West Sussex has more than its fair share of the UK’s listed buildings and Hancock and Partners has considerable experience at Sales of listed buildings, as well as Letting and managing listed properties.

Hancock Lettings and Estate Agents offer this brief guide to renting a listed building and presents the case study of one delightful Grade II listed property recently on their Lettings portfolio in the downland village of Stoughton, close to Chichester.

What does a listing mean?

If a building is listed it is usually because the property is of particular historical or architectural significance. It is not only houses, which are listed; bridges, barns, post offices and even a gravestone may also be listed. To check the national register of listed buildings in West Sussex, go to http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/england/west+sussex or simply enter the postcode of the property you are enquiring about at https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list .

A listing means that the property will be protected both inside and out (although more attention is often placed on the visible exterior). Owners and tenants are not allowed to make alterations without seeking Listed Building permission from the local conservation officer. Restrictions may extend to all aspects of the building, not just structural alterations.

Any building dating from before 1700 will be listed if it is still largely intact. Most properties built between 1700 and 1840 are listed and buildings built more recently can be listed if deemed to be of particular architectural innovation.

Maintenance of listed buildings for owners

Due to the age and nature of listed buildings they may be more prone to damp and draughts and regular maintenance may be required. In order to protect the integrity of the property, skilled tradesmen with experience of older properties are recommended. Ask for references from owners with similar properties. Expect to check gutters, drains and the roof regularly. External maintenance should include re-pointing of brick and stone facades, re-painting external wooden window frames and keeping an eye on foliage such as ivy and trees growing near the property.

Maintenance of listed buildings for tenants

Keep the property well ventilated as far as possible and open windows in bathrooms, kitchens and utility rooms, anywhere where steam and damp are generated. During the winter when cold temperatures make this more difficult, shut the door to the room with the open windows after you have left the room. Advise your Property Management department of any maintenance issues promptly. Don’t be tempted to wait until the end of your Tenancy as it is far easier to address maintenance issues before they potentially become more serious. Read your tenancy agreement carefully to check that you are aware of your responsibilities as a tenant such as keeping gutters clear of leaves in the Autumn.

The benefits of renting a listed building

Listed buildings are often period properties full of character and many people who choose to rent them could not afford to buy such a property. They are frequently situated in picturesque villages where a higher percentage of older properties survived urbanisation. Occasionally if the property is situated in a national park, you also get the full benefit of the protected countryside beyond your back garden

A wonderful opportunity to do just this occurs in the beautiful downland village of Stoughton nestled right at the foot of the South Downs.

A beautiful listed 6-bedroom country cottage in Stoughton

This stunning character village house with Grade II listing is set within the beautiful countryside of the South Downs National Park. With modern touches throughout, the period charm has not been compromised at all.

The spacious entrance hall has an elegant staircase and leads through to a kitchen/breakfast room with two-oven electric Aga. The ground floor features three generous reception rooms for flexible living space and the stairs from the entrance hall lead up to an elegant landing. Laid out with six bedrooms and two bathrooms, the bedrooms feature stunning views of the countryside and gardens.

Externally there is a smart front garden enclosed with brick and flint walls which leads to a very large garage and to the rear, the south-easterly facing garden looks out to the Stoughton Down.

A key feature of this property is the detached brick-built ‘Boat House’ which has been meticulously restored with double doors to the front and would be perfect for use as a home office or studio.

Following marketing, this property was rented incredibly quickly, even without viewing due to current restrictions during Covid-19. The demand for listed properties of this calibre is high. If you are interested in renting listed properties in West Sussex, please contact Hancock and Partners Lettings Department on 01243 531111 or email lettings@hancockpartners.co.uk.