Property enquiries

Letter of comfort

Formalising unauthorised building works

We are often asked to help property owners who have difficulties in the sale or transfer of ownership of their property.

Owners often seek to regularize their situation in relation to:

  • building works undertaken on their property without a building warrant where one was required, or
  • building works undertaken on their property with a building warrant, but no completion certificate.

A method of dealing with such circumstances is known as a Letter of Comfort.

What is a Letter of Comfort?

For building works undertaken before 01 May 2005, you may be able to obtain a Letter of Comfort.

A Letter of Comfort is a discretionary service offered by Midlothian Building Standards. The Council's decision on the issue of a Letter of Comfort is final and not subject to appeal.

A Letter of Comfort can provide current and future owners with certain assurances. The 'comfort' aspect of a Letter of Comfort is the assurance that Midlothian Council, as the enforcing authority, has no reason at the present time to have an interest in the subject property, and will not be seeking any action to be undertaken regarding the unauthorised work.

However, it is important to note that it is not the purpose of a Letter of Comfort to vouchsafe for any of the unauthorised work undertaken, and it does not give assurance of compliance with the Building Regulations.

A Letter of Comfort normally satisfies the parties involved in conveyancing and remortgaging transactions.

Letters of Comfort can be provided for both domestic and non-domestic properties.

For building works undertaken without a building warrant after 01 May 2005, the Completion Certificate where no warrant obtained - Submission route required to be followed:

How to apply for a Letter of Comfort

To apply for a Letter of Comfort for unauthorised works undertaken prior to 01 May 2005, a completed application form requires to be submitted to Midlothian Building Standards. Fees and our response times are detailed in the application form.

Application for Letter of Comfort (PDF)