What You Should Know About Conveyancing Searches

home conveyancing search

What are conveyancing searches?

When buying a house, there is information that you need to gain access to so you are aware of any pre-existing issues connected to the property. To discover this information, your conveyancing solicitor will conduct a series of conveyancing searches. These searches gather information from local authorities and other sources, depending on the type of property you are interested in.

There are three most common conveyancing searches that are almost always completed. these include.

  1. Local Authority
  2. Water and Property
  3. Environmental

These searches ask questions and gather information regarding future planning projects, factors that may damage your property, the quality of the house and land or the restrictions and access rights associated with the property.

It is important that these conveyancing searches are completed before signing exchange contracts and legally binding yourself to a sale of the property. The conveyancing searches could reveal planning or structural complications that could decrease the value of the property, require remedial work or just put you off the property altogether. You wouldn’t want to find yourself trapped in a transaction if this information is revealed too late.

How long do Conveyancing Searches take?

The efficiency of your conveyancing searches depends on the haste of your conveyancing solicitor and the speed at which local authorities and other sources will return information. Turnaround times for certain requests can vary between 48 hours and several weeks.

Results may vary in time to be returned, as well as the format of information that is provided. Information transmitted by email or an online portal will be received much faster than by post, for example.

Local governments and authorities may have different limitations in personnel who are able to return the information. This also affects the rate at which your search results are received if requested at peak or busy times of the year or month.


Local Authority Searches

Local Authority Searches are conveyancing searches that gather information about your property and the local area. Purchasing a home is often one of the largest investments many people make during their life. It is therefore highly important to secure your purchase and protect your investment. The information included in this conveyancing search can provide you with peace of mind and allow you to confidently commit to buying a new home.

Within the local authority search there are two components. These are the LLC1 and CON29.

Included within the LLC1 is the following information about a property:

  • Listed Building
  • Conservation area
  • Tree preservation order
  • Improvement and renovation grant
  • Smoke control area

On the other hand the CON29 assesses whether there are future development plans that could impact your property in the future. the CON29 is again separated into two sections, the information is either required or optional. Overall the information revealed includes:

  • New road and transportation projects
  • Contaminated land
  • Future planning permission
  • Building regulations

The CON29 is a vital piece of information that informs you of the future state of your property. Whether its projects for the planning of new roads, land maintenance or environmental or pollutions warnings. The information is useful to have to make decisions regarding your future within the property.

Water, drainage and other property searches

When completing the conveyancing searches, you may want to identify your connected water supplier. This is to identify and confirm the supplier of the sewers, drainage and piping connected to the property. With this information, your conveyancing solicitor can complete a water and drainage check as part of the conveyancing searches. The information will reveal pre-existing issues with supply, maintenance and sewer boundaries.

Environmental search

One of the key conveyancing searches includes environmental check. the results of this search can be vital for your health and the long term condition of your property. the search may reveal issues such as:

  • Historical landfills or waste sites near or on your land
  • The potential risk of flooding from nearby lakes or rivers
  • Risk of landslides
  • Subsidence issues

Other searches

Further conveyancing searches may be recommended by your conveyancing solicitor or the mortgage lender. This can vary from your properties needs, advice from the solicitor and the preference of your lender. Factors such as the properties age, the local authorities and the surrounding area may influence the need for certain information. the following conveyancing searches are not required for all properties but could be vitally important for others.

Commons registration

This search is instructed by the Commons Registrations act 1975 to be completed on any property bordering common land. This may include a village green or a rural area. According to the law, common land is land that is owned by more than one person and can be accessed by the public. This check will confirm whether your property is located on or near common land.

Mining search

A mining search can be vital for the structural integrity of a property and is often required by mortgage lenders if there is suspicion of a history of mining in the area.

Land charges

for unregistered land, land charges are investigated to uncover the details of any bankruptcy proceedings associated with the previous owners of the property. Information uncovering restrictions for the land, estate contracts and mortgages will also be investigated.

Chancel repair liability

Properties located in a parish church area are potentially liable for chancel repair payments. This liability enforces the payment of repairs to the church to be paid at any requested time. For property owners that wish to avoid these payments, the chancel repair liability conveyancing searches should be carried out and the appropriate indemnity insurance can be paid to save money in future potential payments.

Final Thoughts

Once you’ve found a property that you are excited about, it can be difficult to accept that there could be flaws or costly restrictions associated with the land or property. You could even consider ignoring the results of certain checks and only covering the bare minimum to ensure the purchase completes. Whilst conveyancing searches can often uncover undesirable information about a property, the results of the searches can empower you to take remedial action before gambling with your investment. Whether the results of searches allow you to fix a problem early or walk away from a costly property, it is far better to be aware of any issues before purchasing.

The key thing to secure during this process is that you work with a professional and equipped conveyancing solicitor. This gives you the power to work alongside an individual with your best interests in their actions. They should walk you through the information, encourage you to receive the best deal possible, and secure the property in any way they can.

To work with a conveyancing solicitor that cares about the future of you and your property, start a quote with Moving Sorted today.