Listed buildings have an important place in British heritage, often providing unparalleled glimpses into the past. This ultimately explains the reason that they are listed in the first place – they need to be protected and preserved in order to be there for future generations to enjoy and learn from.
The concept of ‘listing’ these buildings was first introduced as part of the Town and Country Planning Act 1947, which was prompted in part by the extensive destruction that had occurred as a result of the bombing by the Germans during World War II. The original listing process had been used to decide whether a property warranted being rebuilt after being bombed. Almost anything can be listed – it doesn’t even need to be a building and some current listings include phone boxes and road signs.
Since these buildings are so important it is vital that they are adequately protected by a suitable listed building home insurance policy. In the case of properties that are privately owned as family homes, this serves not only to protect the future of the property but also the owner themselves. They are legally obliged to return a listed property to its previous condition if it is subject to any form of damage. Yet such repairs can easily run into many thousands of pounds, an amount which many people would struggle to produce. The consequences of not completing these repairs, however, can be severe with criminal prosecution even being a possible result. Therefore, ensuring that you have found suitable listed building insurance is a vital first step when taking on ownership of a listed building, as this will protect you against future scenarios such as this.
Carrying out alterations to a listed building without first obtaining the correct consent from relative authorities is also a criminal offence that can lead to prosecution. Local planning authorities can also insist on works being reversed at the owner’s expense in order to return the property to its original unaltered state.
Listed buildings are usually very beautiful, offering excellent examples of building methods and styles at different points in history. This makes them highly desirable amongst property hunters who are looking for something a bit different to the standard brick built house that you would find on a modern estate. Listed building are also often constructed using unusual or specialist methods and materials, another reason that they can be difficult and expensive to insure. Yet despite this, many people do not find this increased price and competition for property to be a deterrent and are happy to pay a premium in order to own and live in one.