What do my conveyancing searches entail?
When purchasing a property, conveyancing searches are an extremely important part of the conveyancing process that, our property solicitors, would always recommend carrying out. If you are buying with the assistance of a mortgage, your Lender will require that searches are carried out in order that any potential issues with the property are revealed and can be reported to them.
What are they?
The searches are, in effect, a standard set of enquiries which are raised with various authorities to provide further insight into the property, and, in particular, any risks that may come with it. The various authorities then compile the information they hold about the property and provide responses to the questions raised. This then gives, both, you and your property solicitors Preston much more information that can be used to ensure the integrity of the property being purchased.
Searches can uncover all kinds of information that may otherwise be hidden. Searches help provide information on the property which may not be disclosed by the Seller of the Property.
What searches do I need & what do they mean?
At MG Legal, your local property solicitors, we undertake a set bundle of searches on your behalf. These include the following:
Local Authority Search – The results of this search will reveal any planning entries, land charges on the property, road adoption status, details of any nearby proposed development or road/traffic schemes, etc. This search provides a large volume of detail on a range of different aspects of the property and the surrounding area.
If a property is in an area affected by a Smoke Control Order, your property solicitors Preston will advise that only smokeless fuels should be used. Smoke control orders are in place in attempt to reduce air pollution and mean that smoke cannot be emitted from a chimney unless authorised fuel is being burnt for the use of exempt appliances, such as burners or stoves. The Smoke Control Order is registered as a Local Land Charge on the property and must be adhered to - non-compliance can result in you being fined.
Environmental Search – The environmental search results look particularly to environmental issues and will reveal whether the property is at risk of flooding, contaminated land, natural ground subsidence, radon gas etc. This, too, is a large report with a lot of information, inclusive of detailed diagrams to provide further information on the points noted.
The Environmental Search estimates that one in six homes in England are at risk of flooding. Flooding does not just occur near rivers or coasts. Surface water flooding can occur when heavy rainfall overwhelms the drains or sewers or when sewers become blocked.
Water and Drainage Search – This search looks to where the property is connected to in terms of water and sewerage, who any charges are payable to, and, importantly, whether there are any mains located within the property boundaries and whether the same may cause any issues.
Coal and Mining Search – The coal and mining search provides detail on any historical, present and future risks posed to the property by mining at the property and surrounding area.
Chancel Repair Searches - For historical reasons some properties carry with them a requirement to pay the cost of repairing the chancel of the parish church. The costs of this repair bill can be considerable (in one case it was the repair costs were £230,000.00) and the liability may not be apparent from the title deeds alone.
Pre-contract Enquiries of the Seller - This is where we attempt to find information out from the Seller which the Seller is not bound by law to disclose. The Seller can refuse to answer these queries however a misleading enquiry could lead to the Buyer bringing an action in misrepresentation.
What happens next?
Upon receiving the results of your searches, your solicitors in Preston Lancashire will review the results as a whole and report to you on any issues revealed. You will then have the opportunity to decide whether you would like any further investigation carried out into any of the risks.
EXAMPLE - The results of the environmental report reveal that there is a high risk of flooding within a specific area of the property, you may then wish for your Preston solicitors to carry out a flood risk search. The results of which would help clarify the extent of this risk and whether the same is likely to cause any adverse effects to the property.
Once satisfied with the results of the searches, your Preston solicitors can then proceed to progress matters with your conveyancing transaction.
Your property solicitors Preston will note any points of concern within the searches, that require further explanation and raise these as enquiries with the seller’s solicitor, together with the enquiries on the contract pack.
EXAMPLE - The results of the local authority search reveal entries in relation to various works that have been carried out at the property. Your conveyancing solicitors Preston would raise the necessary enquiries to ensure the appropriate Planning Permissions (if required) were obtained, and that the works are Building Regulations Approved, requesting any documentation which provides evidence of the same.
As you can see, on the face of things, searches may not seem very important, however, they can affect many other aspect of the conveyancing transaction. Once all enquiries have been satisfied, your Preston solicitors can proceed to discuss proposed dates to complete the transaction.
For more information on the importance of searches, or any other conveyancing query, please contact our specialist team of conveyancing solicitors Preston today at email@example.com.