Unsafe buildings and emergency repairs

When we use a statutory notice

When there is a defect in a building which may be a risk to safety or health our Shared Repairs service can act.

We will carry out make safe work to reduce or remove the danger and protect the safety and health of passers-by.

The most common problems which may need this kind of action are

  • roofs with major structural defects that are a danger to passers-by
  • blocked or broken soil or waste pipe work
  • loose masonry on the outside walls of the building
  • unsafe chimney stacks
  • unsafe boundary walls, railings and fencing
  • unsafe common stair treads or stair handrails and glass skylights
  • unsafe plaster work within shared stairwell
  • buildings damaged by fire.

Where a defect is in a shared part of the next door building, a notice may be served on both buildings.

Our notices served in an emergency apply to all owners, even if the shared parts are not mentioned in your title deeds.

We will only serve a statutory notice where there is a risk to safety or health. In most cases, because of the risk, we will arrange for the work to be done and then serve the notice.

We may have been called out by a member of the public who has reported a building defect. We can take immediate action to remove any danger to public health. This may be unblocking drains, stopping falling debris or stopping immediate damage to the fabric of a building. In these cases we do not have to serve a notice before we act.

Search for existing statutory notices served. For more information, download our guide to your statutory notice below.

Drainage problems

An advice notice and bill will be sent out as soon as possible after action has been taken.

In the case of a drain blockage, we will clear the blockage problem at that time, but are not responsible for further blockages and cannot guarantee a trouble-free system.

We are not responsible for any drains unless they are within Council property. Drains in the street and main sewers are maintained by Scottish Water, all other drains are owned privately by the building's owners. See advice on how to avoid blocked drains on the Scottish Water website. To help identify drainage responsibilities see the historic drainage records.

Our staff will determine what an emergency is and there is no right of appeal against this decision.

For more information, download our guide to water emergencies below.

Download Emergency repairs guides (PDFs)

Edinburgh Shared Repairs Service

Address: Waverley Court,
4 East Market Street,

Telephone: 0131 529 6778