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Grade 2 listed house

If I remember rightly, there were a couple of Surveyors on here? I'm looking for a bit of advice if possible from them or anyone else who may know.

We've seen a house we really like and is within our price range, but it's Grade 2 listed. As far as I understand it, it's only an issue if you want to make major changes, which we wouldn't, and if it's not been kept well, which it seems to have been. I'd make sure I got a good survey, but is there anything else I should do/be looking for, and are there any other issues I'd need to keep in mind?

Have taken a look online, and all it really advises is you need to get permission for changes etc - so far, so obvious.

Oh, and I was also wondering if anyone knows if there's any way to find out the changes the owner has made and whether they had permission etc? Woulda Surveyor check this with the inspectors/officers etc?

Thanks for any help!

Comments

  • Not a surveyor. But if you go on britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/ it should give a brief description of the property and when works were carried out. I tried it for my mates G2 listed property and it seemed pretty accurate.
  • Friends had a Grade 2 listed property, a cottage, and it gave them no end of hassle. Whether that is the type of plaster you have to use, lime for example, to not being able to put in double glazing or replace the front door as they wanted. All I'd say is think about it very carefully.
  • It's not really an issue - though it can make any alterations or upgrades expensive if you need to use 'original' building materials.

    I've put in applications for half a dozen or so listed buildings and as long as you work with the Local Authority planning department (and don't have any objections from your neighbours) it's pretty straight forward.

    There are also some very good builders who specialise is working on listed buildings and their knowledge of the supply chain of materials is invaluable.

    If you want stone cladding or a satellite dish then don't buy it!
  • Wait - no Sky?!
  • Some friends had a Grade 2 listed house and I was impressed, initially. Then I found out what a pain it can be. I thought it would affect the value upwards, but I think it may work the other way. I should imagine it is more difficult to sell a listed building too.
  • Think you can get grants for listed buildings.
  • Danny Green's house is well nice.
  • dizzee said:

    Danny Green's house is well nice.

    Grade 4 listed, at best.

    Cheers for the advice from everyone - want to avoid a money pit, but then think this place does look like everything that needs doing has been done.

    A very good surveyor might be the answer!
  • And a good solicitor to ask the right questions of the current owners.
  • Yes, that too!!
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  • Check for works in the last few years which might be subject to planning but don't have planning permission. If the council find out then you might end up having to restore it back to how it was. Strangely, that's how it was when it was listed, which can make it harder sometimes to make sympathetic improvements - you might be stuck with that dodgy 70s extension if it was there when the building was listed. After 4 years, generally, you are immune from enforcement action. And, yes, no satellites, PVC doors, paving over the front garden. I'd imagine insurance is costlier to so maybe do a couple of test quotes.
  • edited April 2014
    Had a 650 year old cottage in West Malling for 13 years. There can be issues, however when we sold the surveyor couldn't have been more complimentary about it. What was supposed to be a four hour survey took 10 hours and nearly 500 photos because old properties were his hobby.

    Be very wary of any smell of damp at all.

    The features are fantastic but come at a cost. Outr cottage was timber framed and was full of beams, dung walls and had a 9 foot Inglenook. If anything needs to be replaced or changed it can be expensive, but was generally worthwhile.
    We had a garden room built and it wasn't a problem. We employed a good local architect who knew the planners well. We had a site meeting with the council prior to submitting plans. That meant it went through without issues

    We have moved to a 10 year old house and by comparison have had more problems than ever we had with the cottage.

    Do your research and see if there is a local historical society. They will know the house and tell you a lot about it.
  • Cheers, good advice from you both - thank you.
  • edited April 2014
    Further to the above, if it is near west Mailing, I'm more than happy to take a look with you or put you in touch with local people who will be knowledgeable.
    If you go on to the local council's website, on the planning section, put in the address and it will tell you of all the planning applications for the house and you can also check on the other houses nearby.
  • iaitch said:

    Think you can get grants for listed buildings.

    Not any more unfortunately.

    EH will help if you have a Grade 2* listing, but they are really quite rare outside London - particularly housing.

    Seeing as over a third of a million houses are Grade 2 listed in England, I wouldn't let it bother you too much!

  • It's in Herne over by Herne Bay, but thank you anyway.

    I'm actually more worried about the changes they have made (completely new pipe work, double glazed windows etc) and whether they had permission than I am about the condition as I think the former is more likely to be an issue than the latter - it seems to be very well taken care of house. But obviously want to check the latter too, so want to make sure that I know as much as possible on what I want the surveyor and solicitors to check.
  • edited April 2014
    Ensure the Solicitor is well aware - most of the work can be covered with an insurance indemnity if it hasn't been carried out properly and you require retrospective planning permission.
  • Check for works in the last few years which might be subject to planning but don't have planning permission. If the council find out then you might end up having to restore it back to how it was. Strangely, that's how it was when it was listed, which can make it harder sometimes to make sympathetic improvements - you might be stuck with that dodgy 70s extension if it was there when the building was listed. After 4 years, generally, you are immune from enforcement action. And, yes, no satellites, PVC doors, paving over the front garden. I'd imagine insurance is costlier to so maybe do a couple of test quotes.

    Works to listed buildings never become lawful even after 4 years so you wouldn't be immune from enforcement action.

