WHAT ARE CONVEYANCING SEARCHES?

WHAT ARE CONVEYANCING SEARCHES?

If you’re looking into buying your first home, there’s a good chance that you’ve come across the term ‘conveyancing searches’. They can be a crucial part of the conveyancing process, especially if they reveal any nasty skeletons that may be hiding in your prospective property’s closet. Here we take a look at the different types of searches that will need to be carried out by your conveyancer, and why it’s important that you have them done.

Local authority search

What is it?

This search will take a look at all the information the local authority holds on the house you’re buying, giving you a detailed view of the property and some general information about its surrounding area. From planning issues to listed building applications, any potential impact of major railway or tube lines (such as Crossrail 2 or HS2) or repayable improvement grants, the search will also highlight things such as who’s responsible for any adjoining roads and paths.

Why do you need it?

A local authority search could show up something that’s going to affect your desire to go ahead with the purchase, so it’s very important. Whether you don’t want to live near a railway line or buy a house with a loft conversion that hasn’t been signed off for safe use as a habitable room, there are lots of issues that could be uncovered. If you are buying with a mortgage, this is one of the mandatory searches which must be obtained.

Environmental search

What is it?

An environmental search focuses on whether the property’s built on or near contaminated land or water, or an old landfill site. It should also pick up any issues such as the risk of potential landslips or flooding from nearby rivers, seas or lakes.

Why do you need it?

The search can help both you and your mortgage provider determine whether it’s a good idea to continue with your purchase. Many properties are built on former industrial land, and if toxic substances remain in the ground then this could lead to potential health risks and difficulty reselling your home.

Water and drainage search

What is it?

This search establishes where your water comes from, and shows you where the nearby public sewers are. It will also bring up whether or not there are any public drains running through the property.

Why do you need it?

You need to know if you are going to be responsible for a private water or drainage system, and the potential impact that will have. If there are public drains under your home, this can affect potential building work you might wish to carry out. It’s much better to ascertain whether you could face any problems before you go through with your purchase.

Mining search

What is it?

Relatively self-explanatory, a mining search reveals whether there’s mining planned in the area, or if it was in the past. While it’s something that won’t affect most houses, it can be a really important search if you are buying in a mining area, and reveal any compensation claims due to subsidence.

Why do you need it?

If the property you’re buying is located in a place where there’s been historic mining, there’s a chance it could be at risk of sitting on unstable ground. This can cause problems with subsidence.

For more information on purchasing a new home, take a look at our handy home buying guide, full of useful information to help you every step of the journey.

Disclaimer: The article above is only a rough guide to give you some idea of the conveyancing searches involved when buying a house.





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