Buying a listed building in Potters Bar - should you take the risk?

The idea of owning a character listed property is a tempting one. However, the reality can be less satisfying. If you are intending to buy a listed building in Potters Bar, the following advice will help you consider the idea.

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Listed house window Hertfordshire

What do I need to know?

First check out what grading of listed building the property you intend to buy is, this will set out what you can and cannot do.

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 will my responsibilities be?

The listing (which may cover the whole property) includes restrictions designed to preserve a property's architectural or historic interest. These restrictions prevent alterations without consent (such as bifold patio doors) to the listed fabric of the building.

Examples of what may be listed range from window frames to fireplaces.

Can I make alterations to a listed building in Potters Bar

If you intend to buy a listed building, any modifications or alterations to the property must have formal planning and listed building consent from Hertsmere Borough Council.

What if the seller has made modifications already?

If a listed building has previously been altered, the necessary consents must exist.

Failing to obtain the proper consents for alterations or extensions is a criminal offence. The obligation for making sure all consents have been granted will be inherited by the new property owner.

Will there be any obligations on the buyer?

Owners of listed buildings in Potters Bar are obliged to maintain the property in a good state of repair.

Should you opt not to do so, the local authority may take legal action, resulting in a compulsory purchase of the property if you fail to comply.

Any maintenance frequently will need to be carried out in a period-specific manner, for example porthole frames.

Find listed buildings in Potters Bar

Around 500,000 listed buildings exist across the country, and around 328 of which are in Hertsmere Borough Council.

Listed buildings and properties in and around Potters Bar include:

  • Central Range At Wrotham Park Home Farm, Including Barn, Engine House, Chimney, Shelter Shed And Building Facing On To Rear Yard, Wrotham Park, Barnet, Potters Bar,Wrotham Park, Potters Bar, Hertsmere, Hertfordshire
  • Garden Cottage And Attached Garden Walls At Wrotham Park Home Farm, Barnet, Potters Bar,Wrotham Park, Potters Bar, Hertsmere, Hertfordshire
  • Dairy Cottage And Attached Garden Walls, At Wrotham Park Home Farm, Barnet, Potters Bar,Wrotham Park, Potters Bar, Hertsmere, Hertfordshire
  • Kitchen Garden Wall About 400 Metres South Of Wrotham Park, Barnet, Potters Bar,Wrotham Park, Potters Bar, Hertsmere, Hertfordshire
  • Horse Trough, Great North Road, Barnet, Potters Bar, Hertsmere, Hertfordshire

A complete list can be found on the Historic England website 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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