This would include adding anything, taking anything away, modifying the building in any way and so on – these buildings are an important part of our history and they are under the protection of the English Heritage Act. Currently there are more than three hundred thousand buildings that been deemed to be listed across the United Kingdom. If you have bought a property which is protected in this way then you will need to take out a specialist policy in order to insure yourself in the event of anything happening to it.
So what are the rules and regulations when it comes to defining one of these properties? The building pretty much only needs to be at least thirty years of age to qualify. If your property dates back to the 19th or 18th and even the 17th Century, the chances are that it will have been officially registered as listed. In addition, the building may well have some local or national historical significance which will necessitate its preservation. What is important to take into consideration is the question of whether or not some of the original structure still exists. If you are thinking of planning an extension or loft conversion then you have to ask your local authority for planning permission. Seek help from official sources if you are unsure whether you can embark upon any construction projects but, as mentioned, if your property is considered to be of architectural importance you cannot do too much to it.
The listed building register is operated and updated by English Heritage, with a comprehensive list of all listed buildings (and other things, such as the Abbey Road pedestrian crossing, which have been marked for preservation) available to view online. Grade I is the highest level and refers to buildings which are of exceptional interest, while Grade II* and Grade II are the second and third highest rankings – every building can differ in terms of what can be done to it, so check the register online and see if your building is in any way affected.
In this way you may need to take out a comprehensive listed building insurance policy. Other areas you will have to think about include if a period property catches fire or gets damaged in any way. This means the owner will have to, according to law, re-establish the actual site to its original condition, which may prove to be costly. On the other hand, if you are a property developer, you may need specialist JCT insurance that you should speak to a qualified expert about. There are several JCT insurance experts who can ensure you obtain the correct policy – it basically ensures that, if anything goes wrong during the renovation work, neither you or the contractor you hire to carry out the work will be liable to pay anything in terms of damages.