House numbering or as it is known in the industry 'Street Naming and Numbering' refers to the official practices used by local authorities to name streets and number properties. This allows properties to be located quickly in all situations, which is crucial to the various organisations who need an efficient way of locating and referencing properties; delivery, postal, emergency services and the general public.

Why is it important?

The primary purpose of SNN is to create addresses which are logical and consistent. This enables:

  • Emergency and care services to find a property quick
  • Mail and goods to be delivered efficiently
  • Visitors to find where they want to go
  • Reliable delivery of services and products
  • Records of service providers to be kept in an efficient manner.


Who is responsible?

All aspects of an address with the exception of the postcode are allocated by Hertsmere Borough Council as part of the Street Naming and Numbering process. Please note that a Council Tax bill is not proof of an official address. Addresses should be applied for via the official channels outlined in our policy.

Contrary to belief Royal Mail have no statutory responsibilities or powers to either name a street or to name, number, rename or renumber a property. Royal Mail has sole responsibility for assigning a postcode following liaison and notification of new or amended address details by Hertsmere Borough Council. Please see the Royal Mail Code of Practice

Why can't I name and number my own property?

There was a call for a standard index of addresses by the then Secretary of State and in 2011 Geoplace,  which is a joint venture between the Local Government Association and Ordnance Survey, was formed.

Now every LA in England and Wales work under the Data Co-operation Agreement and as part of that we are obliged to follow certain addressing standards,  so whilst we do our best to accommodate applicant requests for specific naming and numbering, it is not always possible due to reason.

We have taken all of the relevant legislation, guidance and standards mentioned above and put them into one document. This policy should act as guidance for developers and property owners when considering the submission of a Street Naming and Numbering application.

What will happen if I do not apply to register my address?

If your property is not registered via the official channels, you may encounter difficulties in obtaining services from a variety of sources – from mail delivery,  to utilities connections, applying for a credit card, obtaining goods by mail order, being located by the emergency services. It could even affect your right to vote and your credit rating.

If it comes to our attention that names and numbers have been established without prior reference to us, we have the authority to issue Renaming or Renumbering Orders, under Section 64 of the Towns Improvement Clauses Act 1847. This allows us to allocate new property names and/or numbers as we see fit. Once these have been issued, there will be no right of appeal.

For more information on good addressing, please visit Geoplace