Listed building warning to buyers

A legal expert has issued some top tips for property buyers who may be considering purchasing listed buildings.

The guidance follows a recent court case which saw a property developer fined £300,000 for carrying out illegal modifications on a Grade II listed property.

A listed property is one which is regarded of particular architectural or historical importance, and this applies to the whole property, including the grounds. There are an estimated 376,099 listed buildings in the UK, according to Historic England.

Sarah Barnes, head of the Residential Property team at regional law firm Napthens, is advising people how to comply with the important rules attached to protected properties.

Sarah says: “While they are considered extremely desirable, a lot of care and attention must go into owning this type of property. The first thing I would suggest is finding out who your local conservation officer is, as you’ll need to liaise with this person to obtain consent for future works.

“It’s also important to carry out a full structural survey of the building before agreeing to any purchase, which might unearth any previous alterations you need to be aware of. You will also need to make sure any existing alterations have the required listed building consent, as once the purchase has gone through, it becomes your responsibility as the current owner.

“This kind of property also requires a specific type of listed building insurance, which may not be as straightforward a process in comparison with a standard property. “To be sure everything is in order and to avoid potential problems further down the line, make sure you carry out proper research before purchasing.”