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What Are Conveyancing Searches? The Quick Version

Many people find the ins and outs of conveyancing quite confusing, particularly searches, and it’s little wonder with so many technical terms and phrases, but even so sometimes we just want an overview of the topic, not an entire essay. We’ve compiled this quick yet comprehensive list of all the conveyancing searches you might encounter to make the whole process a little simpler.

Local Authority Search (LAS):
This search is usually required by your mortgage lender and includes lots of smaller searches such as whether or not the area has any contaminations, nearby road schemes and a record of any previous accepted or rejected planning works to the property, amongst others.

Water and Drainage Search:
Drainage searches will tell you and your solicitor the location of private and public drainage systems and whether they will affect your property, in particular whether they would affect your chances of being able to extend or build on your land in the future.

Flood Report:
This is to find out if there are any risks of flooding due to rivers, the sea or other water sources near to your new property. It is not usually necessary unless your new property is near to any waterways.

Chancel Repair Liability Search:
A Chancel Repair Liability Search is to find out if there are any churches in the vicinity of your new property which require you (and all your neighbours) to pay a fee towards the cost of up-keeping the church.

There is no centrally kept record of this so your solicitor will have to apply to a few places before finding the information they need. However, this is an important search which is usually included as part of your basic conveyancing package. If you are found to be liable to fees, your solicitor will recommend a special type of insurance to cover the cost.

Environmental Searches:
Environmental searches are to find out if there are any possible issues within 500 metres of your new home. This could include flooding, subsidence, waste sites and landfills or potential contaminations. These are usually included in your conveyancing package as standard.

Coal Mining and Brine Searches:
These are not usually a standard part of your conveyancing package unless you live somewhere with a history of coal or brine mining like Wales or Cheshire. Due to the delicacy of excavated mines which were used to source coal and salt minerals (brine), there may be some restrictions on what you can build on your land in the future.

Land Registry Pre-Completion Searches:
These searches come after all the others, just before Completion happens. They include a bankruptcy search on the sellers, a land charges search and several other official searches to ensure that the property really belongs to the seller and hasn’t had any past legal implications. After these searches are complete, you will be able to finish your conveyancing!

This is just a brief overview of the most common conveyancing searches, but if you would like more information, please see our in-depth guide to conveyancing searches.

To see how much our conveyancing costs, including all necessary searches, use our free no obligation quote generator now.

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