Buying a listed building in Exeter - key things to know?

The dream of owning a listed property is an exciting one. The reality is, however, not for the faint-hearted. If you are thinking of buying a listed building in Exeter - here’s what you need to be aware of.

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Listed house front door Exeter

Find out the listing status

The starting point is to find out what status of listing the home you want to buy is. The grade will help describe what your obligations will be.

Grade I

Grade I are buildings of exceptional interest. Approximately 3% of listed properties are Grade I.

Grade II*

Grade II* buildings are particularly important and of more than special interest. Approximately 6% of listed properties are Grade II*.

Grade II

Grade II are buildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them. Approximately 91% of listed properties are Grade II.

What restrictions will I need to be aware of?

Listed building restrictions are put in place to preserve a property's architectural or historic interest. These restrictions prevent alterations without consent (such as the addition of a boiler flue) to the listed fabric of the building.

Typical examples of listed parts can range from glazing to roofs.

To get information about a specific property in Exeter visit the Historic England listed building database.

I want to make alterations

If you are buying a listed property, any changes to the house must have formal planning and listed building consent from Exeter City Council.

What if modifications have already been made?

If a listed building in Exeter has been modified by a previous owner, the necessary consents must exist.

The liability for ensuring the appropriate consents are in place will be transferred to the new owner. Owning a listed property without listed building consent for alterations or extensions is considered an offence.

What obligations will the buyer have?

Owners of listed buildings in Exeter will be obliged to ensure the building remains in good condition

If you fail to do so and permit it to fall into decay, the local authority can take legal action, and may ultimately force you to sell the property to the authority if you do not comply.

The repair work may need to be performed in an appropriate manner, e.g. rammed earth construction and box-framing.

Find listed buildings in Exeter

There are over 500,000 listed buildings across the country, and around 1,008 of which are in Exeter City Council.

Exeter listed buildings and properties include:

  • 58-66 Wonford Road, Exeter, Exeter, Devon
  • Hillyfield, Barbican Steps, Exeter, Exeter, Devon
  • 1 And 2 Bartholomew Street West, Exeter, Exeter, Devon
  • 14 Cathedral Close, Exeter, Exeter, Devon
  • 14 Chudleigh Road, Alphington, Exeter, Exeter, Devon

A full list can be found on the Historic England database

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

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