Questions and answers

Published: 8 February 2017

Do you have questions about ex-state houses? Have a look below and see if these answer your questions.



How many different plans are there?

We hold between 20,000 and 30,000 microfiche plans. Most plans relate to only a small number of houses, although in some cases a plan may be used in multiple locations across the country. Six plans have been used more than 100 times, 10 plans more than 80 times, 80 plans more than 40 times, but 6,200 plans have been used less than 10 times.

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My house is the same as others in the street - will that help identify the plan?

While houses may appear identical from the outside, there are likely to be subtle but significant differences in construction. It is rare for the same plan to be used several times in the same street. Under such circumstances, we will not provide the plan in case of liability for providing incorrect information.

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The council tells me the house did not have a permit - why is that?

In 1991 the Building Act was introduced, which brought a large number of pieces of legislation into one place. In the period leading up to 1991, the various agents who constructed housing on behalf of the Crown were not bound by legislation to obtain a building permit/consent. However, planning and drainage approvals and consents were obtained. Before the 1991 Building Act, state houses were built under legislative powers without requiring a permit from the council. After 1991, permits were required. A council may not have information on older houses, but this does not mean that they were built illegally.

The Housing Corporation - established in 1974 - took its obligations seriously. All state housing construction was supervised by qualified building inspectors and building overseers. State houses were built and maintained to a high standard, even though this was not documented by local councils.

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Why does the LIM report not have any significant information on it?

See the answer above.

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My house looks like a state house but you tell me it is not. Why is that?

During and after the Second World War, the shortage of houses was addressed by the Government making blueprints of state houses available for private builders. Catalogues were produced and clients could select the house they wanted, then ask a builder to construct it for them.

The state house 'style' was highly regarded and other properties were built to look like state houses because they were fashionable at the time. You can identify houses that were built by the state by checking the title of the property. It is highly likely that a former state house will have Her Majesty the Queen or a specific Government agency as the owner.

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Are you able to tell me when my house was built?

In many cases we are able to indicate the year a house was built. In other cases, we may be able to indicate the date when a house was recorded on our plans, but cannot provide exact information of the construction date.

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Do you have records of maintenance work on my house?

Generally, records of maintenance work are not kept for more than seven years. It is unlikely that we will have any information of relevance to you.

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