Property searches explained

Published: 26/06/2013

When you buy a property one of the things your conveyancer will do is carry out searches on the property and its surrounding area. Searches are a crucial part of the conveyancing process as they provide valuable information which could actually influence your purchase decision.

Local Authority Search

The most common search is the local authority search (LAS) which is require by all mortgage lenders. A local search is an inspection of the registers held by the Local Authority.

The information held on these registers could adversely affect the value of the property as they highlight:

  • Any associated planning applications
  • Building control history
  • Restrictions on permitted development
  • Nearby road schemes
  • Contaminated land
  • Radon gas information.

Environmental Search

Unlike other conveyancers we automatically carry out a Home Envirosearch which covers all environmental aspects of your property and the immediate areas within 500 metres and includes:

  • Pollution
  • Contamination from land fill sites
  • Flood risks.

It is estimated that one in six properties in England are at risk of flooding, making an environmental search vital. Yet despite this not all conveyancers include this in their searches.

If we discover the property is within the vicinity of a floodplain, we’ll then order a flood risk report. We’ll supply you with a copy and advise you send it on to your insurer to be confident you can adequately insure the property.

Additional Searches

Depending on the location of your property, and perhaps the results of the local search, other searches may also be needed. Using our vast experience and knowledge we will carry out all required searches but will only notify you of the results if they require more specialist involvement. For example, in areas with a high radon gas level you should get your property tested by a specialist contractor and undertake any necessary remedial work.

Additional searches could include:

  • Coal search
  • Brine search
  • Water search
  • Company search
  • Interpretive reports.

Sounding expensive? Not when it’s all-inclusive

At Goldsmith Williams we appreciate buying a house is an expensive business, from Stamp Duty charges to legal fees, property surveys to removal costs. Some solicitors will charge you on a per search basis which will only add to the cost. We however charge a one-off fee which will then cover all necessary searches.

Find out for yourself by using our free online quote tool with full details of all charges including compulsory government costs and search fees.

Content correct at time of publication

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