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How to change the name of a house

What’s in a name?

Ever walked past a dwelling and been stopped in your tracks by the unusual nature of its name? What’s its story? Who chose its name?


House names can range from weird and wonderful names like 'Dun Roamin', 'Lladmedos' (read it backwards) and even a couple of 'Bag Ends' to more conventional names like 'The Cottage' or 'The Willows', each naturally stirring very different emotions in its inhabitants as well as those that come across it.

In fact, it’s surprising just how important the name of a house can be. For one person, a name can evoke nostalgia, happiness and even pride, especially if they have chosen it. However, to another person, a name might bear little meaning, or even cause upset if it’s against their taste.

Luckily, if you find yourself in the situation where you fall in love with your dream home, but its name makes you want to run for the hills, legally you are able to change it to something more favourable.

The process

To get the ball rolling, it depends on how the name is structured. Is there a number then a name or does it just have a name?

The house has a number then a name

While you cannot change the number of a house, or remove it from the address, it is perfectly acceptable to add words to it. So, if you've got 'Dun Romain', you can change that without any official recourse.

The house has just a name

If there's just a name it will take longer as you willneed to write a letter to the local council explaining your request to change a house name. There are a few important things to consider beforehand though:

Does the name exist nearby? It’s a good idea to do a bit of research so you don’t end up choosing a name that’s already in close proximity. If this happens to be the case, outline a second option for consideration.

Is the name likely to be well-received? If you’re moving to a new neighbourhood then changing the name of a house to something extravagant might not go down well with the locals. Perhaps think about whether it’s fitting with its surroundings and the general consensus!

The aftermath

If your new name gets accepted by the council, then it isn’t just a case of ripping down an old sign and replacing it with a new, shiny one. The council notifies the Royal Mail, however it’s worth checking yourself that this is effective. As for letting everyone else know, well, that’s your job.

You will need to alert anyone and everyone who writes to you, including the local council, land registry, Electoral Roll, BT, utility providers, doctors, banks, HMRC, and the list goes on. (Oh, and not to forget your nearest and dearest.)

If you fail to notify everyone, then there’s a danger that you might miss some important post or a note from a long lost friend. Luckily the Whitepages address finder provides a flexible address search function, so people don’t need to know the exact details of your address to find you.

The function allows you to simply type in the details that you do have, such as a street name and the resident’s name, and nine times out of ten, this will be enough to pull up the full address!

Phew, maybe you won’t have to go through your entire phonebook after all.

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