Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Fonque
    • By Fonque 13th Feb 17, 12:00 PM
    • 33Posts
    • 102Thanks
    Fonque
    Leaseholds in Listed & Conservation Areas
    • #1
    • 13th Feb 17, 12:00 PM
    Leaseholds in Listed & Conservation Areas 13th Feb 17 at 12:00 PM
    I'm off to view a flat today (FTB) and I am aware it is a Grade II listed building in a conservation area.

    It's a great size and in a nice location for the money but I don't want to be saddled with a property that is expensive to run as I have limited funds. I have indentifed that draughtproofing and some secondary glazing could be installed to help improve efficiency. (Also a bargaining tactic should I make a bid!)

    If I find that I do like the property and aside from the usual pitfalls of house viewing are there any incisive questions I can ask to be fully aware of the costs of living in such a property?

    Has anyone had experience of a similar property?

    Thanks in advance for any replies!
Page 1
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 13th Feb 17, 12:05 PM
    • 5,442 Posts
    • 5,159 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #2
    • 13th Feb 17, 12:05 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Feb 17, 12:05 PM
    Not much information to go on, but I wouldn't expect there to be much difference from a non-listed property of a similar vintage, other than works to the windows may require listed buildings consent, and any significant common repairs may be more expensive (as e.g. roofing materials will need to match existing, etc).
    • G_M
    • By G_M 13th Feb 17, 12:07 PM
    • 40,194 Posts
    • 45,934 Thanks
    G_M
    • #3
    • 13th Feb 17, 12:07 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Feb 17, 12:07 PM
    Conservation area will limit what you are allowed to do.

    Listed will make any changes very slow (getting consents) and expensive. And limit what you are allowed to do.

    Read the Conservation Area documentation (see local authority website) to see what it controls.

    Check is all, or only part of the property is listed, and google listed buildings to learn what it means.

    Much will depend on the condition. If it's in good condition and you have no plans to extend it may not impact you much.

    If it needs major work, or you want to extend, then the impact could be significant.
    • SG27
    • By SG27 13th Feb 17, 12:33 PM
    • 1,885 Posts
    • 1,179 Thanks
    SG27
    • #4
    • 13th Feb 17, 12:33 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Feb 17, 12:33 PM
    If th! building is listed it means the whole building including any modern additions.
    listed building consent is free but can take a few months to get. It's a fairly simple process.
    Repairs may be a bit more expensive as you need to use like for like or sometimes custom made. For example doors and windows.
    I would ask how much home insurance is, that is the only regular cost which would be higher other than potentially heating like you mention.
    Mortgage Debt: £93,537.48/£105,025 Feb 13
    Overpayments so far: £3,939.72
    • nicmyles
    • By nicmyles 13th Feb 17, 12:40 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 68 Thanks
    nicmyles
    • #5
    • 13th Feb 17, 12:40 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Feb 17, 12:40 PM
    I owned a (non-listed) flat in a conservation area.

    It made very little difference - owning a leasehold flat, you're less likely to want to/be able to tinker with the fabric/external appearance of the building in any case.

    Only impact I can remember for me was when I needed to replace a couple of windows that were in poor condition, they had to exactly replicate the original wooden sash windows and I couldn't use (cheaper) pvc replacements instead.

    Will vary depending on the exact area, but it's that sort of thing.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 13th Feb 17, 1:28 PM
    • 4,832 Posts
    • 4,468 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #6
    • 13th Feb 17, 1:28 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Feb 17, 1:28 PM
    An extra thing to check...

    The building would have been listed on a specific date. If any unauthorised alterations have been made by anyone since that date, if you buy the property, you could be liable for undoing those alterations and re-instating it as it was.

    There isn't a specific time limit for the local authority to take enforcement action.
    • Hoploz
    • By Hoploz 13th Feb 17, 1:30 PM
    • 3,529 Posts
    • 3,120 Thanks
    Hoploz
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 17, 1:30 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 17, 1:30 PM
    As said already, it's less of an issue in a flat as you're unlikely to be making alterations.

    My experience is that even internal fittings are original in my flat, eg door knobs and doors cannot be changed for modern ones - obvs these are the things that make the property attractive in the first place, but can be a nuisance, eg the bathroom door has a split which runs down one of the panels meaning you can see through it into the bathroom! Not a problem for me but if you had a lodger for example it could be a nuisance to repair in the correct way!

