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What Are Property Searches


conveyancers play a vital role in conducting various searches during the property buying process in the UK. These searches are essential to uncover important information about the property and its surrounding area, helping buyers make informed decisions. Here are some of the key searches that conveyancers typically conduct:

1. Local Authority Searches:

Local authority searches are a crucial part of the conveyancing process. They involve requesting information from the local council regarding the property and the area. These searches can reveal important details such as:

  • Planning permissions: Any proposed developments or planning permissions in the vicinity of the property.

  • Building regulations: Whether any alterations or extensions to the property have received approval.

  • Environmental issues: Information about contamination, flooding, or other environmental concerns that may affect the property.

  • Highways and road adoption: The status of nearby roads and whether they are maintained by the local authority.

2. Land Registry Searches:

Land Registry searches are conducted to confirm the legal ownership of the property and any rights or restrictions associated with it. These searches provide information on:

  • Title deeds: Confirmation that the seller has the legal right to sell the property.

  • Property boundaries: Details about the exact boundaries of the property.

  • Easements and rights of way: Any rights or access routes across the property that others may have.

3. Drainage and Water Searches:

These searches provide information about the property's water supply and drainage connections. They can reveal whether the property is connected to mains water and sewage systems or if it relies on private systems. It's important to know about any shared drainage or water supply arrangements that may affect the property.

4. Environmental Searches:

Environmental searches assess potential environmental risks associated with the property. They can reveal information about contamination, flood risks, subsidence, and other factors that may impact the property's value or suitability.

5. Chancel Repair Liability Searches:

In some areas, homeowners may be liable for contributing to the repair of the local church's chancel (the area around the altar). Conveyancers conduct searches to determine if such liability exists for the property.

6. Coal Mining or Subsidence Searches:

Properties in certain regions may be at risk of subsidence due to historical coal mining activities. Searches can provide information about any potential subsidence risks and whether the property is in a designated mining area.

7. Flood Risk Searches:

Given the increased concern about flooding in certain areas, conveyancers often conduct flood risk searches to determine whether the property is in a flood-prone area and if flood insurance may be necessary.

8. Other Specialised Searches:

Depending on the location and circumstances of the property, conveyancers may conduct additional searches such as:

  • Radon gas searches.

  • Japanese knotweed searches.

  • Energy and infrastructure searches.

These searches help buyers understand the specific risks and conditions associated with the property and its surroundings. The results of these searches can influence the decision to proceed with the purchase or negotiate with the seller based on any identified issues.

Overall, thorough searches are a critical part of the conveyancing process, ensuring that buyers have a comprehensive understanding of the property they intend to purchase and its potential challenges or liabilities.


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