https://hmlandregistry.blog.gov.uk/2018/01/26/how-old-is-my-house/

How old is my house?

Row of houses, varying in age.

Ten years ago, I stood on the front doorstep of my new home, waiting for the delivery lorry to arrive. An older couple walked past my house and then doubled back to look up at it.

I asked if I could help them and the man explained that he was researching his family history. His great-grandfather had bought and lived in my house when it was newly built, back in the Victorian period. Through conversation, I learnt the exact date was 1897.

What should you do though, if you want to know the exact age of your house and don’t have a friendly amateur historian to hand!

How HM Land Registry can help

Some people get in touch with us to ask “How old is my house?”, often because they need this information to take out building insurance.

We keep records of land ownership, not what’s built on the land. If your property was sold by the developer who built it though, you could find out its approximate age using the date of the first transfer or lease by the developer, as this date is often referred to in the register.

Get a copy of a title register

If your property was not sold by the developer who built it, we won't have any information about its age.

Other ways to find out how old your house is

If you are in the process of buying the house, ask your seller or their agent. As part of a sale, the seller must complete a ‘Seller’s property information form’ which may contain the property’s age.

If you have a mortgage, your survey may say how old the building is.

Your local authority may have a record of when planning permission was granted.

Ask any neighbours who live in similar properties, if they know the age of theirs.

Find the age of older properties

How old is my house?

If you have an older house, you could:

27 comments

  1. Comment by Michael Limbrey posted on

    With unregistered title the whole history was available.

    Reply
  2. Comment by D Bushnell posted on

    Why can’t I just put in my address and get an answer back as to when it was built

    Reply
    • Replies to D Bushnell>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      D Bushnell - we don't register when a house was built as the article explains. There is no central body that does so for properties in England and Wales

      Reply
  3. Comment by Mary Kernan posted on

    Will the register tell what your property is built on?

    Reply
    • Replies to Mary Kernan>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Mary - if you mean what the land/soil consists of then no

      Reply
  4. Comment by Karen Abbott Raphu posted on

    My mother has just passed away,
    She told me her first home as a small child was Tyler Treet Huts. Can anyone tell me more please?

    Reply
  5. Comment by Billy posted on

    When was my house made

    Reply
    • Replies to Billy>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Billy - have a read of the blog article and carry out any appropriate research from there

      Reply
  6. Comment by Marguerite Comber posted on

    Thanks for such a helpful blog M.

    Reply
  7. Comment by B b posted on

    What was on land my house was built on before houses

    Reply
    • Replies to B b>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      B b - you will need to research old maps with Ordnance Survey to see what was there before the house or do some local research as appropriate

      Reply
  8. Comment by Jon Burtwee posted on

    How old is the land used to build my house on, is it older than my garden?

    Reply
    • Replies to Jon Burtwee>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Jon - it's difficult to answer this as land ownership has existed for hundreds of years and tracing deeds from historical times is often not possible. Most house plots. e.g. including the house land and garden were originally part of a larger estate or manor. The current edition of the register may reference deeds which relate to when that estate was sold off (in whole or part) into house plots, but often the register is silent on these matters.

      This blog also sets some options for tracing the ownership of an older house which may also give some information/clues as the ownership of the land itself.

      Reply
  9. Comment by Mr. C. posted on

    I need advice on fence ownership. The boundary fence on one side at the front of my property was originally shared when the properties were built back in 1976’ish. I have written proof that in 1998 the owners of the neighbouring property built a new fence there. Consequent owners of the property have maintained it. The latest owner who moved in around 2010 has always denied responsibility for maintaining the fence. They eventually replaced some fence panels after I explained about the history.
    The last year or so the fence has become very dilapidated and finally one panel was all but destroyed in a storm in January. After months of not being safe to park my car on my drive safely the dispute about ownership of the fence has resurfaced. I have said to my neighbour that I will deal with the fence and she has agreed.
    Can someone advise me what is the least costly way of documenting my ownership of the fence before I spend a lot of money bringing it up to a good standard?

    Reply
  10. Comment by Mr. C. posted on

    Thank you AdamH.

    Reply
  11. Comment by Ray posted on

    hi will the Title tell me what company built the house

    Reply
    • Replies to Ray>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Ray - if the register refers to the plot sale and it's Conveyance/Transfer then yes.

      Reply
  12. Comment by Sam Foster posted on

    my house was built in 19th centry

    Reply
  13. Comment by Jack T R posted on

    I recently decided to do landscaping in my back yard. The house is pretty old I think because it’s made of huge stone the walls are 2ft thick. Any way while I was excavating I descovered what I believe is a human skeleton. Since then I have excavated more of the garden in order to create the levels I require. However I have uncovered another 3 skeleton that also look like human remains. Is there a way to find out if the house was built on a grave yard ? Thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Jack T R>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Jack - local historical research may help or contacting Ordnance Survey. But I'd suggest contacting the police to advise before excavating further

      Reply
  14. Comment by Andrew Hardy posted on

    My insurance company told me that I had to know the year of build for my contents insurance. They said it may impact the outcome of a claim if I did not provide this.

    They said the landlord should know from the deeds. He did not. I purchased a title register as you suggest but the clues you suggest may be on that are not present.

    Do you happen to know if there insurance company are right to demand this with consequences and to say it's easy to find?

    Reply
    • Replies to Andrew Hardy>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Andrew - Insurance Companies set their own parameters re what helps them decide on level of insurance and the age of a building (just like the age of a person for lid insurance) will invariably have some bearing in my experience. Whether it's 'easy' to identify the age is quite subjective as there are many ways of trying to estimate the age as explained in the article.
      The landlord and deeds are only two options. Have you tried the local authority or Ordnance Survey historical maps for example

      Reply
  15. Comment by Brigita Keene posted on

    We just bought this amazing home that was built to my knowledge back in 1902 my understanding is that back in the day there used tho be a ballroom upstairs. The home is very much in its original state very detailed from inside and out down to the barn that was built before the home. I've been trying to find some history on this home. We are trying to keep it original as possible. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Reply
    • Replies to Brigita Keene>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Brigita =as the article explains we do not hold historical details re buildings. And much of what we hold relates to the legal ownership from the date it was first registered with us, which will be much later than 1902. I would suggest that you focus your enquiries 'locally' with neighbours, residents of a certain age and any local historical societies or social media groups

      Reply

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