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Buying a heritage property?

If you’re looking at buying a heritage property you probably have some questions about what this means.

First, it’s important to understand what sort of heritage protection the property has.

You can look up the property address to identify whether it has a state or local heritage listing. If the property is included in the local Heritage Overlay, your local Council is responsible for heritage approvals and can help you with questions.

If the property is included in the Victorian Heritage Register, you’ll need to engage with us about any proposed changes to the place.

Insurance requirements

There are no special insurance requirements regarding the type of cover you need for a heritage property unless the property has special considerations – for example, if it is vacant, needs rewiring or has a commercial use.

However, the true value of the property must be carefully considered.

There are circumstances in which Heritage Victoria may require reconstruction using the same materials or replication of original features. It is the condition of a heritage property that is usually the most crucial for an insurer to understand.

Insurers will generally examine how well a property has been maintained, with particular attention to matters such as the state of electrical wiring and plumbing.

Notify Heritage Victoria you are the new owner

Once you have purchased the heritage property, you are legally required to notify Heritage Victoria within 28 days of the purchase.

Email Heritage Victoria with

  • your name
  • postal address
  • address of the heritage property
  • whether you intend to occupy the building
  • write ‘s 60 notification’ in the subject line of the email

Notification of intention to sell

If you are intending to sell your heritage property, you are legally required to notify Heritage Victoria within 28 Days of the date of the contract.

Email Heritage Victoria with

  • your name
  • address of the heritage property
  • write ‘s 59 notification’ in the subject line of the email

Learn more about your historic property

If you’d like to know more about the style of the property, or if you’re looking for guidance on colour schemes and details from the era, visit our page on heritage places.

If you’re looking for more information, State Archives Victoria have prepared a helpful guide on how to research your historic home.

Understand your obligations as an owner of a State significant property

If your property is included on the Victorian Heritage Register, you join a select group of people who are the custodians of Victoria’s most significant heritage properties.

Your property is protected by the Heritage Act, which means you have legal obligations you should be aware of.

Minimum standards of repair and maintenance

The Heritage Act requires you to maintain your State significant heritage property so that it does not fall into disrepair and its conservation is not threatened.

In general terms, this means that the property has:

  • weather and fire protection
  • is secure
  • essential maintenance is regularly undertaken

Heritage Victoria has prepared a useful guideline for owners which sets out our expectations on maintenance and repair of State heritage listed properties.

Page last updated: 26/08/21