People sometimes ask us “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. However, if your property was sold by the developer who built it, 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.
If your property was not sold by the developer who built it, we won’t have any information as to its age.
Other ways you can 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 neighbours in the same sort of properties, if they know the age of theirs.
If you have an older house, you could:
- Search the 1862 Act register on HM Land Registry’s digital archives. It contains information on 2,000 properties, which you can search for free.
- Look at the architectural style and features of the house, particularly the roof and position of windows. Historic England gives tips about estimating the age of a property using these details.
- Check your parish records, county record offices or your local library which may have local archives.
- Check historical editions of Ordnance Survey maps.
- Contact a local history society to see if they can help you.
- Look at census returns made at ten-year intervals between 1841 and 1911 to find a first mention of the address.