Finding out the history of your home can prove to be an arduous task. There are several reasons that you might need this information, including for security reasons when you’re seeking home insurance quotes and the like.
Thankfully, obtaining this information may not be as difficult as it seems. Provided that your home is registered somewhere – which it should be – you should have a fairly easy time enquiring.
Take a look at our guide below to help you find out what year your house was built.
Why it’s important to know when your house was built
As we mentioned in the first paragraph, home insurance providers will almost always ask for this information. This is because there is more risk involved with an older property than a newer one.
Older properties would have been constructed using a number of cheaper and dangerous materials. Asbestos, for example, was used in the construction of most buildings before 2000. If your home was built during the year 2000, or anytime after it, it’s much less likely to contain asbestos.
We won’t go into the health risks involved in asbestos here, but it’s certainly not a material that you want to be around for a long period of time.
Because of the less-than-ideal materials that used to be used in construction, no matter how much care you’ve put into your home, you could still end up with slightly higher insurance payments.
The easiest way to find out what year your home was built
If you know where the title or deed to your property is, you should be able to immediately find out what year your home was built.
You would have obtained this document when the purchase of your home was finalised.
In the case that you haven’t finished buying your new property yet, the survey provided by your chartered surveyor should also state the age of the property you’re interested in purchasing.
The title and the survey are the easiest ways to find out the exact age of your property without the process getting too complicated.
Thankfully, if you have misplaced the deed to your home, there are still a number of ways that you can find out what year your home was built.
If you own your property
For those who own their own property, it can be much easier to go about finding out the information you need.
Contact HM Land Registry
HM Land Registry documents the owners of property that exists within Wales and England. Any individual who is buying or selling any type of land or property must contact HM Land Registry to register the following:
- Land or property that is unregistered.
- A new owner for existing land or property.
- An interest that would affect a registered piece of land or a property (mortgages, leases, etc.).
It is the responsibility of HM Land Registry to provide an accurate record of information that pertains to the ownership of any land or property in England and Wales. They do not provide legal advice, but they should hold a copy of any information about your property that has been registered with them.
You can even purchase copies of the documents held by HM Land Registry, including Title Registers, Title Plans, and more. To find out if HM Land Registry holds a copy of your home’s deeds, you’ll need to download a copy of the title register.
All information and links for these services can be found on the .gov website.
Buying a new property
For our readers who are still in the process of buying their new property, using services like HM Land Registry may not be the easiest solution to your problem.
Ask the seller
The seller of the property that you’re interested in purchasing should have the property’s title deed available. It’s a bit of a red flag if they don’t, considering that the deed should be passed over to you once you’ve purchased the property.
Asking the seller can save you a lot of trouble and even a bit of cash, otherwise you may find yourself paying out to find the information through HM Land Registry.
Check with the estate agent
Alternatively, if the seller doesn’t have the information to hand – or you can’t reach them in the earlier stages of the purchase – the estate agent that you’re corresponding through may be able to procure the information for you.
Finding information on older properties
If you believe that your property was built in the mid-19th to early 20th centuries, it’s quite possible that the age of your property is listed in public record.
For properties listed between 1841 and 1911, there were census returns created every ten years. You might not be able to find an exact year for the construction of your property, but finding the address listed in these returns would enable you to narrow down the potential age of your home.
There’s also the 1862 Land Registry Act, which recorded approximately 2000 properties. It’s free to check this register and you can do so on the .gov website. The register allows you to search by name and area and has an abundance of deeds and documents for registered properties.
Your local library could also be home to a number of records, including parish records, country records, and more. Next time you’re in the area, there’s no harm in checking.
Lastly, for houses or properties that you suspect to be quite old, there’s the National Heritage List and the National Historic Assets. The former for England, the latter for Wales. Though it’s unlikely that the standard home would be listed, if you are in a historic building, it’s worth checking.
These lists are two of the few official registers that record all nationally protected historical buildings in England and Wales. Historical buildings, listed and graded buildings, land that encompasses historical sites… etc.
Alternatively, a local history society or local historian might have some answers for you.