Listed Properties

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Enigma266, Sep 15, 2008.

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  1. Im after some advice please. Im currently looking at buying a listed property that needs complete renovation. Structurally it seems to be sound. However, it needs heating putting in, new electrics the lot. UPVC windows were put in 10 years ago as the previous owners didnt know the property was listed. I just would like to know whether anyone has experience of renovating a listed property and the pitfalls of such a project. Thanks
  2. Another friend of mine owned a house in Dorset that was listed; the window frames were stone mullions and he couldn't touch them! He touched everything else and bought the largest woodburner in Christendom to beat the draughts coming in through the sash windows!

    We laughed about it, but it must be a real pain when you aren't allowed to touch anything without reference to English Heritage or the council!

    On the other hand, if the last bunch ruined the house because they didn't know, you might have the advantage with the council!

    My advice? Lie down in a dark room and wait for the feeling to go away!
  3. My place is Listed. A lot depends on the Grade its listed at, the higher the grade the less you can do without permission.

    Ours is a "Grade B" in the Scottish system. That meant that we could do pretty much anything we wanted inside but the exterior had to stay "traditional" - so wooden sash windows, scots slate roof, cast iron gutters. The best bet was, we found, to get the Planning Officer, the Bloke from Hysterical Scotland and your architect if you have one to have a site meeting and thrash out whats allowed and whats not prior to submitting an application. Still took 9 months to get passed though...
  4. Totally agree with Trossachs above. Get the planning officer to come over and discuss your intentions. I have done a lot of work to a grade 2 listed house and although it takes a lot of time it is always possible.

    Get an architect that knows the planners and has done listed buildings before.

    On the plus side, all work is VAT free but that is normally offset by the fact that you will need a top class builder. Get one that is recommended and has also done a lot of work on listed buildings.

    When the planning officer visits they may well take photos but what I did was to get her to scetch a design that she felt was appropriate. Pass this on to architect and lo and behold it goes through first time.

    You still need to get planning permission but applying for listed building consent is free as well.

    It took me about 18 months from start to finish to get all of the permissions.
  5. I agree with all that has been said, having worked in conveyancing I have dealt with Buyers and Sellers and the problems that they have had with renovating properties.

    I would be careful about the UPVC windows, as the Planning department could ask you to put the windows back to their original state as you don't have permission. Unlikely due to length of time but it would be dependant on what grade the property was.

    You are going to need to be completely honest and frank with the Planning Officer and you will have to have a great deal of patience as getting permission from the council is hard enough in usually matters, however when it is a listed property in question it takes three times longer.

    You are unlikely to be allowed to do anything radical, meaning that you will have to sympathetic to the property i.e. doing everything up but keeping original features and replacing any old features with new but so they look the same as the old.

    As long as you have plenty of time, money and patience you should be fine.

  6. It's an old post now (Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:44 am), but for the record I've done a few property renovations and a new build - I would avoid a listed building if at all possible (unless you are doing it for love of the house, not money).

    Council's are really difficult to work with - this causes delays and costs you a lot of money - interest on the capital tied up on a renovation is one of the most overlooked costs, but can be one of the largest.