The hot list: the dos and don’ts of owning a listed building

Get the most out of owning a listed property with our top ten Dos and Don’ts!


  • Check with your solicitor whether the house you are buying is listed – don’t rely on estate agents details alone
  • Check that all works carried out on the house by previous owners had the correct consents – you may be liable for any works that were carried out without consent
  • Get to know your local conservation officer who can advise you on what your local authority will allow in terms of building works. He/she will also be able to advise on what permitted works you can do to your home
  • Enlist an experienced building company that has knowledge of listed buildings and traditional craftsmanship and materials (just like the experts at Period Property Conservation Co in fact!)
  • Keep the end goal in mind – if you’re hoping to extend or renovate your property, understand that it can be a long journey so start with small steps. All the planning and preparation in the initial stages will pay off in the end when you have a fabulous new home to enjoy


  • Assume that listed building consent takes the place of planning applications – you need both in place before work can begin
  • Start any building works until all the correct consents have been confirmed – it is a criminal offence to do so
  • Attempt to put in a snazzy new bathroom or knock the downstairs through into a kitchen diner without speaking to the planners – listed building consent also applies to the internal remodelling of your home
  • Underestimate the cost of building work on a period property – using reclaimed or traditional materials coupled with traditional building methods will bump up the cost and the time taken for the build to be completed
  • Lose heart – it may seem like a long and complex process at times but the end result is always worth it. Ultimately, planners will want you to enjoy your home and will work with you to come up with a resolution that is mutually beneficial
Peter Little
Property Conservation Company Ltd