When was my house built?

The age of your property can have a bearing on home insurance quotes

Kim Jones
Kim Jones
Updated 7 December 2021  | 3 mins read

It’s an interesting fact to find out anyway. But you’ll also need to know how old your house is for insurance purposes.

Insurers ask for this information when calculating your premiums.

In some cases, older and period properties are constructed using materials that might prove difficult or costly to repair, or may require specialist building techniques.

This can hike up the costs of your buildings insurance quote.

How do I find out when a house was built?

If you own your home, then the easiest way to discover its age is to look at your property’s title deeds or title register.

These may have been sent to you by your conveyancing solicitor a month or so after the sale was completed. If you can’t find your deeds, contact your solicitor or the mortgage company, as they may still have them.

Your title register counts as your proof of ownership of the property.

It will show the date of registration at which the first transfer of the plot of land from the property developer to a new owner took place. Your house will likely have been built at around this time.

You could also find out when your home was built on these documents:

  • the survey report you commissioned when you took out a mortgage.
  • the property information form which your seller filled out when you were buying your home.

How can you find out when a house was built through HM Land Registry?

If you can’t find your title deeds, you can get them from HM Land Registry provided your property has been registered there.

It keeps copies of title registers for more than 25 million properties in England and Wales which can be downloaded for a fee of £3 each.

You can request a copy of your own title register from them - or for a property you’re interested in buying, for example.

For properties in other areas of the UK go to:

Land Register of Scotland

Land Registry in Northern Ireland

Other ways to find out how old your house is

  • Your local authority could have a record of when planning permission for your property was granted.
  • If there are similar properties in your neighbourhood, ask owners if they know when their homes were built.
  • You could ask the previous owner of the property if they have any mortgage or surveyor’s reports that include the date that your home was built.
  • Of course, you can often tell when a property was approximately built by its architecture style - whether Tudor, Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian or more modern.

Can I find out the exact year my house was built?

If your house is a new build, you can easily find out the build-date from the developer.

In much older properties, it could be difficult to find out the exact year your home was built. It’s usually quite easy to come up with an approximate date that’s fairly accurate, though.

What is classified as an old house?

There’s no set definition as to what’s classed as an old house in home insurance terms. But generally, any property built more than 50 years ago might be considered ‘old’ and any built before the late 1900s could be classed as a period property.

Period properties include Edwardian, Victorian and Georgian homes - and those going further back to Stuart and even Tudor times.

It’s not always the case, but in many instances, the older the property, the higher the risk for insurance companies which translates as higher premium costs.

This could be because materials used to build period homes are expensive and hard to get hold of.

Some older properties may also contain hazardous construction substances like lead or asbestos.

And others might be more prone to damp or subsidence too.

How do I find out the age of older properties?

Search local archives

Go to gov.uk to find out where your local archives are located and how to visit them. They collect and hold records relating to the history of an area - things like papers, building plans, photographs and maps which could help you trace the history of a property.

Check the census

Look at the census forms from 1841 to 1911 to see when your house address was first included.

The 1862 Land Registry Act

This is a record of 2,000 properties registered in 1862. It's worth taking a look to see if your home is registered – it's free to check.

Listed buildings

See if your house is listed in Historic England's National Heritage List for England or Cadw's National Historic Assets of Wales.

House detectives

Contact a local history society or amateur historian that might be willing to take up the challenge.

Why is it useful to know how old my house is?

It’s important you give your insurance company correct details about the age of your home as it can affect your insurance premiums.

It’s also something you’ll need to know when you’re selling your house in the future. The age of a property can affect its price. Period properties are sought after so can achieve higher asking prices.

As well as being useful to know, it can also be fascinating to discover more about your home’s history and who used to live there.

Plus, if you’re renovating your property, you can make changes that are authentic and sympathetic to its age.

How old your home is can affect the cost of your home insurance. Generally, the older your property, the more expensive it’ll be to cover because insurers view it as being higher risk – older wiring, outdated plumbing and pricey roofing repairs, are just a few examples of the risks insurers will think of. If you keep on top of home maintenance throughout the year, you can minimise many of these risks and keep your home free from general wear and tear.
Ceri McMillan - Home insurance expert

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