Owners of listed buildings are responsible for keeping their buildings in good repair. Owners are encouraged to regularly maintain their buildings as, in the long term, it should be the most cost-effective solution.

Maintenance and repairs do not require consent if they are carried out on a straightforward replacement or repair basis. Repairs should be carried out using materials and techniques which conserve the historic fabric. For example, damaged timber frame members should be repaired where possible, by piecing in, bracing or strapping rather than wholesale replacement of members. Timber frames should never be cleaned by a mechanical method, e.g. sand blasting.

If an owner fails to keep a building in a reasonable state of repair the Council may, as a last resort, serve a Repairs Notice specifying the work to be carried out. This will ensure the proper preservation of the building.

If repair works are not carried out the Council also has powers to carry out repairs and charge the costs to the owners. In extreme cases the Council may purchase the building, with minimal compensation, and carry out the necessary work.

Many problems with buildings relate to lack of maintenance. Keeping your building in good repair will involve small amounts of expenditure over time rather than large expenditure when things go wrong.