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Posted on

June 09, 2023


What are property searches and why are they needed?

Congratulations! Your offer has been accepted and it’s time to carry out the conveyancing process. As part of the process your conveyancing team will conduct various searches and raise any necessary enquiries before agreeing an exchange of contracts.

Property searches are essential and will show you if there are any issues in or around the property that you should be aware of before you take ownership of your new home. Property searches are also required by your mortgages lender. As they will want to ensure that there’s nothing that could affect the property’s value before they offer you a mortgage.

But what are property searches?

There are several different types of searches your solicitor will conduct when you buy a property.

  • Local Authority searches
  • Local Authority searches are arguably the most important type of search your solicitor will arrange, as they will look at information held by the local authority involving the property, including prospective planning permission or restrictions.

This search includes:

  • Planning issues
  • Building control issues
  • Highways issues
  • Pollution issues
  • If the roads are adopted by the local authority

Land Registry searches

Your solicitor will need to prove that the property seller is the legal owner of the property you are buying. This search includes:

  • Title register checks
  • Title plan check

Environmental and Flood searches

These searches establish whether the property you are buying is built on or near contaminated land and or near a water source which could increase the risk of flooding.  Further, the by-products caused by old industries may still be a health hazard for property owners from contamination of the ground on which a home has been built

This search highlights:

  • Flooding issues
  • Landslide issues
  • Subsidence issues
  • Contaminated land issues
  • Water and drainage searches

A water authority search establishes where your water comes from and whether there are any public drains on the property. This is vital as if there is one it could affect any building work you want to do in the future, such as an extension.

This search enquiry is made to the local water company and highlights:

  • Who owns and maintains the sewers, drains & piping
  • If the property is connected to a public water supply and sewer
  • Whether the water supply is metered or rateable
  • The location of public sewer and drainage pipes
  • Whether you’ll need permission from the water company to extend the home
  • Bespoke or Additional Searches:

Depending on your individual circumstances your conveyancing team may need to carry our further searches or advice more bespoke searches.

How long do conveyancing searches take?

Searches can typically take around two to three weeks to be received, dependant on your local authority. However, some local counties and council can take up to 8-12 weeks to get searches back to your legal team.

Your solicitor will let you know when they raise enquiries and what they are.

How can Davisons help?

As the local experts in Birmingham, trusted by thousands of residents each year to handle their move, we also have the local knowledge to assist you with your home move. Contact us today for a quote on 0121 820 0112