September 26, 2017

Guide to buying or renting a listed property

Listed property

For those that desire a property rich with period features and heritage, then the possibility of living in a listed property can be something that few pass up on. Nearly half a million UK homeowners live in a listed home and benefit from the character and charm of the properties.

Whilst owning a listed property can be satisfying and rewarding, these properties do come with responsibilities for owners. Owning a listed property means that upkeep is a must and unauthorised alterations cannot be made.

What is a listed property?

A listed property basically means that it is found on the national register of buildings with architectural or historical importance. For an up to date, official register of the protected historic buildings in England, visit here.

There are three levels of listed properties in the UK that range in significance:

  • Grade I: buildings of high significance
  • Grade II*: buildings of particular importance
  • Grade II: buildings of special interest

92 per cent of listed buildings in the UK are Grade II so it’s likely that if you’re viewing a listed property, it will fall it this category. The higher the grade, the less likely permission will be granted for changes. Grade I buildings are the most protected structures but very few (around two per cent fall into this category).

Can you alter a listed building?

Alterations can be made but they must only be completed with the permission of the local authority. The same rule applies whether it’s to convert a kitchen or simply putting up a satellite dish. This is the case for the whole property; interior and exterior.

You should never buy a listed building with the intention of making changes. There’s no guarantee that they will be approved. Certain changes are more likely than others, but it’s still risky to assume.

Repairs and maintenance

Listed properties will undoubtedly require far more maintenance than a newly built home, therefore, buyers should factor this on top of the market price. Restoring the unique, original features may also require specialist tradesmen, adding further expense.

Checks before committing

Have any of the previous work by owners been unauthorised? It is important to identify this before the sale has been made because regardless of when and who made the changes, the liability still falls with the property’s current owner. This means that you will be liable for the costly correction of mistakes.

Listed properties in Leicestershire

Leicestershire is awash with charming, period homes for rent and to buy. If you would like your next home to be a listed property, get in touch with our experts who will be able to advisce you on your next steps.

Leicester: 0116 242 9929

Market Harborough: 01858 439 080

Loughborough: 01509 235 534