Considerations when buying a heritage property
When many of us think about heritage properties, we think of buildings associated with our architectural past: a castle, stately home or elegant Georgian townhouse perhaps. But new developments, such as barn and warehouse conversions, may also be heritage properties if they are listed or in a conservation area.
In this article, Louis Mathers, residential property expert with Parnalls Solicitors in Launceston looks at the different categories of heritage property and the implications for buyers who face the prospect of having to deal with the obligations that go hand in hand with owning a property of historical interest. ‘If you are considering buying a listed building, a property in a conservation area or a property that appears in a local heritage asset list, then it is important that you speak to your solicitor at an early stage to discuss the implications’, says Louis. ‘The fact that a property has heritage status will impact on the sorts of changes you can make and will also usually incur higher maintenance costs and insurance premiums.’
Properties that have been listed will have been graded according to their significance, with Grade 1 being the most important followed by Grade 2* and Grade 2. Listed building are subject to statutory controls which apply equally to all three grades. It is important that your advisor ascertains the exact listing, together with any special features referred to, as this will influence how the local authority will deal with any planning application or alleged breach of planning regulations.
All works to a listed building and its immediate surrounds will require listed building consent from the local planning authority in addition to normal planning permission. Carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building is a criminal offence.
Listed status does not mean you cannot carry out any building works or alterations, but it can be more difficult to obtain consent as the local planning authority must consider heritage conservation criteria when deciding your application. If you hope to carry out works to your new home or to change its appearance in any way, it is important that you talk to your advisor early on. They may have experience of how the local authority has treated applications for similar works in the past, or they may suggest ways to minimise risk. For example, you could make your purchase conditional on listed building consent being granted or seek pre-application advice from the planning authority or Historic England.
If you are buying a listed building, your solicitor should also check whether consents were obtained for any works the seller or previous owners carried out. Where unauthorised works have been undertaken, there is a risk that you could be required to restore the property to its original condition. There is no time limit for enforcement action in respect of listed buildings. It may be possible to apply for consent retrospectively, but there is always a risk that this could be refused. In these circumstances, your solicitor may suggest asking the seller to apply for permission or suggest that you seek a price reduction.
Conservation areas are designated areas of special architectural or historic interest which it is considered desirable to preserve or enhance. Recent changes to the law abolished the need for specific conservation area consent, but homes in conservation areas require planning permission for works where permission would not normally be needed, such as for demolition.
You may be unable to rely upon deemed development rights, which most homes enjoy. These allow householders to carry out permitted works, such as small-scale extensions, without permission. You will also need to give notice to the local authority before carrying out any works to trees on your property.
Locally listed heritage assets
Some local authorities also maintain a list of heritage properties that are not officially listed or in a designated conservation area. None of the statutory controls which affect listed buildings or conservation areas will apply to these properties, and on its own the list has no legal status. However, the inclusion of a property on a heritage list does indicate that the planning authority considers the building to be of local significance and that the authority is likely to consider its contribution to local heritage when determining a planning application.
Heritage properties are, by their very nature, unique. They include some of the most characterful and desirable homes in the country. However, it is important that you consider all the implications and take specialist advice before proceeding to purchase one. For example, older properties are likely to require more maintenance. You should budget for this and instruct a specialist surveyor who can advise on any repairs needed before you buy.
Insurance costs are also likely to be significantly higher than for an ordinary home, partly because of the specialist materials and labour required should you need to reinstate the building. It is a good idea to ask your seller how much they pay for their insurance. Despite the additional burdens, however, heritage properties can make the most rewarding and stylish of homes.
KATHERINE FLASHMAN KITSON CELEBRATING 25 YEARS AS A DIRECTOR OF PARNALLS
Do you know the difference between…
When to consider appointing a professional attorney
Should I get a cohabitation agreement?
The Need for Updating Wills
The Right to Make Noise
Ill-health pension transfer not liable for IHT
Legal Time Limits - why so important?
Would you pay a premium for a south-facing garden?
Video-witnessed wills to be made legal
New Planning Relaxation Is Not the Whole Storey
How to minimise delays in obtaining Grant of Probate
Could you benefit from the Green Homes Grant?
A SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM: new electrical safety regulations for residential tenancies
Property of Cornish residents who die without a will goes to Prince Charles
Does your lawyer progress your accident claim efficiently and provide you with a personal and professional service? Can i change solicitors for my accident claim?
What effect could the new changes to stamp duty have on property sales?
Preparing to sell your Launceston property
Staying safer in video meetings
Making Sure Your Great New Home Comes With Clean Air
Property Market Re-Opens in England
Coronavirus: Wills and Powers of Attorney FAQ
Medical Care Received Not Up to Scratch?
Had an Accident in Someone's Home?
Accident or Injury Involving a Dog?
