11 Apr 2017

What Happens When a Property is Heritage Listed?

Buying a property can be daunting at the best of times, but what happens if the building or land you want to purchase is heritage listed?

What is a Heritage Listing?

You’ve probably heard about heritage listings before, but are you familiar with what they are and how they can affect your conveyancing process in Perth?

Places of cultural heritage in Western Australia are recorded under a range of different heritage listings. The two main types of listings are statutory protection of heritage sites and all other listings and surveys.


  • Statutory Listings: land and buildings under this form of protection are often subjected to heritage-related approvals or referrals and are regulated by the Heritage Council and State Heritage Office. This type of listing will also directly affect the development of land and buildings.
  • Other listings and surveys: other listings won’t stop you from developing land or renovating buildings, however, they are recognised as historically/culturally important by either local governments of The National Trust of Australia.

A detailed list of sub-categories can be found on the State Heritage Office website.

When a building or piece of land is placed under heritage protection it’s usually because Western Australia recognises it as a place of either state or national significance. This could be due to the stature of the property, the fact it’s been maintained in its original 18th century condition, or it could be a site where something of historical importance occurred.

For example, Perth Town Hall, which was built by convicts between 1868 and 1870, is a place of historical significance and is therefore a protected building.

The main purpose of heritage listings is to encourage the conservation and sensitive development of heritage sites, while also promoting areas of cultural significance across Western Australia, and the country.

Searching Heritage Listings

Finding out if your home, or the property you’re looking at purchasing is on the State Heritage Register is actually quite simple. You can do a free search here, or for more detailed information you can get a Property Interest Report. While the latter may be quicker and easier, the Heritage Council recommends getting the more detailed report.

You can access a Property Interest Report online from Landgate. You don’t have to sign up to get a report but it will cost $54.95.

You may even be able to suss out if a property is a place of interest to the Heritage Council and the local government through the Local Government Inventory, which can be accessed by contacting your local council. This will let you know if a property could potentially be listed as a place of heritage significance in the future, which may or may not impact your buying decision.

You can find out more about buying and selling properties on the state register in this pdf from Western Australia’s State Heritage Office.

If you’re looking for a property settlement company in Perth, contact Vicki Philipoff Settlements today! Our settlement agents can assist with all of your requirements and guide you through any unique circumstances if the property you’re selling or purchasing has a heritage listing.


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