    The walls are built differently to modern buildings meaning that different plaster and paint finishes are used. Mine is lime plastered for example. If standard modern plaster or emulsions are used they can stop the building breathe and lead to damp problems. Often this is a problem people aren't aware of and they end up going through lots of so-called remedies in terms of damp proofing which are not sorting the cause but instead attempting to hide the symptoms!

    With the age of the property, it's likely to have single glazing which is draughty and liable to condensation in winter - we always wipe down our windows every morning to prevent the condensation running down and rotting the window frames for example. We are often cold and have to have solutions I wouldn't use in a modern building eg curtain across the front door to stop draughts from the letterbox and around the frame. Draughty chimneys etc also. Someone on here very recently had a problem trying to replace his boiler due to restrictions on his building conflicting with modern building regulations so I'd be keen to make sure there is a recent heating system installed and in full working order.

    Our building is rendered. That means it requires external decoration more often than a brick building. This should come out of accumulated service charges but may not always so you could find yourself subject to large bills every couple of years depending on how it's organised - check the lease info and check with the current owner what happens about this. Also the external window frames etc need painting often as they cannot be replaced by low maintenance Upvc so this is costly to do.

    Common parts eg staircases may also be listed so they need to be looked after and repaired in the correct manner too.

    Is that helpful?
    Last edited by Hoploz; 13-02-2017 at 1:35 PM.
    • Fonque
    • By Fonque 13th Feb 17, 2:42 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 102 Thanks
    Fonque
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 17, 2:42 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 17, 2:42 PM
    Thanks very much for the replies.

    The house itself appears in good condition with no major cracks, damp or mould problems I could see and the sash windows look to be in good state of repair.
    The flat itself is in between a flat above and a doctors surgery below. Internally the features aren't period as the doors aren't solid and are modern. It appears its more external features that warrant the conservation area.

    Also I enquired as to the service charge and ground rent which was £400 p.a. which covered the buildings insurance and the ground rent but there's no sinking/reserve fund to cover works that may need doing and no cyclical maintainence. It's a case of split any work that needs doing between the three floors as and whne anything needs doing and its a share-of-the-freehold arrangement.

    Sort of attached to this are sinking/reserve funds common as a few places I have looked at don't have them (share-of-the-freeholds again)?

    Sorry for all the questions but I want to make sure I'm armed with information so I don't make a big mistake before I go diving into the world of house purchasing (or even indeed after because I don't want to regret it)!.
    • nicmyles
    • By nicmyles 13th Feb 17, 3:16 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 68 Thanks
    nicmyles
    • #9
    • 13th Feb 17, 3:16 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Feb 17, 3:16 PM
    £400 a year for service charge and ground rent all in seems ludicrously cheap to me, particularly if this is in a large city. I would be concerned as to whether this is adequate to build up any kind of fund to prevent large one-off bills as things arise, especially in a listed building. Would be interested in others' views.

    As to whether it's normal to have sinking funds, it's really dependent on the managing agent and/or freeholder. It would definitely be good practice.

    Bit confused that you say its a "share of freehold" arrangement when the post title talks about leasehold - which is it? Can't be both.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 13th Feb 17, 3:45 PM
    • 1,711 Posts
    • 2,467 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    Whilst it's not quite in the realms of yacht ownership (if you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it), I suggest listed building ownership is probably not the thing for those with limited funds as the things which are allowed (and not all will be) will likely take longer and cost more than if the place wasn't listed. That's the cost of owning a piece of history.

    Furthermore, it's not a bargaining tactic: if (for example) you're going to claim "but it costs more to run than a new-build", I suspect you'd be told to "f*ck off and buy a new-build then".
    • Hoploz
    • By Hoploz 13th Feb 17, 6:42 PM
    • 3,529 Posts
    • 3,120 Thanks
    Hoploz
    Are you getting a mortgage? Mixed use buildings can be problematic.
    • Fonque
    • By Fonque 14th Mar 17, 7:26 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 102 Thanks
    Fonque
    Thanks for the replies. I decided against the period property and ended up viewing a newer 1980's build which I think I really like better.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

188Posts Today

1,486Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Byebye! I'm about to stop work & twitter, to instead spend glorious time with Mrs & mini MSE. Wishing u a lovely summer. See u in 10 days.

  • WARNING Did you start Uni in or after 2012? The interest's rising to 6.1%; yet it doesnt work like you think. See https://t.co/IQ8f0Vyetu RT

  • RT @JanaBeee: @MartinSLewis Boris is the anomaly (coffee), the others are versions of normal (beer). Lots of same candidates = vote share d?

  • Follow Martin