Living in a listed building is a special privilege. You wake each day in a unique and distinctive home, most likely sharing the same sights and sounds enjoyed by centuries of residents.
However, listed homes come with responsibilities, too. You need listed buildings insurance, which reflects the higher rebuild cost of a non-standard home; for example, fixing or replacing a Tudor window will involve specialist workers and materials, which will cost much more than a modern uPVC version.
Let’s look at some of the main ways you can reduce risk in your listed building.
Keeping your listed building in good shape
1. Get planning consent prior to any changes
The main purpose of listed buildings status is to prevent changes that may alter the character of a building. If you want to carry out works to your property you will need permission from your local council. If you fail to get permission and go ahead anyway, you could be convicted of a crime and presented with a fine plus an order to restore the building to its former state at your own cost.
2. Regular maintenance
The old saying, “a stitch in time saves nine” is certainly true when it comes to listed buildings. Being a diligent owner, for example having regular electrical and gas checks, gutter clearances and roof inspections will help to prevent costly damage to the property. The price of these check-ups is likely to be a fraction of rectifying damage caused by unnoticed problems.
3. Reduce fire risk
Fires are not only a threat to the physical safety of you and your family, they can also prove extremely costly if you have not met the fire safety requirements of your insurance. Historic buildings can be at greater risk than modern properties because of thatched roofs, untreated materials and designs which pre-date fire safety regulations. Fit a sensitive smoke detection system and check the battery regularly.
4. Install approved locks and alarms
Like any home, listed buildings are at risk from thieves and burglars. Listed buildings can be marvellously grand, rightly or wrongly suggesting a treasure trove of valuables within. Take advice from the police or a security professional on fitting quality deadlocks, a burglar alarm, security lighting and any other suitable measures to cut your risk. Your home insurance policy should outline the standard of security measures required.
5. Damp and mould
Our ancestors didn’t have air conditioning and central heating – they relied on open fires and old-fashioned airing to prevent the mould and damp. Older buildings need to be treated with respect to help keep them healthy, with breathable materials, good ventilation and plenty of careful attention.
6. Think about the property surroundings
Taking care with the immediate surroundings of your property can help deter would-be thieves and vandals. For example, locking up tools and ladders saves you from giving burglars a helping hand with a break-in, while securing bicycles and outhouses will help keep opportunist thieves at bay. Consider using a house-sitter or having a neighbour visit regularly if you are going away.
Does your listed building have the protection it needs? Why not talk to Computerquote about our specialist listed buildings insurance?
Specialist home insurance
Call our specialist home insurance advisors on 0800 328 5524 or 023 9224 7855 to discuss your non-standard, listed building features. Alternatively, complete a quote form and we'll get one of the team to call you back to provide a full quote.