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How to find out when your house was built

You’ll need to have a rough idea of the date your home was built to get buildings insurance.

Amy Smith
Amy Smith
2 min read

Key points

  • Home insurers will want to know the age of your property to calculate your premium.
  • If you have a mortgage, the age of the property is usually stated on your home survey.
  • HM Land Registry have records of land ownership, but not dates for when properties were built on the land.

When looking for home insurance quotes, your insurer will want to know the year your property was built.

Older properties often contain high risk materials, such as asbestos, or materials that are difficult or costly to replace. These materials could increase your perceived level of risk and push you into a higher home insurance bracket.

You may be able to find the age of your property by:

1. Checking a home survey

If you have a mortgage, or are in the process of buying a property, you’ll have had a survey by a chartered surveyor. The age of the property is usually stated on the survey or the title deeds.

These documents may also help you understand what building materials have been used to construct your house.

A survey can cost anywhere up to £500, but it’s usually a condition of taking out a mortgage loan.

2. Contacting your local authority

Depending on the age of the property, your local authority may have documents detailing when planning permission for your home was granted.

3. Contacting HM Land Registry

Land registry records land ownership, not what’s built on the land. This could make finding the exact age of your property difficult, but it may help.

If your property was sold to you as a new build by the property developer, 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.

4. Asking your neighbours

A neighbour may have previously aged their own property. They may have a home survey, or equivalent document that states the age of their home. If your houses look similar, this could mean your home was built around the same time although it’s not always the case.

5. Asking a seller or estate agent

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.

Finding the age of older properties

  • The 1862 Land Registry Act 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.
  • You could also search your local archives, such as parish records, county record offices or your local library.
  • Look at census returns made at ten-year intervals between 1841 and 1911 to find a first mention of the address to narrow down the timeframe.
  • See if your house is listed in Historic England's National Heritage List for England or Cadw's National Historic Assets of Wales.
  • Look at historical editions of Ordnance Survey maps or, contact a local history society or amateur historian that might be willing to take up the challenge.

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