Published 10 Oct 2016

Tips for buying a listed property

Our guide to buying a listed property

Many people dream of owning their own little piece of history. Whether its an idyllic Grade II chocolate box cottage set in the Sussex countryside or a stunning Georgian town house on one of Chichester’s Pallants, here in West Sussex we have a great many beautiful listed buildings that often come up for sale.  

Listed buildings are graded with three levels; Grade I, Grade II* and Grade II. Grade I and Grade II* are of the most historical significance and represent only 7% of all listed buildings. Buildings are given a listed status to mark their historical and architectural interest and to protect them from inappropriate alterations and extensions that may detract from their special interest. 

Grade II listed building are the more common type of property on the open market and can range from a one bedroom fisherman’s cottage to a substantial detached residence set within acreage. Often with Grade II listed properties the external and in particular the front facade of the building is of more importance however, any internal original features will also be covered by the listing, this will include fireplaces, bread ovens, internal doors and even outside privys.

When you purchase a listed property you should establish what the listing covers and your legal representative should ensure that any alterations made to the property since its listing were done so with the correct listed consents, as the responsibility to revert the property back to its original condition may well be passed on to you.  

Please bear in mind that the local authority, although conscious of their duty to preserve our heritage are also sympathetic to homeowners' desires to improve their properties and will often try to offer a compromise and give advice.

If you have any further questions regarding listed buildings, the Listed Property Owners’ Club provides guidance and advice or contact us for more information on purchasing a listed property.

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