Is it risky to buy a listed building in Harrow?

The prospect of living in a desirable listed property is an inviting one. However, the reality can be something of a rough ride. If you are intending to buy a listed building in Harrow - here’s what you need to be aware of.

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Where do I start?

The starting point is to look into what status of listed building the home you want to buy is. This will explain what you can and can't do.

Grade I

Grade I are buildings of exceptional interest

Grade II*

Grade II* buildings are particularly important and of more than special interest.

Grade II

Grade II are buildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them.

What restrictions will I need to be aware of?

The controls over what can and can't be done to a listed building are in place to preserve the architectural or historic interest of the property. These controls prevent unpermitted alterations (e.g. garage construction) to the property.

Examples of what may be listed range from bay windows to thatched roofs.

Making alterations to a listed building in Harrow

If you are buying a listed property, any modifications or alterations to the property, that affect its character, should have building regulations and listed building consent from London Borough of Harrow.

What if modifications have already been made?

Responsibility for making sure all consents have been granted is passed from the seller to the new owner. Failing to secure listed building consent for modifications is illegal.

What obligations will the owner have?

As the owner of a listed building in Harrow, you will need to keep the home in good condition.

Should you fail to do so and permit it to fall into decay, the local council may take legal action, culminating in compulsory acquisition if you do not comply.

Historic materials and techniques, e.g. porthole frames and stonemasonry, frequently must be employed when undertaking maintenance work.

Directory of listed properties in Harrow

Somewhere in the region of 500,000 listed properties exist in England and Wales - around 300 of which are in London Borough of Harrow.

Harrow listed buildings include:

  • The Haven, Grove Hill, Harrow On The Hill, Harrow, Harrow, Greater London Authority
  • Farthings, Peterborough Road, Harrow On The Hill, Harrow, Harrow, Greater London Authority
  • K6 Telephone Kiosk Outside Number 90 High Street, Harrow On The Hill, Harrow, Harrow, Greater London Authority

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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