A landlords’ guide to building regulations

For landlords looking to become landlords, knowledge of building regulations is of utmost importance. These regulations exist to ensure that buildings meet a suitable standard of safety that safeguards both residents and the general public.

Landlords who fail to abide by building regulations put tenants in jeopardy while also potentially facing significant fines or criminal prosecution.

When purchasing or making modifications on an already existing home, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with all governing construction regulations.

Be mindful that this guide only pertains to construction taking place in England and Wales; landlords in Scotland and Northern Ireland must check local building regulations prior to undertaking any building works in those regions.

What building work do landlords need approval for?

If you plan to make any modifications to your property, building regulations approval may be necessary before work can start legally. This ensures that any changes implemented comply with law and are safe.

Landlords must understand the differences between building regulations and planning permission when considering projects they wish to undertake, and determine what approvals may be necessary for their chosen endeavor.

What type of work is covered by building regulations?

An additional approval may be needed if your project involves one or more of these elements:

  • Switching fuse boxes and connecting electrics
  • Construction of a bathroom will necessitate plumbing work.
  • Switching Electrics in a Bath or Shower
  • Installing a permanent air conditioning system
  • Replacement of Doors and Windows
  • Replace roof coverings on both flat and pitched roofs
  • Install or Replace Heating System in Florida.
  • By adding additional radiators to the system, additional heating capacity can be achieved.
  • If you plan on adding or altering something not listed in the above list, it would be prudent to contact authorities in the building field first if unsure whether approval is required.

If you hire an expert to complete the task for you, they will handle obtaining approval on your behalf and this process won’t need to be handled independently by you.

In case of urgent repairs to the heating system or boilers, building regulations approval is not needed; only a licensed gas engineer is needed for such work.

What type of work is not covered by building regulations?

If your project does not fall under building regulations, approval from an authority may not be required. Furthermore, no approval needs to be sought if someone registered under a scheme to identify competent individuals is undertaking it.

Certain initiatives do not require approval by building codes, including:

  • Repair, replacement and maintenance tasks (excluding heating systems, fuse boxes, oil tanks and glazing systems ) can usually be handled locally.
  • New lighting and power points (excluding shower and bath power points ) were installed for all other areas in the bathroom and other parts of the house.
  • Adjustments can be made to existing circuits (other than ones surrounding bathtubs or showers)
  • Compatible bathtub, basins, toilets and sink replacement options
  • Visit the Planning Portal for more information on planning regulations, permitted development limits and building regulations applicable to most regular building projects.

Buildings must adhere to energy efficiency and safety regulations regardless of formal approval status.

Who should carry out the building work?

If your work falls within the bounds of building regulations, approval from an appropriate body must be secured prior to beginning any works. If this seems daunting or time consuming for you personally, consider employing an experienced tradesperson certified with one of several recognized schemes to complete this task for you.

Competent Person Certification is an accreditation system for tradespeople to demonstrate their capabilities and abilities to complete specific tasks in accordance with building standards. To qualify as a competent individual, tradespersons must carry out each task in an efficient and compliant manner.

Registered tradespersons with reputable schemes can self-certify that the work they are performing meets legal requirements, giving them the ability to carry out projects without needing approval beforehand if their tasks fall within building regulations.