A Rushton International guide to listed buildings

By Rebeccah Dowell, August 25th 2021

Within the UK, many iconic historical buildings including cathedrals, monuments and houses collectively form the country’s exceptional heritage recognised worldwide. Listed buildings are buildings which have been placed on the statutory list and must demonstrate significant associations to a nation’s history, architectural design and/ or important past events or entities. There are just below 500,000 buildings in the UK to which this applies.

Throughout our extensive experience valuing listed buildings in the UK, we understand the complexity of these properties and the issues that may arise when arranging insurance.

Listed buildings

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior, and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the property.

More recently, newer buildings such as Abbey Road Studios have been added to the list due to its place in popular culture, as opposed to being a unique historical building or one with architectural interest.

How are listed buildings graded?

In England and Wales, listed buildings are categorised in three grades:

  • Grade I buildings are of outstanding interest and only 2.5% of listed buildings are classified on this level.
  • Grade II* buildings make up around 5.5% of listed buildings.
  • Grade II covers 92% of all listed buildings and is the most likely grade of listing for a homeowner.

*Scotland currently categorises their listed buildings A, B and C rather than in grades. It is important to note that their assessment criteria may differ slightly.

Listed building consent

Listed building consent is required for any changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent. The effect for insurance provision and reinstatement cost is that in the event of a claim the owner or legally responsible party is required by law to reinstate the property sympathetically using the same materials as the original build. This is more expensive and time-consuming. Any work not authorised will be reversed and individuals may be prosecuted.

Owners of these type of buildings should also be mindful of the complexities involved when planning any building work and meeting current health and safety legislations.

The valuation of a listed building

Valuations are prepared on the basis of a total loss scenario, which is the only practicable way to undertake the assessment, as there is no way of knowing in advance what loss or magnitude of loss, could befall the insured party, nor any way of them knowing how the authorities would wish to deal with the result of the damage caused.

It is essential for any listed building to be valued by a professional valuer with specialised expertise and experience to ensure the structure is being correctly valued. We review the listing detail and allow for the reinstatement of the property using alike non-standard materials, along with an enhanced level of contingent reserve to account for higher labour costs, material costs and other associated on-costs. Further consideration is given towards additional professional fees and charges for architects, project managers along with historic buildings consultants and planning consultants.

Due to the nature of a listed building, the sum insured will noticeably increase, and time delays may occur as a result of specific labour and materials required to restore these buildings. Time delays may also affect the total cost of work if an authority require carrying out further research on a property.

The above should be seen as an overview guide to listed buildings within the UK. If you require further information or would like to enquire more on this topic, please contact;

Andrew Reed MSc MRICS MCABE 
Director and Head of Buildings
07904 974 964 


Gareth Williams BSc MRICS
07788 188847


About Rushton International

Rushton International is an independent and impartial asset valuation and advisory firm. We specialise in the valuation of plant, equipment and buildings for insurance purposes. With our team of qualified and accredited valuers, we have the experience, qualifications and expertise to value any asset, anywhere in the world.

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