A beginner’s guide to conveyancing searches

Searches are a vital part of buying a property to discover whether there are any issues affecting it.

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Searches should be submitted as early as possible, as it can take a while for the results to come in and for any problems to be resolved. In some cases, you can get the results faster if you pay an additional fee.

Which searches do you need?

There are all sorts of different searches that could be needed. Your choice of conveyancing solicitors London or elsewhere in the country will be able to help you with this.

Companies such as https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/Conveyancing-Solicitors/Conveyancing-Solicitors-London will assist you with the searches required depending on factors such as the location, the development, the type of property and the lender’s specific requirements; however, it is worth noting that some searches should be performed with every property transaction:

– Local land charges register, which looks at S106 and planning agreement conditions, compulsory purchase orders and enforcement notices.

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– Local authority search and additional questions, which consider details of matters that affect the local area and your specific property. This includes building regulations and planning consents.

– Drainage and water, which looks at water and sewerage connections.

– Title plan and title official copies, which confirm the registered owner of the property you want to buy; the title quality; the rights, restrictive covenants, easements and charges; and any other matters that could affect the title.

– Index map, which identifies every title that relates to the property and any pending applications.

– Highways, which confirms whether your new property abuts a highway and which roads are publicly maintained and adopted.

– Chancel repair, which identifies whether you are liable to pay for any chancel repairs associated with previously rectorial land.

– Environmental desktop survey, which assesses whether there is a risk of your new property being built on contaminated land.

Survey results

When the results of the searches are ready, your solicitor should check that the results are satisfactory. They may need to clarify issues with the search providers or an authority, or they might have to raise some pre-contract enquiries.

In some cases, it may be necessary for a more extensive and detailed search to be commissioned or for insurance to be obtained to cover specific matters.


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