What conveyancing searches do I need?

Year Published: 2019

In every property purchase transaction in which a mortgage lender is involved the solicitor is required to carry out, as a minimum, a local authority search, environmental search, and a drainage search. Depending on the locality there may be further searches (e.g. flooding or mining) required. The type of searches carried out also depends on the Home Information Pack that is available.

A Local Authority Search is a set of standard enquiries that your solicitor raises with the local council. It will tell you about the planning history, building regulation approval history and future planning proposals that are likely to affect the property. It involves just the property you plan to purchase and would not, for example, reveal proposals to develop or extend neighbouring land or property. The local council charge a fee “the local search fee” which your solicitor collects from you and pays to them when the search is done.

Drainage Search will reveal whether the drains run into a public or private sewer line.

An Environmental Search reveals whether they are any waste disposal sites or landfills in the area, and if there is any risk of flooding, subsidence etc.

The Land Registry Search will tell you whether there are any new or previously undisclosed mortgages on the property.

Prior to completion we will also order the following Land Registry Searches:

Bankruptcy Search is usually ordered by us for the benefit of the mortgage lender to make sure that you are not bankrupt.

A Land Registry Priority Search is carried out by a solicitor with the Land Registry against the title number revealed in the OCE. This gives a 30 day priority to register client’s interest before any other third party can. This is crucial because between completion of a house purchase and registration of the house purchase there is always a delay and there is a chance that if a priority search is not carried out before completion a third party may register an adverse entry (such as a charge) before the property is registered by the solicitor. A priority search will also reveal if anyone has already registered any adverse entries before the day of completion.


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