Conveyancing Searches Explained
Conveyancing searches are a list of standard questions raised with various parties. The answers, or search results, provide vital information regarding the property, which is not obvious from inspecting the property. There are a number of searches which can be carried out, the most common are:
Local Authority Search (LAS) – This is a search made of the registers maintained by the District and County Councils. The search will reveal such matters as planning decisions, whether the road serving the property is maintained at public expense, etc. The search does not give information about neighbouring land for example, if development is proposed. Specific planning enquiries may have to be raised if this may be an issue.
Coal Search – This search is made with the Coal Authority and provides information as to whether the property is affected by past, present or future underground workings, for example subsidence from coal seams or a mine shaft. (This search is only required for properties in known coal mining areas, such as parts of Wales)
Water and Drainage Search – This search is made with the utility provider and confirms whether the property is connected to the mains water supply, sewerage and surface water drainage networks. Plans are provided to show the position of adopted mains, sewers and drains which is important not only in ascertaining the length of any private connections (for which the buyer will be responsible) but also whether they run within the boundary of the property which has implications for further development, amongst other things.
Environmental Search – This search is made with environmental data specialists and provides information regarding actual or possible environmental pollutants on or near to the property. This information is important not only for health reasons but also because if there are pollutants you do not want to be liable for paying for any cleanup operation. The search includes information in respect of flood zones. It is important to be fully aware if the property you are buying is in a flood zone as it may affect your decision to purchase.
Other searches, some quite specialised, may also be required depending on the property type and its location and we shall advise you if these are considered necessary.
If you would like more information on the various types of conveyancing searches, our property team will be more than happy to assist you. For further information and advice please get in touch.
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