrant is being constructed in accordance with the warrant (see also paragraph 5.5.3 in relation to tests to determine whether a completion certificate should be accepted). The Act explains that a ‘materials test’ means a test on individual materials or materials in combination or even of a whole building. The test is at the building warrant applicant’s or relevant person’s expense.

3.11.6. In the case of work covered by a certificate of design, a verifier may not request a materials test before granting a warrant. However if a local authority wishes to take enforcement action they may, under section 39(4) of the Act, carry out reasonable tests to determine the quality and strength of any material.

3.11.7. From 1 May 2011, testing was phased-in with regard to Section 5 (Noise) and Section 6 (Energy). For further information, see paragraph 5.5.7.

3.12 Discharge of continuing requirements

3.12.1. Verifiers must, if an application is made to them, discharge or vary continuing requirements that they have placed on a building (see paragraphs at 7.3) where the following criteria are met.

  • For discharge, application is made showing that the building complies with the regulations at the time of the application and that the continuing requirement is not needed to secure that the purposes of the regulation will not be frustrated.
  • For variation, application is made showing that the building complies with the regulations at the time of the application and that the variation will not result in the purposes of the regulations being frustrated.

3.12.2. Continuing requirements also cease to have effect if a further building warrant is granted in respect of the building or a further completion certificate is accepted, although a verifier may re-impose or impose further, continuing requirements as it sees fit.

3.12.3. Verifiers do not have the power to discharge or vary a continuing requirement imposed by Scottish Ministers.

3.13 Maintenance of records

3.13.1. A local authority is required to maintain a register of the applications for warrant and amendments to warrant, including the plans, other documents and information submitted, together with the decisions taken on the applications (see chapter 8). When local authorities are acting as verifiers they do not need to keep other records. If in future other verifiers are appointed, the procedure regulations will be amended to require the relevant information to be sent to the relevant local authority to be recorded on the building standards register. The local authority and verifier where different, will have to check that the address given corresponds for any existing building. However, where a new building is to be erected the land parcel may not have a final address, this will have to be checked when the construction starts or, at the latest, when a completion certificate is submitted.

3.13.2. The local authority and verifier where different, should also take responsibility to describe as accurately as possible, the work for which the warrant is finally granted. The inclusion of key words and key descriptors to assist searches is strongly advised. The registration numbers of approved certifiers and bodies should be recorded in a form that allows searches. Verifiers should note the aspects of work for which they have accepted certificates from approved certifiers of design and the result of the checks on the certifier.

3.14 Fees regulations

3.14.1. The Building (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 set the fees that are charged by verifiers for building warrant submissions, including those for ‘late’ completion certificates and building warrant submissions. The discounts applicable when certificates of design or construction are correctly submitted (see 3.14.7) are also covered by these regulations. Details of the fees are set out in the tables on pages 39-40, with the fees related to the ‘value of the works’. In calculating the value of the works, the applicant must use the normal market costs rather than any discounted costs which they might be able to achieve. For example, even if the labour was unpaid because it is a self-build project, the value of the building work should still include a fair assessment of the value of labour had commercial contractors undertaken the work. The cost of verifying compliance is the same in both cases, indeed it may even be higher in a self-build project, so it is considered equitable that the warrant fee should be calculated on the same basis.

3.14.2. The cost of works that do not require building warrant approval, for example, decoration, floor coverings, etc, do not require to be included in the estimated value of the works. However, temporary works and preliminaries relating to the permanent works required to comply with the building regulations should be included.

3.14.3. If the verifier feels the estimate of value provided by the applicant is incorrect, they may check the amount by reference to established indices of building costs, for example the RICS Building Cost Information Surveys of Tender Prices. This provides the mean, lowest and highest prices in £/square metres for works of different character. It also provides a modifier which can be applied to reflect geographical variations throughout Scotland.

3.14.4. If the verifier believes the value of the works should be higher than stated, the verifier can refuse to consider a warrant application unless the value is increased and the appropriate fee paid.

3.14.5. The fee is set at zero for works to alter or extend a dwelling to improve its suitability for use by a disabled occupant. The relief, therefore, is not for disabled people in general, it relates specifically to works to provide facilities for disabled people as defined in the building standards. This definition is a person with a physical, hearing or sight impairment which affects their mobility or their use of buildings.

3.14.6. The Equality Act 2010 replaced a range of anti-discrimination legislation, including the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and it carries forward the protection previously provided for disabled people by the DDA. Accordingly, the zero fee rating remains restricted to dwellings.

3.14.7. The fee is subject to discounts when:

a. certificate(s) provided by approved certifiers of design are submitted with the warrant application; and/or

b. a verifier is informed, at the warrant application stage, of the intention to use certifiers of design before the building warrant is granted; and/or

c. a verifier has been informed, at the warrant application stage, of the intention to use certifiers of construction as part of the completion certificate that is to be submitted.

The appropriate discount should be deducted from the fee before submitting the application for building warrant. The notification to a verifier that an approved certifier of design or construction is to be used must be given at the application stage.

