Facts about Listed Buildings


The system of listing buildings in the UK was started in 1947. It was began was the aim of protecting some structures that were deemed to be of historical significance. There are different grades of listed buildings. Despite the grade, it is important to be fully aware of the advantages and the disadvantages of buying a listed property. Read on if you are you wondering: If I buy a listed building will it affect me?

Buying a listed property

Buying a listed property comes with the responsibility of maintaining and preserving the condition of such buildings. There are some people who however think that buying a listed property means that they cannot do any developments on such properties whatsoever. This is not the case. You should however seek permission from the relevant authority before you can do any developments on a listed home. Before purchasing any listed property, you should ask your solicitor to ascertain whether the building you are buying has never had any renovations done to it since it got listed. This is because if the right procedure was not used when the renovations were being done, the legal penalties are going to affect the current owner of such property. It will be their responsibility to take the buildings to their original condition.

However, some people still think that the extra work required to own a listed is more than the pleasure of earning a quick, monumental structure. Again, there is a great advantage in that it is very easy to get a grant to help in renovating the home. On the other side, many listed homes are usually old manors that come with many structural defects. As such, things are more likely to go wrong. Moreover, most of the listed structures were built using outdated materials that might prove to be very expensive to replace nowadays.

Purchasing a listed property can be very pleasurable but a lot of care is needed. Do as much investigation as possible so as to be sure that you know exactly what you are buying. An example of a listed building is the Blenheheim or the 10 Downing Street. Others are some thatched structures found around some down country lanes. What they have in common is the fact that they are listed. Decades after the heritage movement was officially inaugurated, the term listed still is very common today.

It is estimated that Britain has about 450,000 listed buildings. Buying one of this, it is not merely acquiring a home but becoming part of the heritage. However, such property can bring a lot of pitfalls if you are not careful. You have to be very keen for you to avoid these pitfalls. This where trouble sets in. Not every one of us was born with the taste to become a museum curator. And there’s the rub. Most of us just aren’t cut out to be museum curators, reverently preserving the past.

Further, we do not want to leave things exactly the way we found them. One of the most prohibitive disadvantages of buying listed property is that in case you are found doing unauthorized developments you are going to be prosecuted at a court of law. Carrying out unauthorized alterations to a listed building is a high penal. As such, you will have to be ready to navigate the British legal system for you to do well with a listed property.

Despite the fact that is hard to get the permission to do further renovations on a listed property, it still is possible. At least up to 90% of listed properties give consent for further renovation and titivation. Grade 3 listed properties should be renovated with the consent of the local authority. The English heritage only gets involved in the management of grade 1 and grade 2 heritage structures.

The licensing for the renovation of a listed structure does not come quickly however. This is because the applications to do developments on a listed building have to do with illustrative drawings in order to show how the building is going to look like after the renovations. There are also a lot of behind-the-scenes negotiations involved between the authorities and the owners as they strive to make the listed structures look a bit more modern. Some allegedly corrupt deals have also been reported.