Tips for Buying a Listed BuildingNovember 18, 2015
Listed buildings account for about 2% of English buildings, most of which are Grade II. A listed building cannot be demolished, extended, or altered without special permission from the local planning authority and it will be registered on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.
There are three types of listed status in England and Wales:
- Grade I: buildings of exceptional interest.
- Grade II*: particularly important buildings of more than special interest.
- Grade II: buildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them.
There are also three listed categories’ in Scotland, but they slightly differ:
- A: Buildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type.
- B: Buildings of regional or more than local importance, or major examples of some particular period, style or building type which may have been altered.
- C: Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style, or building type, as originally constructed or moderately altered; and simple traditional buildings which group well with others in categories A and B.
Many people worry about purchasing a listed property as owners are, in some circumstances, obliged to repair and maintain them and can face criminal prosecution if they fail to do so or if they perform unauthorised alterations.
If you are thinking about buying a listed property the Conservation Officer will be one of your most important points of contact. Their role is to ensure the character of the building remains intact and will grant (or deny) permission to make changes to your home and they may dictate the materials and techniques that you can use. These controls are called “Listed Building Consent”.
If you are about to purchase a listed building it is vital to ensure that any alterations by the previous owners had Listed Building Consent. It doesn’t matter who did the work, or how long ago it was carried out, it will become the new owner’s responsibility.
Listed building top tips
- Ensure that when buying a listed building any alterations have the relevant listed building consent.
- Make contact with your local Conservation Officer if you have just brought a Listed Building.
- Be sure your home insurance policy is suitable for a Listed Building.
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