Social Distancing No Obstacle for Parnall's Mobile Document Signing Team
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Commercial Property Legal FAQs
Rent Charge Suspensions: Protecting Your Interests
Been Asked to Sign an Employment Settlement Agreement? Seek Advice Urgently...
Services Update: Continuity of Legal Service Provision
Advising You in Uncertain Times
Could carelessness on social media land you in court?
Is an electronic signature on a commercial property document acceptable?
What happens when there is no health & care LPA in place
Social Media Training for Businesses
Information to gather for your probate solicitor
Gazundering, what it is and how to avoid it
Relief from forfeiture – what happens if the tenant forgets to pay the rent?
Not so safe at work - compensation for an accident at work
New organ donation law: giving you control
Running a business from home
Have nude photos of you or your teenager been posted online?
Landowners’ rights and the Electronic Communications Code
Building in your back garden
Christmas is a time for giving (and inheritance planning)
Buying the freehold of your leasehold house
Redeveloping an empty pub for commercial use
Why it takes time to obtain the Grant of Probate
Social Media: The unconscious privacy threat
Is your reputation being threatened?
Making a will after your spouse or partner has died
Interns celebrate completion of internship at solicitors
Selling your home in a flat market, some top tips
Claiming compensation for a serious road traffic accident
New Media and Communications Court list reflects surge in internet defamation claims by Laura Baglow
Has your personal information been shared without your permission?
Planning your escape to the country, what you need to consider – part 2
Government consultation on new national model for shared ownership
Choosing a partnership structure
Planning for what happens when you die by Deborah Adams
Changes to legislation could offer protection for tenants in the private rental sector
Move to the country - Part One
The risks of DIY probate
Will your septic tank still be legal in January?
The death knell for ‘kiss and tell’?
Making a will when you retire
Selling your property at auction
Not looking so good - your guide to compensation for botched non-surgical cosmetic procedures
New threshold of seriousness in defamation proceedings
Legal considerations when building a granny annex
Choosing the right person for your power of attorney
Formal Interviews - Do you need legal representation?
Privacy rights and aerial images
Trustees’ duty to give information to beneficiaries
Five problems with a leasehold property
Taking your first commercial lease
Is your organisation protected from employee social media legal risk?
Have you been targeted by negative social media posts?
Farmers be alert when being inspected
Help for House Sellers?
Don’t let your digital assets end up in a digital grave
Valuing an estate for probate
Development proposals and your local authority search
What can you do if your child is injured in a serious accident
NetRights welcomes new protection for social media users
SHOULD I GET A LAWYER FOR A SPEEDING OFFENCE?
Supreme Court recognises that social media is a “casual medium” in libel battle
Choosing the best conveyancer who is right for you
Making a will after a second or subsequent marriage
Option or promotion agreement – which is best for landowners?
Anonymous pub and restaurant online reviews leave a bad taste
Have you had an accident involving a horse?
Help to Buy – beware of some cracks in the structure
Understanding Lasting Powers of Attorney
Changes to Energy Performance Certificate for Landlords
Had a cycling accident? Your route to obtaining compensation
New year, new home: tips to sell your home in the New Year
Tax Planning for your inheritance
Hearing loss: when your employer may be liable
Buying a home for your retirement, five things you need to consider
Farmers plan to diversify after Brexit
Ministers press ahead with probate fee shake-up - reports BBC News
Botched dental treatment? You may be entitled to compensation
Why a Health and Welfare Power of Attorney is a good idea
Will the new charge on building developments in Cornwall affect you?
Energy Performance Certificates – Do They Matter?
HMRC Challenging Stamp Duty Land Tax Payments
Ben Mitchell qualifies as a solicitor
The potential implications of Brexit on employment law
Appointing a guardian for your children
Houses in multiple occupation – new rules from October 2018
New Agriculture Bill published
Will Brexit affect my pension?
Dreaming of a holiday home? Sort out the legals before putting your feet up
Lasting Power of Attorney by Deborah Adams
Settled status after Brexit by Alexis Hager
How to choose an executor to administer your estate when you die
How overage agreements can boost profits from your land
Top tips for first-time buyers
How Could Brexit Affect My Farm?
Wills & Succession in Spain by Deborah Adams
Brexit – an international and local view by Alexis Hager, Litigation
Capital gains tax - important facts for non-residents of the UK
Buying a home: the importance of making sure the seller is entitled to sell
Changing a will after someone has died: it is possible and it could save you money
Your responsibilities when you have people working in your home
Sad passing of Battle of Britain pilot who served with Parnall family member
Considerations when buying a heritage property
Disciplinary proceedings at work: guide for employers
Employers should have a disciplinary process in place, but just following this may not be enough to avoid falling foul of the law and exposing yourself to the risk of an employment tribunal claim.