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Why do Local Authority Searches play an important part in Conveyancing ?

A home is one of the biggest purchases you are likely to make in a lifetime. When you
buy a home you will want to know all about the property. The conveyancing lawyer facilitates gathering that information as part of Conveyancing – but has to so from various sources including the seller, central government bodies such as the Land registry and local government departments as well.

You ( and your lender – if appropriate ) will want to know “Does the extension comply
with building regulations? Will a bypass be built through the garden” ? Local Authority searches ( sometimes known as Conveyancing Property Searches ) provide answers to these questions. They give prospective buyers and their conveyancing lawyers a range of information about their new home which you need to know before you purchase.

Local Authority Searches must be included in a Home Information Pack (HIP) and part of the conveyancing process. There are two required parts to the Local Authority Searches in a HIP. A search of the local land charges register (LLCR) and a ‘local enquiries’ search (traditionally known as the Conveyancing Con29 search) which cover a wide range of issues including compulsory purchase orders, building regulations, and road schemes.

Local Authority searches were originally usually provided by local authorities . However, over the last ten years or so the private sector has also begun to provide significant numbers of personal Local Authority searches, thus creating a competitive market. This has worked to the benefit of consumers, with evidence that as a result delivery has improved and prices have fallen. This has contributed towards the speeding up the conveyancing process.

Local Authorities provide information for conveyancing property searches in two ways. The first is in the provision of unrefined data to form the basis of a search. This is both used by Local Authorities to compile their own searches and provided to personal search companies to enable them to compile Local Authority searches. The second is in the refining of this data into a compiled Local Authority search given to the customer. Here Local Authorities and personal search companies are in direct competition.

Wherever possible, and subject to the lenders requirements in a conveyancing transaction Fridaysmove carry out personal searches as they have the benefit of reducing the cost of conveyancing and the improve the speed of conveyancing. In most purchase conveyancing cases now we find that we do not need to commission the searches as they are included in the HIP.

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