Do you own a listed building? Are you looking to buy a listed building? If so, do you know what your obligations and responsibilities are?
A listed building is one that has been classified as being of national importance in terms of historical and architectural interest. To find out whether your property might be a listed building, you can search the National Heritage List for England (NHLE).
There are three types of listed buildings in England and Wales:
- Grade I – buildings of exceptional interest;
- Grade II* – particularly important buildings of more than special interest; and
- Grade II – buildings that are of special interest, having been built between 1700 and 1840 and especially if built before 1700. This grade is largely made up of residential property. Approximately 92% of listings are under Grade II so it is the most common listing.
Listed buildings are protected by the Planning Act 1990 to ensure that any future alterations to the property are in keeping with its historic/architectural interest and the unique character of the building is not affected. It is important to note that this includes internal alterations as well as external. Therefore, if you own a listed building and you’re planning on carrying out any type of building work to it, you must always check with your local authority before commencing the work to make sure that you obtain listed building consent in addition to planning permission and buildings regulations consent as failure to do so may be a criminal offence and subject to enforcement.
When you sell a listed building, the liability for any breach would pass to your buyer. These sorts of breaches often come to light when a property is being sold so it is important to know your responsibilities so that issues do not arise when you are trying to sell. If you are buying a listed building, you will want to ensure that your sellers complied fully when carrying out any building works to their listed building and were not in breach so it’s importance that your property solicitor make the fullest of enquiries when acting on your behalf in your purchase.
If you have any questions about selling or buying a listed building, get in touch. Our experienced residential property conveyancing solicitors will set you on the right legal path.