Local Authorities have a responsibility, under the Building Act 1984, to deal with any structure, public or privately owned, that is judged to be in a dangerous condition.

This is to protect the public's health and safety and particularly applies to buildings which have become unstable or dangerous either through accidental damage or lack of maintenance.

'Dangerous structure' covers not only buildings or parts of buildings (ie loose slates or tiles) but such things as garden walls, fences or hoardings. In fact, any structure which by its condition poses a potential danger to the safety of the public.

Section 77 of the Building Act empowers a Local Authority to deal with a building or structure which is in a potentially dangerous condition. If (as is often the case) the structure is found to be in poor condition but not dangerous at the time of inspection, we can advise the owner, or serve notice under Section 77, to have him/her undertake repairs within a reasonable time.

Section 78 of the Act gives us the power to have the danger removed, e.g. the structure demolished or barricaded off. 
Reporting a Dangerous Structure
You can report a Potentially Dangerous Structure using our online form

Contact information
During working hours:

South Worcestershire Building Control: 01684 862223

Out of office hours:

Malvern Hills District on 01562 732001

Wychavon District on 01562 733180

Worcester City on 01562 733178 

What happens next

Once a report is received a surveyor will visit the site to access the danger and any risks.

  • We'll try and contact the owner for them to remove the danger. This may be by removing loose bricks, tiles or by fencing off the danger to stop access.
  • If the owner is not present and immediate action is required then we can take emergency powers to make the situation safe.

If there is no immediate danger :

  • We'll contact the owner of the building or structure and request them to remove the danger.
  • If this isn't done within a specified time we can get a court order that requires the owner to carry out the work.

The cost of any works carried out can be recovered from the property owner and maybe registered as a charge on the Local Charge Register

This public protection service is a 24 hour service, 365 days a year. Most call-outs out of office hours are requested via the Police or Fire Service.