CHANGING YOUR HOUSE NAME


Should we change it?

Traditional names are generally good and records of previous use - Old Rectory, School House, for example - give a sense of history.
I advise against changing a pre-1900 name, unless it has really bad associations. However, you do not have to live with something you dislike or a previous owner's personal nonsense (Janetandjohn Towers, for instance).

How do we go about it?

Make a written reuest to the highways or engineers department of your local council, including an alternative suggestion in case there's already a house locally with your first choice name. You cannot change a number (apart from adding a letter for an extra dwelling) or swap a number for a name, but you can use a name in addition to a number.

Who else do we need to inform?

The highways department will tell Royal Mail of an approved name change but it is also worth emailing addressmaintenance@royalmail.com " to be sure your details are updated. Also check that your house is recorded as a residential address as many mail-order companies won't deliver to businesses. Talk to your postmen. You will also need to register the change with Land Registry, your local Council Tax Department, the Electoral Roll, BT, utility providers, mortgage lender, doctor and everyone who writes to you. The emergency services are freuently delayed by the lack of visible house numbers and names so I would write to the local ambulance and fire services and make sure your signs can be clearly read from the road. It might be worth showing both names for some months, eg "Rose Cottage (formerly known as Crow Cottage)".

Are there any disadvantages to altering a name?

Locals may disapprove. And just think of all those mailing lists and databases; it could take years for them all to be updated with the new name. Alas there is no magic wand. Correct them individually, especially the mail order companies you do want to go on hearing from. And if someone tries to tell you database can't be altered then ask for a supervisor or, if necessary, the complaints department. It sounds a bind but can all be worth it for the contentment of having an address that pleases you.


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