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Buying a listed building

There are a fortunate few who get the opportunity to buy what can perhaps best be described as a piece of history.

All buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, as are most buildings constructed between 1700 and 1840. Post 1840 buildings can be listed, but the criteria gets tighter; there are very few listed buildings less than 30 years old.

Listing does not freeze a building in time and is not a preservation order preventing change. Instead it serves to identify and protect buildings of exceptional architectural or historic special interest. Whilst changes can be made, additional consents are needed in order to safeguard a listed buildings future.

There are three categories or grades of listing. Grade II makes up 92% of all listed buildings, the overwhelming majority. 5.5% are Grade II* listed (of more importance), and only 2.5% are Grade I listed, (sometimes of international importance).

Before considering the purchase of such a building it is very important to ensure you have it thoroughly inspected by a Surveyor who is conversant with historic buildings. You need to understand how the building has been constructed, how it has been adapted and of course its state of repair. Improving and repairing buildings of this type is more costly than with more modern properties, requiring specialist skills and materials.

It is also important to ensure that any changes made to a listed building were completed with Listed Buildings Consent; it is the responsibility of an owner to ensure compliance, even if unauthorised changes have been made by an earlier owner or occupier.

We have the necessary skills and experience to provide you with the right advice, before you commit to the purchase.

Peter McNeill

Peter McNeill

Peter McNeill is a residential Surveyor specialising in pre-acquisition survey and party wall work. He jointly founded the company in 2002.

Peter's full profile | Our Team

Tags residential Listed Building

Category Residential