The browser you are using is out of date and is no longer supported. To view and use this site correctly, please update your browser to the latest version.

We're changing

We have created a new public body, Historic Environment Scotland. While we work on shaping our future we can reassure you that all services and products will continue as normal. Please follow our progress and find out more about our new organisation.

repairs and caring for your listed building

St Bernards Crescent, Edinburgh

Am I responsible for repairs to my listed building?

Owners of listed buildings are responsible for the repair and maintenance of their property, just like the owners of any other buildings.

For information about how to make repairs to and care for your listed building please see our free conservation publications which contain essential information on caring for your building.

Will grant money be available?

Historic Environment Scotland and local authorities may provide grants to owners of listed buildings to help with repairs and maintenance. Please see our grants pages for more information.

Historic Environment Scotland has also established City Heritage Trusts in Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness and Stirling, as well as helping to fund the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust and grant giving Trusts in Glasgow. All of these bodies provide grants to owners for the repair and maintenance of historic properties in these cities. Please contact the relevant local authority for more details.

Won't this make the upkeep of the house more expensive?

Although traditional materials can be more expensive, this is not necessarily true. Where the use of particular traditional materials is required, these are often likely to last significantly longer than modern materials, will save you the cost often incurred by the consequences of having used modern materials on a traditionally built house, and are usually more sustainable.

What will happen if I don't repair my listed building?

If you fail to keep a listed building in a reasonable state of repair, the planning authority may serve a Repairs Notice. If you fail to comply with this notice the planning authority, with the consent of the Scottish Ministers, may be entitled to acquire it through compulsory purchase.

If you deliberately neglect the building to justify its demolition and redevelopment of the site, the planning authority can buy the building at a price which excludes the value of the land for redevelopment.

Planning authorities are able to undertake urgent works to preserve an unoccupied listed building (or unoccupied parts of an occupied listed building), provided that the owner is given seven days’ notice of the intention. The cost of these urgent works can be reclaimed from the owner.

Who do I go to for advice about what is appropriate?

Contact the planning authority if you are unsure about any procedures that concern a listed building. They will be able to give you guidance on listed building policies and what will be appropriate for your building.

Who can I go to for practical advice?

If you have a technical question regarding a listed or traditional building contact the Technical Research Team on 0131 668 8726, email Conservation Directorate ( or visit Conservation, Repair and Maintenance.

We also have a number of conservation architects who can offer advice on particular problems. There are a large number of technical publications produced by Historic Environment Scotland dealing with repair and maintenance techniques. Many of these publications are free, for more information call 0131 668 8638.


View our range of publications about listed buildings.


Dictionary of Scottish Architects

William Fraser

A web resource for anyone interested in the built environment and those who created it.

Contact us

Designations Team
Historic Environment Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Tel: +44 (0) 131 668 8716