Dangerous structures and public safety

The Council has statutory duties to ensure that:

  • all structures within the borough that are considered dangerous are made safe within the shortest period of time possible
  • any demolition work undertaken within the borough is carried out with necessary safety precautions, and in such a way that adjacent properties where appropriate are made safe

What is a dangerous structure?

The term ‘dangerous structure’ covers not only buildings or parts of buildings (such as loose slates or tiles), but also garden walls, fences or hoardings. In fact, any structure which could endanger persons.

Dangerous structures fall mainly into two categories:

  • immediately dangerous: structures that are at risk of collapse and must be secured for public safety. The owner will normally be recharged for emergency works carried out in these cases
  • dangerous but not imminently so: structures, which further to a survey are unstable but not immediately dangerous. In these cases the owner is given a reasonable time to rectify and potential danger. Failure to respond may result in a magistrates court order being obtained

What will we do?

We may be notified of a potential dangerous structure by residents, the police, fire or other emergency services among other agencies.

We have a duty rota of surveyors who are on call day and night to deal with these situations.

On being advised of a potential dangerous structure, our surveyor will visit the site to inspect the structure and to arrange for appropriate action to be taken to remove any danger.

If the structure is considered potentially dangerous, we have legal powers to require the owners of the building or structure to remedy the defects. The area surrounding the structure is blocked to ensure safety is maintained until the structure is fixed.

If the structure is considered immediately dangerous and likely to collapse, the Surveyor will arrange for a contractor to remove or repair the structure as soon as possible, normally on the same day. All costs incurred in undertaking the work are recovered from the owner of the property.

Fees and costs

  • administration charge – £200.00
  • survey and report – £150.00
  • remedial works – costs will be dependent on the nature of the dangerous structure and works required. Where the Council is required to undertake these works all contractor cost will incur a 5% handling fee
  • all costs are invoiced and held as a local land charge against the property until paid
  • unpaid dangerous structures charges will accrue a 2.5% per annum interest charge for the first 10 years of the charge

Get in touch

If you consider that a structure of any type or size may be dangerous, please contact us soon as possible (day or night) using the telephone number below. You can also use the form below:

Contact us

Page updated on: 2 August 2019

Building Control Service


Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY

Opening times

  • Mon to Fri 9am - 5pm (phone calls only)