Thinking of buying a listed property? Here's what you should know
26 October 2021
If you’ve fallen in love with a listed property, here’s some expert advice from Graham White about what you should know about purchasing a home with listed or conservation status.
East Central Scotland is full of unique properties that display ample charm and character. Purchasing one of these could be a dream, however there are a few things you should know.
Since 2015, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has been responsible for safeguarding and promoting Scotland’s built heritage. Among HES’s many duties, they oversee Scotland’s listed homes and keeps their heritage intact.
In Scotland, there are around 47,000 listed homes, and they are all split into three categories. Category A is buildings of national or international importance such as special architectural or historic interest which are outstanding examples of a period, style or building type. Category B represents regional importance and Category C is local importance. Many of our towns are also classed as conservation areas.
What you should consider when buying a listed home
1. Check the alterations
It is imperative your solicitor checks that any existing alterations have been approved by the property’s local authority. If not, you as the new owner of the property, will be liable for correcting any mistakes.
2. Clear your plans with the local authority
If you are looking to make improvements, check with your local authority, as each council varies in its approach to what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of renovations. Alert them of major works such as extensions and internal layout changes, but also smaller minor alterations such as cleaning stonework or repainting doors.
3. Your home will be listed online
Any listed building is noted on a national register of listed properties, searchable on the HES website.
4. Specialist insurance may be needed
You may be required to have specialist insurance for the protection and security of your listed home.
5. Spend on a survey
A survey is a very worthwhile expense when purchasing a listed property. Making use of a surveyor that specialises in listed buildings gives you an idea of what you’re taking on, they will advise you on things such as structure or damp and assess any underlying issues with the property.