Advice and Support

Living in a listed building

Advice on listed building consent, suitable materials for repairs and failure to maintain a listed building.

As owner of a listed building, you are responsible for its repair and maintenance, just as you would be with any other building. It is very likely you’ll need permission for major works and even some minor works to your property.

Listing is used to protect the character of buildings of special architectural or historic interest. Scotland had more than 47,000 listed building records at 3 March 2016. Your planning authority can tell you if your property is listed.


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Permission for works

You must apply to your planning authority for listed building consent before making any changes that may affect the character of your property. 

You will almost certainly need listed building consent for: 

  • an extension 
  • structural alterations 
  • partial or total demolition 

Other works that might require permission include those to:

  • make changes to windows and doors
  • clean stonework
  • change the colour of external paintwork
  • display adverts and new signage

Check with your planning authority before carrying out any work to a listed building. 

Suitable materials and methods 

Work on traditionally constructed buildings should be carried out to a high standard, using traditional methods and materials. You should employ the services of a tradesperson or contractor with conservation experience, preferably in local building techniques and traditions. 

You may be able to get funding towards the repair and maintenance of a listed building. Find out about Historic Environment Scotland grant schemes

Get help to find skilled tradespeople and professionals


Heritage Directorate

Telephone: 0131 668 8600