Making the Grade: How to stay on the right side of heritage property laws
Legal eagle Nicky Richmond runs us through some of the big questions to ask before getting all romantic…
Are you carrying out works yourself?
Certain unauthorised alterations to listed buildings can constitute a criminal offence.
As such, it is essential to take specialist advice before you carry out any works to a listed building. As a purchaser of a listed building, if you did not carry out the unauthorised alterations, you will not have committed a criminal offence yourself, but you could still be liable to reinstate the property to its original condition. This could of course be difficult to ascertain – and potentially very costly.
Is it listed?
As such, when buying an historic property that is listed, one of the main things to be aware of is knowing what you can – and cannot – do to it.
Many advisers make the mistake of assuming that the property is listed for particular features, and presume that you can alter anything except those features.