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How to Change a House Name in Scotland

Naming one's house is a British tradition that began with the nobility naming their manors, halls, and castles---names like Falkland Palace and Edinburgh Castle and the like. The custom spread and everyday folk began naming their homes too. Merchants and tradefolk named houses as advertisements of their services: for instance, Wool Hall or Forge Cottage. Nowadays houses can be named after anything. As part of the United Kingdom, Scotland follows UK procedure in the naming of houses. If you own a named house in Scotland and wish to change its name, follow this simple process to make the change official.

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  1. Choose the new name for your house. Make note of other house names in the vicinity, to ensure you have not chosen the same one or one too similar.

  2. If your house has both a name and a numbered address, you can just go ahead and start using the new name without informing public agencies, but it's a good idea to register the name change for clarity. If your house only has a name and not a numbered address, you are required to go through official channels to register the new name.

  3. Start by notifying the local council in writing of your intention to change the house name, and inform them of your proposed new name. Contact the naming and numbering authority at the council - this will usually be the Highways or Engineers department. See Resources for a link to a directory of local councils, where you can find details of the house renaming procedures in your area.

  4. Send a request to the UK post office, Royal Mail (see Resources). Sometimes your local council will take care of this step for you. The request will state full name, current property address as well as the new, preferred name.

  5. Your local council will notify you of approval. When your request is approved, check with Royal Mail at addressmaintenance@royalmail.com to make sure that your details are updated.

  6. Notify all your business and personal contacts of the name change. Make sure to include the land registry, tax agencies and your utility companies.

  7. Tip

    Note that some local councils charge a registration fee for their service, while others don't.


    If your house has a name but no number, it is required that you to register your house name change, because the registered house name is part of the official address: changing the name is the same as changing the house's address.

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About the Author

Christopher Lapinel blogs for the Johnson Attorney's Group. He also writes his own blog at bluestonewriter.com. Lapinel holds an MLitt in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews and taught English composition at LaGuardia Community College.

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