Where it is intended to use a certifier of design, details of the certifier and approved body, including their registration numbers, should be confirmed on the building warrant application form. However there is no requirement to provide details of the approved certifier of construction to be used at this stage. 

If a certifier is not subsequently employed, the discount provided must be paid to the verifier. In the case of a certifier of design, this would be before the building warrant is granted, and in the case of a certifier of construction, as part of the completion certificate that is to be submitted. In the case of a certificate of construction, the verifier will also have to inspect the work and may require disruptive surveys to ensure the construction is in accordance with the building warrant.

3.14.8. Similar discounts, as noted in 3.14.7, are available for ‘late’ building warrant applications. 

A late completion certificate submission must be accompanied with certificate(s) of design and/or certificate(s) of construction to receive the relative discount on the warrant fee. 

Such discounts to the fee are based on the increased fee payable for a ‘late’ submission (see 3.4.2 and 5.3.2).

3.15 Tables of fees

3.15.1. The fees and discounts available for building warrants for the construction of a building or for the provision of services, fittings or equipment in connection with a building (whether or not combined with a warrant for conversion or an application for demolition) is as per the following tables. (Note that the fees for late building warrant and completion certificates where no warrant was obtained are subject to higher level of fees).

Table 1a: Table of fees – Value of works between £0 – £100,000

Value of work up to £100,000 £ Building Warrant Fee (no discounts applied) £ Discounts available for providing a Certificate from an Approved Certifier – (fixed rates based on value of work up to £100,000)
Certificates of design (discount provided/certificate) Certificates of Construction (discount provided/certificate)
Building Structure Scheme (SER) Energy Scheme (BRE, RIAS) Electrical Installations Scheme (NICEIC, SELECT) Drainage, Heating and Plumbing Scheme (SNIPEF)
0–5,000 150.00 30.00 30.00 15.00 15.00
5,001–5,500  169.00 40.00 40.00 15.00 15.00
5,501–6,000  188.00 40.00 40.00 15.00 15.00
6,001-6,500  207.00 40.00 40.00 15.00 15.00
6,501–7,000  226.00 40.00 40.00 15.00 15.00
7,001–7,500  245.00 40.00 40.00 15.00 15.00
7,501–8,000  264.00 40.00 40.00 15.00 15.00
8,001–8,500  283.00 40.00 40.00 15.00 15.00
8,501–9,000  302.00 40.00 40.00 15.00 15.00
9,001–9,500  321.00 40.00 40.00 15.00 15.00
9,501–10,000  340.00 40.00 40.00 15.00 15.00
10,001–11,000  359.00 50.00 50.00 20.00 20.00
11,001-12,000  378.00 50.00 50.00 20.00 20.00
12,001-13,000  397.00 50.00 50.00 20.00 20.00
13,001-14,000  416.00 50.00 50.00 20.00 20.00
14,001-15,000  435.00 50.00 50.00 20.00 20.00
15,001-16,000  454.00 60.00 60.00 25.00 25.00
16,001-17,000  473.00 60.00 60.00 25.00 25.00
17,001-18,000 492.00 60.00 60.00 25.00 25.00
18,001-19,000  511.00 60.00 60.00 25.00 25.00
19,001-20,000  530.00 60.00 60.00 25.00 25.00
20,001-30,000  593.00 80.00 80.00 30.00 30.00
30,001-40,000  656.00 80.00 80.00 30.00 30.00
40,001-50,000  719.00 80.00 80.00 30.00 30.00
50,001-60,000  782.00 100.00 100.00 35.00 35.00
60,001-70,000  845.00 100.00 100.00 35.00 35.00
70,001-80,000  908.00 100.00 100.00 35.00 35.00
80,001-90,000  971.00 100.00 100.00 35.00 35.00
90,001-100,000  1,034.00 100.00 100.00 35.00 35.00

