If you’re considering property refurbishments in Hertfordshire at the moment and happen to be lucky enough to live in a listed building, you need to be aware that there are rules and regulations that apply to these kinds of properties that don’t apply to others.
For example, under the Planning Act 1990, any work that is due to be carried out must have listed building consent, which you can obtain by getting in touch with your local authority. Minor works like simple repairs or even painting can fall under this remit so be careful before you start any projects at all.
If you do not apply for consent and start work, you could be slapped with a 12-month prison term or a fine so it’s vital that you do not skip this step.
Consent is required for alterations, demolition, extensions and stone cleaning – anything that could potentially affect the character of the building. If consent is granted, works must typically begin within three years of the date that the consent has been given. If refused, an appeal can be made within six months.
If you do live in a heritage building, you may be able to reduce or avoid paying VAT on any work carried out. For example, you could employ a tradesman who is not VAT registered – companies with turnovers under the VAT registration threshold don’t have to charge VAT, so smaller businesses that are legitimate but not registered could help you save money on the VAT you would have paid. Make sure you only use legitimate businesses, however.