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Good Grades? Selling a Listed Building

  • 6 years ago

There are, according to English Heritage, around 374,000 Grade I, Grade II and Grade II* listed properties in England. Generally, buildings are more likely to be listed the older they are.

Grade II-listed buildings are deemed to be of “national importance and special interest” and make up 92% of all the country’s listed properties. Grade II*-listed buildings are particularly important, with “more than special interest” and these comprise 5.5% of the listings. Grade I buildings – of exceptional interest – make up the remaining 2.5%.

What does a listing mean for owners and buyers?

A listing isn’t a preservation order, so you can make alterations and repairs to your property. However, you must apply for listed building consent – and have it granted – before the work is started. This consent means you maintain the architectural interest of the building; if you flout these rules, you’re breaking the law.

Selling up

If you’ve made alterations to your listed property and now you’re planning to sell it, then you’ll have to produce evidence that the work you did was done with planning permission and listed building consent. If you can’t produce this evidence, you may delay the sale because your buyers will be advised to take out indemnity insurance before proceeding. They may even pull out of the process altogether.

Your buyers also need to be aware of the responsibilities they’re taking on. The listing might apply to both the inside and outside of the building, but it will certainly apply to everything that was in or on the building at the time is was listed. In addition, any manufactured object or structure on the site that was there on July 1, 1948 is listed.

The interior of the property

The inside of the property is also controlled by the listing – the floorplan, fireplaces, stairs and everything else. If you are planning to make any repairs after you’ve moved in then you’ll need to maintain the character of the building and use the appropriate materials. You’ll also need to hire contractors with experience on listed buildings.

Buyers and sellers shouldn’t be daunted

All of this extra effort might seem intimidating, but it pays off. The demand for period and listed properties never wanes so if you maintain the property’s historical character you’ll have no trouble finding buyers.

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