What to Expect when you Buy a Listed Building?
Listed properties are essentially buildings that are on a national register for having either historical or architectural importance, this means depending on the category of the listing, the property is protected on the outside or the outside and inside. As the owner of a Listed property, you’ll be responsible for its upkeep and won’t be allowed to just make alterations, such as putting a conservatory onto a Tudor manor house.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions from people interested in buying Listed buildings.
What is the difference between Grade I and Grade II listed buildings?
Grade I is the most protected building type in England and Wales, being judged as having ‘outstanding or national architectural or historical interest’. Hardly any buildings fall into this category – only about 2% of all listed buildings or structures.
Grade II is a far more common rating and indicates that the building in question possesses a ‘special architectural or historic interest’.
Which type of buildings are Listed?
Providing it’s more or less in its original condition, all buildings and structures built from 1700-1840 will be Listed, along with structures built between 1840-1914 if they were designed by famous architects or display technological advances. If buildings built after 1945 are of truly phenomenal importance, they may be Listed too.
Can I make alterations?
You will need Listed Building Consent from your local conservation officer – often an employee of your local council. If you’re thinking of buying a Listed building, you’ll have to ensure the previous owners didn’t carry out unauthorised work as it’ll be your responsibility (as the new owner) to sort things out if they did.
What kind of maintenance do Listed buildings require?
As the owner of a Listed building, you’ll have a long list of maintenance tasks to complete, including: making sure gutters and drainpipes are clear, checking the roof, detaching creeping plants carefully, bi-annual cleaning of all chimneys, servicing electrical and heating equipment, re-pointing stone and brickwork, and cleaning and repairing brickwork, stonework and renders.
It’s essential you employ the services of professional to ensure that all these tasks are carried out to the required standards.
What can I expect from my insurance?
Due to Listed houses and buildings needing to be repaired using traditional materials and methods, your home insurance will be notably more expensive compared to that of a non-Listed property. An insurance policy worth paying for should cover the entire cost it would take to completely re-install the entire house.
Here at Jane Wood and Associates, we understand the allure of Listed and period properties, and will work hard to find you your next dream home, whatever size. For more information, call us on +44 (0)207 602 8779 today.