A Short Guide to Conveyancing Searches

Mon 03 Oct 2016 by Ellie Pierpoint

Written by Ellie Pierpoint

Conveyancing can be a confusing process, and searches in particular can seem pretty complicated, but they don’t have to be. We know you don’t need the ins and outs of every single search, but you would like to have an idea of what it all means, so we’ve compiled this quick guide to tell you everything you need to know, and no more (unless you want more, then just read the links too!).

Local Authority Search (LAS):

A Local Authority Search will be requested by your mortgage lender and is applied for by your solicitor after you have put an offer down on a property. Consisting of several smaller searches, the Local Authority Search requests information on any nearby contaminations, road schemes or planning works, amongst others.

Environmental Searches:

These will cover you for any environmental issues within 500m of your new property. From flood risk to subsidence, environmental searches are designed to inform you of any uncontrollable issues before you agree to buy the property. They are usually compulsory if you are buying with a mortgage.

Water and Drainage Search:

If your property is near any drainage systems, a Water and Drainage search will find out exactly where, and if they are at risk of affecting the property in the future. There may also be some planning restrictions if you are particularly close to a drain.

Flood Report:

This one is pretty self-explanatory – if you are planning to move into a property which is located near a river, ocean or reservoir, you’ll want to find out how high the risk of flooding is.

Chancel Repair Liability Search:

This one may not seem as important as the others, but it is usually a standard part of any conveyancing package. Your solicitor will find out if you are due to pay any local church repair costs and recommend an insurance package if you are indeed liable. Without this search you could find yourself legally entitled to pay large sums to the local parish church, and no way of getting out of it.

Coal Mining and Brine Searches:

These searches are only required in certain areas where there used to be mining works, like Wales (coal) and Cheshire (brine/salt). Sometimes there might be excavated tunnels running beneath a property, so it’s important to find this out before you buy, and especially before you decide to renovate or extend.

Land Registry Pre-Completion Searches:

The last lot of searches, these will find out if the seller is the legitimate owner of the property and whether any bankruptcy has taken place there, basically to ensure that the property is legally safe to buy. After these have come back and the buyer is happy, the conveyancing will move to completion.

If you’d like any further information on property searches, feel free to read the links we’ve included to our blog, or call us on 0800 038 6699.
Find out how much our conveyancing costs, including all the vital searches, by getting a free, no obligation quote today.

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