Carrying out searches is crucial when buying a property.
Search reports provide full background information on the local area, including many things that you couldn’t ascertain yourself by visiting the site. There are lots of possible searches but common ones are:-
Local Authority Search
This provides information on local authority planning decisions in the area as well as road or rail works that are in the pipeline. Some environmental factors are also covered, notably whether the ground is contaminated or whether the property is in a radon gas area. Searches are also done to determine any charges or restrictions such as tree preservation orders, listed building status and so on.
Land Registry Searches
Here, we will check the Land Registry’s records of the title and plan of the property. This will verify that everything is in order; if the owner is revealed to be someone other than the seller, alarm bells should be ringing.
Water Authority Search
This search is used to determine how you get water, where it drains to and where the public sewers/drains are in relation to your property. This can be important if you are planning a large extension but find that there is a public drain running across your garden.
The Local Authority are required to report contaminated land, but they are not always as efficient as we would like. It may be that land has become recently contaminated or that the land simply hasn’t been checked yet by the authority. Environmental Searches probe large databases of environmental data, digging out information about land use in the area. This includes any landfill, current or former industrial use in the area, radon gas levels, flood predictions and ground stability.
Plan Search Plus
A Plan Search Plus search provides further information about the wider local area to where you are looking to move. As well as school tables, local amenities and crime rates it also provides details of planning applications for the local area so will tell you if a large new housing estate or industrial estate is planned for the area.
There are plenty of additional searches that may be appropriate for the property you are buying. You may want a Chancel repair liability search to ascertain whether you will be on the hook for costly church repairs as a by-product of buying your home. There are also mining searches for properties in mining areas, which indicate mining activity present and past, the potential for subsidence due to mining, etc.
Open and honest advice
Searches are commonly left out of conveyancing quotes by firms looking to make themselves look cheaper than the competition. We don’t do that. Any quotation from us will include details of searches and any other disbursements that are incurred during the course of carrying out the conveyancing.
If you instruct us to handle your conveyancing we will discuss all the search results with you to ensure that you are fully informed about the property. We can also arrange for any optional searches which you may want for your own peace of mind and go through these as well.