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Building Standards Non-Statutory Services

Building Standards Non-Statutory Services

Letters of Comfort and Confirmation of Exemption/Compliance

The following non-statutory services are offered by the Building Standards Team. A brief description of these services are:

Letters of Comfort

The term "Letter of Comfort" has been adopted by the legal profession when referring to a letter providing confirmation from a Local Authority that the works undertaken comply with the relevant Technical Standards and/or no enforcement action will take place.

The issue of a Letter of Comfort will be considered where:

  • works have been undertaken (prior to 1st May 2005) without Building Warrant approval; or
  • a Certificate of Completion has not been granted/obtained within the liftime of the relevant Building Warrant 

These are known as "Property Inspections" and "Confirmation of Completion" respectively and are explained in more detail below.

Property Inspection

The Building Standards Team often finds itself requested to assist owners who are having difficulty selling their property due to unauthorised alterations having been carried out, often by previous owners.

Although it is a statutory requirement that a Building Warrant is granted prior to any building work being undertaken, a Property Inspection can cover unauthorised works started and completed prior to 1st May 2005. It is important to point out, however, that a Property Inspection is not a Building Warrant, Completion Certificate or retrospective permission and provides only limited assurance that a property complies with the relevant regulations. It is important that prospective purchasers of houses are aware of these limitations.

The service listed above is not available for any works carried out prior to 1st April 1991 and no applications for such work will be accepted.

Confirmation of Completion

A Certificate of Completion can only be issued/accepted within the lifetime of your Building Warrant, which is normally 3 years unless an extension has been formally approved. If no Completion Certificate has been issued during this period, then you may apply for Confirmation of Completion.

Acceptance of Letters of Comfort

The issue of a Letter of Comfort by the Local Authority normally satisfies parties involved in conveyance and mortgage transactions. Due to the limitations noted above, however, you should always check this with your solicitor before applying for a Letter of Comfort.

How Do I Apply for a Letter of Comfort?

There are individual application forms for all the services listed in this section and these can be obtained by contacting the Building Standards email address below.

Is there a fee for a Letter of Comfort?

A fee is payable when lodging your application in order to offset the cost of assessing the application, undertaking site visits, carrying out a search of records, preparation and issue of the letter etc. Please note that all fees must be paid electronically as the Council no longer accept cash or cheques. This can be done either via our website or by telephoning our contact centre. You can view the current fee scales by following the link provided.

Are Detailed Drawings Required?

For Property Inspections it may be necessary to provide drawings to allow assessment to take place. For complex works, however, detailed drawings to Building Warrant approval standard may be required to allow for structural checks, calculations etc to be carried out.

For Confirmation of Completion, a record of the Building Warrant approval will already be held and this will be used in the assessment of the works carried out.

Copy Documents

This service is currently suspended with the exception of completion certificates required for imminent house sales.  

The Council is frequently asked to produce copies of building warrants, approved plans and/or completion certificates, usually in relation to  the sale or purchase of properties. Under the building regulations, however, copies of such documents are restricted to current or prospective owners/tenants or owners/tenants of physically adjoining properties. Before any documents can be released, the Council will require written confirmation of the above or, if you are a solicitor etc, written confirmation that you are legally acting on behalf of that client.

The relevant building warrant number will also be required. If this cannot be provided, then an additional search fee would be applicable (although this will be included in the cost of any documents purchased). The fee will be dependant upon the age, number and size of documents requested and these are listed on the fee scale page linked below. 

Due to files and supporting documents in Part II of the public register only being retained for a period of 25 years (please see the our Public Registers page for certain exemptions), and as this is a non statutory/discretionary service, searches and file retrieval will be restricted to a rolling 25 year period. The timescale for this service is 20 working days from receipt of payment, which is in line with our statutory response times.  Documentation will be provided electronically whenever possible.

If you require any further information or an application form for any of the above services, please call 01259 452540 in the first instance

For Further Information Contact

Building Standards
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000