    I would do your research mate - even very minor works to listed buildings can need consent and it can be a right stress. And doing works to listed buildings without getting consent is technically a criminal offence (unlike doing something without planning permission) with more severe potential penalties so worth being cautious. It really depends how much of the original building features etc are left.

    Wouldn't rule it out because of it but just needs a bit of an additional research.
  • It's in Herne over by Herne Bay, but thank you anyway.

    Is it in Herne Street?

  • I think it's listed due to the exterior more than anything - the houses keep the old village character. But the interior still has the beams, wooden flooring etc.

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  • I've renovated a Grade 2 listed house.....its not as daunting as you may think. I've replaced the kitchen and all plumbing, including 2 bathrooms....the house is timber framed and built in 1620. Mine doesn't really have much of historical interest but Tonbridge and Malling Council were very helpful. As long as you don't change anything structurally or change the appearance of the outside of the house, you can do pretty much whatever you like inside. If you ask the local council they will provide you with any special details that may apply to your property. I had nasty nosey neighbors who reported me for various things, but after providing them with photographs the council
    provided a letter saying there wasn't a case to answer.....ironically I'm about to sell mine.
  • My flat's in a grade 2 listed building,and we've just had double glazing put in, so it can be done, but there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with the council planning department about exactly what was appropriate. Your solicitor should be able to get the relevant applications from the council, but you'd probably want to do that before you get the surveyor in, so they can compare what's actually in the property with what the council knows about.
  • Addickted said:

    It's in Herne over by Herne Bay, but thank you anyway.

    Is it in Herne Street?

    Missed this at the time mate, but yes, it was.

    Sadly the survey basically came back saying don't buy it! Shame but a least we found out.
  • All you have to do is go into the planning department of any council, and request the information held on file. Alternatively you can search on line.
    A good idea is to speak to the 'conservation officer', they tend to be bit formal, but I find if you go in they are less formal, and as long as you are not going to rush things will give you decent advice, and support. As one of the posters mentioned take some photographs, before any work is carried out.
    I worked on several magazines to do with listed buildings, one being 'Period Living and Traditional Homes', albeit a few years ago, what most owners had difficulty with was the 'dithering' by the conservation officer, who wanted to drag things on, and come to a considered decision, all very well, but you just want to get on with it.
    I am currently doing up a 1920s house, hardly in the same league as a listed building and have gone to the council and gone through the files, before I bought the house.
    They officer did not like it, but as the prospective buyer, you are within your rights to enquire. As I do not have a salvage yard around here, getting period features can be a difficulty, ( they all seem to be in darkest Kent and Surrey) But I did find somewhere in Brockley: 'Aladin's Cave', which I do remember from my day's at Goldsmiths decades ago.
    Hopefully, people get a sense of achievement, when taking on a house, but sometimes you do need deep pocket's?
  • Wait - no Sky?!

    I own a grade 2 listed house with a sky dish. Whether it's legal or not I have no idea. I do know for sure that part of the loft conversion that the last owners did does not comply with the rules, but we decided to just gamble and hope no-one notices.
  • I have a lot to do with traditional and listed buildings through work. There is an insurance that you can get through LPOC (Listed Property Owners Club) to cover you against previous owners illegal changes if you didn't know about them in advance.
    The key to a smooth ownership of a listed building is to understand your building and a good relationship with the Conservation Officer. Remember that the whole of the curtilage of the building is subject to Listed Consent. You can even apply the wrong type of paint and cause major issues (This is very common).
  • I have a lot to do with traditional and listed buildings through work. There is an insurance that you can get through LPOC (Listed Property Owners Club) to cover you against previous owners illegal changes if you didn't know about them in advance.
    The key to a smooth ownership of a listed building is to understand your building and a good relationship with the Conservation Officer. Remember that the whole of the curtilage of the building is subject to Listed Consent. You can even apply the wrong type of paint and cause major issues (This is very common).

    Spot on advice.

    I had Grade 2* listed buildings in Kent for 25 years and as long as you know the rules and talk to the right people then no real problems - and you also have the joy of living with history every single day.
  • Our place is Grade 2 listed. Most people have mentioned the obvious things about difficulties with planning permission. We're currently doing an extension and went though a long pre-application process with the council, basically consulting with them about what we could and couldn't do. Our architect was great and the council were very receptive. When we finally applied for the permission it sailed through. It also depends on why it's listed - if it's for historical rather than architectural reasons then it will be easier to make changes.

    One other thing is that you should be prepared for your buildings and contents insurance to be much more expensive due to the higher rebuild cost associated with a Grade 2 listed property. A lot of insurers won't even quote, so those that will charge for it.

    My advice would be don't let any of the scare stories put you off. There's a way round most things and it's listed for a reason, so enjoy owning a bit of history.


  • One other thing is that you should be prepared for your buildings and contents insurance to be much more expensive due to the higher rebuild cost associated with a Grade 2 listed property. A lot of insurers won't even quote, so those that will charge for it.

    I can concur with this - I was once asked by an insurance company to provide the 'approx year of construction' and when I replied 1362 they laughed and said 'move along'. !!
  • bobmunro said:



    One other thing is that you should be prepared for your buildings and contents insurance to be much more expensive due to the higher rebuild cost associated with a Grade 2 listed property. A lot of insurers won't even quote, so those that will charge for it.

    I can concur with this - I was once asked by an insurance company to provide the 'approx year of construction' and when I replied 1362 they laughed and said 'move along'. !!
    They should do the same with newbuilds too!!
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