Public safety

Report a dangerous or defective building

If you see a building which may be dangerous or defective, you can report it to us by calling 0131 270 7500 (during and outwith office hours).

Please do not use email to report a dangerous building.

What happens next?

We arrange for a Building Standards surveyor to visit the dangerous building location and to assess the risk.

If the public or occupants of buildings are at risk, we will take further action.

We try to contact the owner(s) and give them the chance to undertake the required works. Where this is not possible or if we fail to get a response from the owner(s), under the Building (Scotland) Act 2003, we would take enforcement action to:

  • prevent access to and/or around the affected building or
  • remove the source of the danger pending full repair.

When enforcement action is taken, all costs incurred by or on behalf of the Council will be recovered from the owner(s). Of note, it is often more cost effective for the owner(s) to instruct the required works.

Dangerous Buildings Notice

If danger still exists following our action to address the immediate danger or to prevent access, a Dangerous Buildings Notice will be served on the owner(s) of the property.

The Notice requires the owner to act to remove the danger within a stated timescale. If this timescale is not met, the Council will arrange the work. Again all costs will be recovered from the building owner(s).

Defective Buildings Notice

Where the building is not immediately dangerous but there are obvious signs of deterioration, such as cracks in chimneys, loose slates or leaking rainwater goods, a Defective Buildings Notice will be served on the owner(s). The Notice requires that the defects are fixed within a stated timescale.

If satisfactory action is not taken in time, the Council may arrange for the necessary work to be carried out. All costs will be recovered from the building owner(s).

Building Standards Register

Where a formal enforcement action results in a Dangerous or Defective Building Notice, the details will appear in the Building Standards Register.

Other dangerous structures

Where reports of dangers fall outwith the scope of Building Standards, reports are passed to the relevant section of Midlothian Council (for example, the Roads Section) or to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).