Listed Buildings – Buying a Listed Building

Posted by on Jul 6, 2017 in Building Surveying

Listed Buildings – Buying a Listed Building

Buying a property is one of the most important decisions we make during our life and it may result stressful and challenging at the best of times, even more when your dreamed property comes with the responsibility of owning a piece of history.

When we are planning to acquire a house or a flat, within other considerations, the starting point will be ensuring if the property we are interested in is listed

As explained in previous posts, there are different listing categories in Scotland which mainly depend on a series or historical and architectural factors, such as international, national or local importance, age, authenticity, degree of alterations, etc.

The estate agent or vendor should be able to provide accurate information for you but if in doubt listing details are available from Historic Environmental Scotland.

If listed, you should then take into consideration that any alteration will required obtaining Listed Building Consent (LBC).

Another key aspect to look at is if a previous owner has made alterations without getting listed building consent.

You should be aware that there is no time limit to when a local planning authority can require unauthorised alterations to be reversed. Consequently, new owners can be required to remedy alterations made by previous owners. Therefore, you have to be very cautious if you suspect alterations may have been made without consent.

Furthermore, it is also a vital aspect the maintenance cost, as it is normally higher that an ordinary home since the property requires specialist tradesmen, traditional materials and details.

In order to avoid a misguided and daring decision when buying a property, it is advisable to procure a pre-acquisition survey.

 A pre-acquisition survey is essential to provide a detailed understanding of the existing condition of the property, its suitability for a particular use and any associated future liabilities. A pre-acquisition survey can also form the basis for any future planned maintenance works required at the property following the purchase or lease.

A pre-acquisition survey enables you to make informed decisions about the proposed premises and its investment potential.

The outcome of the acquisition survey will help decide whether not to go ahead with a purchase or lease and it may influence negotiations regarding price. It is also highly likely to prevent any unforeseen and serious cost implications in the future.

Employing a professional with expertise in listed buildings can save a lot of heartache and wasted time, as there are always particular issues to consider.

Conversely, professionals who are not familiar with those issues which commonly arise within listed buildings can prove very costly and ineffective.

In summary, there are so many aspects to consider when planning to buy a listed building and only the right professionals will lead you to the right direction.

Our professional team at GLM will be able to provide you with a very valuable advice on special considerations and implications whether you are planning to buy a listed building.

Next week will speak about: How to care for your listed building


Antonio Cabello

Chartered Building Surveyor