Table 1b: Table of fees – Value of works £100,001 and above

Value of work £100,001 and above £ Building Warrant Fee (no discounts applied) £ Discounts available for providing a Certificate from an Approved Certifier – (percentage for value of work £100,001 and above)
Certificates of design (10% discount/certificate) Certificates of Construction(3% discount/certificate)
Building Structure Scheme (SER) Energy Scheme (BRE, RIAS) Electrical Installations Scheme (NICEIC, SELECT) Drainage, Heating and Plumbing Scheme (SNIPEF)
100,001-120,000 1,137.00 113.70 113.70 34.11 34.11
120,001-140,000  1,240.00 124.00 124.00 37.20 37.20
140,001-160,000  1,343.00 134.30 134.30 40.29 40.29
160,001-180,000  1,446.00 144.60 144.60 43.38 43.38
180,001-200,000  1,549.00 154.90 154.90 46.47 46.47
200,001-220,000  1,652.00 165.20 165.20 49.56 49.56
220,001-240,000  1,755.00 175.50 175.50 52.65 52.65
240,001-260,000  1,858.00 185.80 185.80 55.74 55.74
260,001-280,000  1,961.00 196.10 196.10 58.83 58.83
280,001-300,000  2,064.00 206.40 206.40 61.92 61.92
300,001-320,000  2,167.00 216.70 216.70 65.01 65.01
320,001-340,000  2,270.00 227.00 227.00 68.10 68.10
340,001-360,000  2,373.00 237.30 237.30 71.19 71.19
360,001-380,000  2,476.00 247.60 247.60 74.28 74.28
380,001-400,000  2,579.00 257.90 257.90 77.37 77.37
400,001-420,000  2,682.00 268.20 268.20 80.46 80.46
420,001-440,000  2,785.00 278.50 278.50 83.55 83.55
440,001-460,000  2,888.00 288.80 288.80 86.64 86.64
460,001-480,000 2,991.00 299.10 299.10 89.73 89.73
480,001-500,000  3,094.00 309.40 309.40 92.82 92.82
500,001-550,000  3,272.00 327.20 327.20 98.16 98.16
550,001-600,000  3,450.00 345.00 345.00 103.50 103.50
600,001-650,000  3,628.00 362.80 362.80 108.84 108.84
650,001-700,000  3,806.00 380.60 380.60 114.18 114.18
700,001-750,000  3,984.00 398.40 398.40 119.52 119.52
750,001-800,000  4,162.00 416.20 416.20 124.86 124.86
800,001-850,000 4,340.00 434.00 434.00 130.20 130.20
850,001-900,000  4,518.00 451.80 451.80 135.54 135.54
900,001-950,000  4,696.00 469.60 469.60 140.88 140.88
950,001-1,000,000 4,874.00 487.40 487.40 146.22 146.22
And for every £100,000, or part thereof, over £1 million Add £253 10% of fee 10% of fee 3% of fee 3% of fee

3.15.2. Application for building warrant for conversion only, that is without any building work – Fee is £150.

3.15.3. Application for demolition only, that is where there are no immediate plans for rebuilding – Fee is £150.

3.15.4. Application for amendment of Warrant where the new total estimated value:

a. is less than the original or is an increase of no more than £5,000 – Fee is £100.

b. increases by more than £5,000 – Fee is the amount for a building warrant of the same value as the increase. (That is, if the increase is £20,000, the fee will be £530).

3.15.5. Application for an amendment to warrant for demolition or conversion only – Fee is £100.

3.15.6. Application to extend the period of validity of a warrant – Fee is £100.

3.15.7. Where a late application for building warrant is made, or a completion certificate is submitted and there was no warrant obtained when there should have been, the fee is increased to cover the increased difficulty the verifier will have in establishing whether work that is already underway or completed complies with the plans, specifications and other information provided. The resulting fees are detailed in 3.15.8-3.15.11.

3.15.8. Application for late building warrant, i.e. where work is already started.

a. Application for a building warrant for the construction of a building or the provision of services, fittings and equipment in connection with a building (whether or not combined with an application for demolition) – Fee is 200% of the fee in tables of fees.

b. Application for warrant for demolitions only – Fee is £200.

3.15.9. Submission of a completion certificate where no warrant was obtained for:

a. the construction of a building or the provision of services, fittings or equipment (whether or not combined with an application for conversion or for demolition) – Fee is the same as for a late application for building warrant of the same value of works, that is 300% of the fee in tables of fees; or

b. application for warrant for demolitions only or for conversion only – Fee is £300.

3.15.10. A warrant fee is discounted where certificate(s) from approved certifiers of design are presented with a warrant application, or before the building warrant is granted as below.

  • 10% (or the fixed levels of discounts for values of work up to £100,000, indicated in the tables of fees) for each certificate that covers the whole of any section of the functional standards.
  • The Building (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 allows for a 1% discount for each certificate covering a single item in any such section, up to a maximum of 5% for any one section, all subject to a maximum discount of 60% of the warrant fee. However, it should be noted that there are currently no approved certifier of design schemes that cover single items within a section of the building standards. 

When a local agreement is in place between the verifier and the applicant for phased payment of the warrant fee, the discount should be due on all the payments, provided a certificate was submitted with, or the intended use confirmed on, the warrant application form. 

Note that the above discounts apply where a late application for warrant is made or a late completion certificate submitted, with the discount applied to the whole fee.

Discounts also apply to an application for amendment to warrant but only where the increase in the estimated value of works exceeds £5,000. This may be for a different design scheme or, in the case of staged warrants, may involve a new certificate. The discount is on the amendment fee (which will take into account any increased value or work) and not the original fee.

3.15.11. A warrant fee is also discounted where it is stated at warrant application stage that one or more certificates from an approved certifier of construction will be presented with a completion certificate as below.

  • 3% (or the fixed levels of discount for values of work up to £100,000) for each certificate covering an approved scheme.
  • 20% for a single certificate covering the construction of the entire building all subject to a maximum discount of 20%.

Except when accompanying a late completion certificate, a discount is only applicable where a verifier has been informed of the intention to use the approved certifier of construction at warrant application stage, including late warrant applications.

3.15.12. The discounts in relation to both certificates of design and certificates of construction are based on the original warrant fee (before any discounting).



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