A guide to conveyancing searches
Conveyancing searches are an essential part of the conveyancing process. Searches are enquiries to official bodies requesting any information held by them about the property. The searches give vital information about the property and the area it is situated in.
Local authority searches
These searches provide any information held by the local authority about the property. They provide:
– the planning permission history
– building regulations certificates
– tree preservation orders
– whether the property is listed and/or in a conservation area
– planned road or traffic schemes near the property
This highlights environmental issues, including whether there have been any contaminative land uses on the property or nearby. It also details any risk of flooding or subsidence.
Drainage and water search
This shows whether the property is connected to mains water, surface water drainage and sewerage. It also shows where any water mains, drains or sewers cross the property.
Other searches which are often carried out are coal searches, detailed flood searches, and chancel repair searches. If there is any doubt over the extent of property included in a registered title the conveyancer will carry out an index map search with the Land Registry. The index map is the official record of all registered titles – https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land
Cost of searches
Conveyancing searches constitute a substantial portion of the overall conveyancing costs. Obtaining the best conveyancing quotes online, for example at https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/conveyancing-quote can save time and hassle. When buyers search for the best conveyancing quotes online they can be sure that the quotes include all of the necessary search fees, making it easy to compare and select the best conveyancer.
What will happen if I do not obtain searches?
In most cases searches are, effectively, compulsory. If you are buying a property with a mortgage your mortgage company will insist that the conveyancer carries out the standard searches and any others which are recommended in the particular circumstances. If you are a cash buyer then you do not have to carry out any searches but if you choose to proceed without them this will be against your conveyancer’s advice. If you do not carry out a search and you later discover something about the property which would have been revealed by the search you will have no comeback against the seller.