Dangerous buildings or structures

Dangerous structures thnA dangerous building or structure includes anything on or about a building or structure that may be a danger to members of the public, including:

  • Loose or falling roof tiles
  • Walls or fences that are in danger of collapse
  • Unstable chimneys
  • Larger buildings that become unstable

What makes buildings or structures dangerous?

Buildings suffer from an ageing process, which can result in the structure becoming weaker. Buildings or structures can become dangerous as a result of poor maintenance, fire, storm, vehicle impact or explosion.

Reporting a dangerous building

Please contact the building control team (see contact section of this page).

What will we do about a dangerous building or structure?

In most cases we'll contact the owner of the building and require them to remove the danger at their own cost.

If the danger is immediate and life threatening we may liaise with the emergency services to close off the danger area, and arrange emergency works with the owner or independently. This may include temporary works such as scaffolding or shoring to make the building safe, until permanent work can be arranged, or the removal of the hazard by more direct means.

Where necessary the council can require the owner of the dangerous structure to make it safe or, in an emergency, take direct action to remove the danger under powers contained in Sections 77 and 78 of The Building Act 1984.

If the structure is considered to be in imminent danger of collapse or part has already collapsed, the building control surveyor will try to contact the owner of the building or structure to require their urgent action in removing the danger.

If the owner is unavailable, unable or unwilling to arrange for the danger to be removed, the surveyor will arrange for the minimum action necessary to remove the danger. This action can often involve putting up barriers or fencing to keep people away from the dangerous area until a more permanent solution is found. All actions taken will be confirmed in writing and if available, the owner will be advised of the likely cost involved.


The owner of any building that becomes dangerous is responsible for all the costs involved in making the building safe. If the council is unable to contact the owner at the time, and the building needs to be made safe, the council may carry out the emergency works, and claim the costs back from the owner.

Last reviewed: 04 - 02 - 2016

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