Is it risky to buy a listed building in Letchworth Garden City?

Listed buildings are often a highly desirable ownership proposition. Heritage features like historic building materials and curved bows ooze charm. However, owning a listed property has a number of strings attached that can affect how you use the house.

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Listed house window Hertfordshire

What do I need to know?

First check out what designation of listed building the property you are buying is, as this will set out what the restrictions are.

Grade Ibuildings of exceptional interest
Grade II*particularly important buildings of more than special interest
Grade IIbuildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them

What will my obligations be?

The listing (which may cover the whole property) includes restrictions designed to preserve a property's architectural or historic value. These restrictions prevent unconsented alterations (for example outbuilding conversion) to the property.

Typical examples of listed elements can range from doors to gable-ended wings.

Alterations to a listed building in Letchworth Garden City

Building regulations and listed building consent from North Hertfordshire District Council for any alterations will be required by the owner of a listed building.

What if modifications have already been made?

Owning a listed property without the correct planning consents for any alterations is considered an offence, and responsibility for ensuring the appropriate consents are in place is transferred to the new owner from the seller.

What will the purchaser need to do?

First among owners' obligations is a requirement to ensure the house remains in good condition

The local council may take formal steps if you do not look after the property, and may require you to sell the property to the council.

Period-specific methods, e.g. timber and thatch roofing, often must be used for any maintenance and repairs.

Find listed buildings in Letchworth Garden City

There are around 500,000 listed properties across the country, 1,816 of which are in North Hertfordshire District Council.

Listed buildings and properties in and near to Letchworth Garden City include:

  • 5 And 7 Croft Lane, Letchworth Garden City, North Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire
  • Puncharden Hall, Willian Road, Letchworth Garden City, Willian, North Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire
  • The Old Vicarage, Willian Road, Letchworth Garden City, Willian, North Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire
  • 34 And 36 South View, Letchworth Garden City, North Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire
  • Tanglewood, 17 Sollershott West, Letchworth Garden City, North Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire

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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