Is it risky to buy a listed building in Walsall?

The idea of owning a desirable listed building is an inviting one. The reality can, however, be something of a nightmare. If you are planning to buy a listed building in Walsall - here?s what you need to know.

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Listed house Tudor Staffordshire

First steps

Before you do anything else, check out what classification of listed building the house you are buying is, this will set out what you can and cannot do.

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 restrictions will I need to be aware of?

Listed building restrictions are put in place to preserve the architectural or historic value of the property. These controls are in place to stop unlawful modifications (such as the addition of a Velux window) to the listed parts of the building.

Examples of listed parts range from bay windows to slate roofs.

Can I make alterations to a listed building

Formal planning and listed building consent from Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council for any modifications or alterations will be required when buying a listed property.

What if modifications have already been made?

The appropriate consents should exist if a listed property in Walsall has already undergone alterations.

Failing to secure the proper consents for alterations is a criminal offence, and the liability for the correct permissions being in place is passed from the seller to the purchaser.

What will the buyer need to do to comply with obligations?

Owners of listed buildings in Walsall are obliged to keep the property in good condition.

The local authority may take legal action if you fail to take care of the property, and may require you to sell the property to the council.

Period-specific methods, e.g. period brickwork, often must be used when performing repair work.

Directory of listed properties in Walsall

There are over half a million listed buildings in England and Wales, 171 of which are in Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council.

Walsall listed buildings include:

  • Victoria Mill, Long Acre Street, Walsall, Walsall
  • Little London Baptist Church, Temple Bar, Willenhall, Walsall, Walsall
  • Former Board Of Guardians Offices, South Of Manor Hospital, Pleck Road, Walsall, Walsall
  • Wisemore House, Wisemore Street, Walsall, Walsall
  • Brookes Works, 7-15 Leicester Street, Walsall, Walsall

Complete listings 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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