Stopping the Rot

A guide to enforcement action to save historic buildings

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Keeping historic buildings in good repair and, where possible, in use, is the key to their preservation. Owners of listed buildings are under no statutory obligation to maintain their property in a good state of repair, although it is in their interests to do so. Local authorities can, however, take action to secure repair when it becomes evident that a building is being allowed to deteriorate.

Urgent Works Notices, Repairs Notices and Section 215 Notices can be very effective tools to help secure the preservation of historic buildings.

This guidance, is designed to help local authorities make effective use of these powers. It provides step-by-step advice on the use of the main procedures and includes case studies and a selection of specimen letters, notices, schedules and agreements. Samples of these are available to download at the bottom of this page for local authorities wishing to edit them for their own use.



  1. Introduction to Listed Building Act Powers
  2. Assessing the risk
  3. Preparing to take action
  4. Section 215 Notices: a step-by-step guide
  5. Urgent Works Notices: a step-by-step guide
  6. Repairs Notices: a step-by-step guide
  7. Compulsory Purchase Proceedings
  8. Enforced sale procedure: a step-by-step guide
  9. Housing Act 1985, section 17
  10. Empty Dwelling Management Orders
  11. Other relevant legislation
  12. Case studies
  13. References
  14. Glossary
  15. Appendices
  16. Where to get advice


Additional Information

  • Series: Heritage at Risk
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 120
  • Product Code: HEAG046a (Summary); HEAG046b


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