Listed Buildings. Structural masterpieces; marks of our heritage; worthy of preservation always. Or are they?
One only need think of our beloved Tatton Hall to be convinced by this statement. However, the reality of the modern consumer’s experience is that dealing with such buildings can add complexity and restriction in a property transaction. We unpack the main issues below.
What is a listed building?
A listed building is a building which is included in a list compiled by or approved by the Secretary of State. Listed buildings are graded to categorise their importance and significance, which are usually of a historical or architectural nature. However, what is interesting is that this definition encompasses more than just the building itself. It can also include:
- Any object/structure fixed to the building.
- Any object or structure immediately surrounding the building that forms part of the land and has done so since before 1 July 1948.
Therefore any purchaser or developer should receive proper advice to ensure they are not caught out by its scope or implications.
What does a buyer of a listed building need to think about?
A prudent purchaser receiving proper advice should consider the following, amongst other things:
- That all works previously undertaken, and planned for, have the appropriate authorisation;
- That appropriate authorisation needs to be obtained for interior and exterior matters.
What if a building isn't dealt with properly in a transaction?
Potential consequences include:
- Criminal liability for unauthorised work
- The Local Authority can serve an enforcement notice, to which there is no time limit. Therefore as an owner you could be liable for a breach of listed building control irrespective of when the breach occurred.
How do I find out if a property is listed?
- Consult the National Heritage List for England
- Personally inspect the list at The Engine House in Swindon
- Undertake research through online forums etc.
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This article is for general information only and does not constitute specific advice. You should not rely on the information in this article. Fiona Bruce Solicitors recommends that you seek our specific advice if you wish to rely on the any part of this article. Whilst Fiona Bruce Solicitors makes every effort to ensure that the article is accurate, Fiona Bruce Solicitors excludes all liability for claim, loss, demands or damages of any kind whatsoever (whether such claims, loss, demands or damages were foreseeable, known or otherwise) arising out of or in connection with the use of this article or any other information contained on this website. Any information provided only applies to England and Wales.