Are you in the UK and looking to change your house name? Since 1855, it’s been compulsory for all buildings in the UK to have at least a name or a number for an address - but in many cases for UK homeowners, it’s more than just a necessity for the government register. In actual fact, house names play a key role in making sure post is delivered to the right address, the UK census, aiding the response of the emergency services, and not to mention bringing an element of character to a property too.
But if you don’t like your house name, or want to change it to something more fitting, how easy is it to do? If you follow the right steps and contact the right people, it can be done for little cost… what’s more, research shows that it can add up to £5k to the value of your property!
The Process to Change Your House Name
Providing that you’re the owner of the property, you can change the name of a building by jumping through a few administerial hoops. First of all, you need to request to change the name of your property by contacting your local authority, usually the parish council. In the UK, not only is your local council responsible for the naming of existing properties, but they are also responsible for the naming of new properties too.
Although the information which the council request from the homeowner may vary from one council to another, generally they will require the following information:
- Your full legal name
- The full current address of the property
- The proposed new house name that you wish to use
- A location plan highlighting the position of the property, as well as the immediate surrounding area for the context of the location.
The council will review the proposed change to make certain that the name causes no offence, before consulting with Royal Mail to ensure the new name doesn’t interfere with any other properties of a similar name in the local area. Once all approved by the council and Royal Mail, a certificate confirming the proposed change must be sent to the Electoral Registry Office, the Land Registry office, as well as the Council Tax and Planning Department. Your local council will be able to do this for you for a price varying from £35-80 depending on which ruling authority you fall under.
Once complete, you’ll soon receive confirmation of the proposed change through the post, at which point you can consider the name change official and complete. Be sure to update your GP, utility providers, family and any other relevant parties of the change, as well as taking down any old house signs with the previous name, they will no longer be needed.
Choosing a House Name
Just like naming a baby, choosing a new house name can take a lot of thought. With any name, association plays a big part in the perception it gives off to any newbie arrival at your door. Recent surveys show that homeowners are growing increasingly inspired by popular culture when naming their abodes, with an increase in the likes of ‘Hogwarts’ from the Harry Potter series and ‘Bag End’ inspired by the famous J.R.R. Tolkien novels, rising up the house name rankings.
But when it comes to naming your home, there are a few factors which you should consider before settling on a name. Firstly, that any potential name doesn’t cause offence. When registering your name, your local authority will do their due diligence checks, but it’s always best to do your own research to avoid any house name embarrassment.
Secondly, for older properties, it can be well thought of to tie a house name back to its previous history or operation. Whether it’s an old postal office, farmhouse or cottage, homeowners often look to the building's past when considering a name for the future.
Finally, remember to consider the perception that any name may conjure for your property. You might want to think twice before calling a new 6 bedroom house a cottage, or a 2 bedroom bungalow a manor. Although it doesn’t mean much on paper, it has been proven that a good house name can even boost the price of a property, with house names featuring words associated with royalty, such as ‘Crown’ or ‘Royal’, potentially adding a few thousand to any asking price as they have proved to be more sought after.
Recently, the Post Office revealed that more than 312,000 properties have a house name instead of a number. Here are the top 5 words used in property names across the UK:
- Cottage (16,000+ registered properties)
- The Bungalow (6,401)
- Coach House (4,261)
- The Lodge (4,202)
- Orchard House (4,036)
Order a New House Sign
Once your name change has been confirmed with the local authorities, it’s time to order a new house sign for your property. This will be the final step to ensure your property is well signposted for any postal worker or guest to find your house. Creating your own natural slate sign has never been easier with The Bespoke Sign House. Once you’ve chosen your wording, you can customise the positioning and font, all while viewing a preview of your prospective sign before it’s made and dispatched to you. With timely updates from the manufacturing team on when your sign is made and dispatched, you’ll have your new handmade house sign with you before you know it.