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property law search

Read our bite-size guide in order to understand the property search process. In this edition, we will be covering what property searches are? Why searches are important? And what the main property searches are!

What is a Conveyancing/ Property Search?

A property search minimises the chance of an issue with your property before you become contractually bound. Here at PDR property, searches are conducted by your personal conveyancer who will be in contact with various bodies such as Local Authorities of Coal, Water and other agencies. These searches are essential since the search can reveal serious problems with the property; that the seller might not even know about! And give you peace of mind – before making one of the largest purchases of your life.

Why are Property Searches Important?

Property Searches are an important and essential part of the moving process. If the new owner of a property discovers problems after the contracts have been exchanged, then you will not be able to back out, even if you cannot get a mortgage for that property. If you do discover problems from the various property searches, before exchanging contracts, you have multiple ways of dealing with the issues revealed by the search.

For example at PDR Property Law, if an issue arises from a potential search your conveyancer will look into this and ask further questions for you – as well as keeping our client informed. We may also negotiate a price discount, or in worst case scenarios decide the property is not satisfactory for you.

What are the Main Property Searches?

There are four commonly used searches that a conveyancer may take in regards to your property. The main searches carried out before exchanging contracts are The Local Authority Search, The Water and Drainage Search, Environmental Search and a Flood Risk Search.

The Local Authority Search

Your personal conveyancer will either conduct a local authority search from the council or alternatively a private company who are regulated to conduct such a search. Both provide the same information, however, it is worth noting that a private company conducting such a search could be a cheaper option. There are two parts to this search which are a local authority and a local land which should outline whether the building is listed, subject to tree protection orders and so on…

The Water and Drainage Search

The water and drainage search is exactly what it says on the tin! This will outline if the property has mains water and drainage – as it is not uncommon for some older houses to utilise wells or even to have foul drainage issues. Similar to the prior search, your conveyancer here will either utilise a standard water authority search or a regulated private company search.

Environmental Search

An environmental search is usually carried out with an environmental agency. This will investigate the quality of the land that your house is built on. This is important as if contamination is found often it is the landowner who is made to pay to clear such contamination.

Flood Risk Search

And the final most common search is a flood risk search. Surface water, groundwater and sewers are common causes of flooding. Additionally, past flooding history within the area can indicate the chance of a flood. Your conveyancing solicitor will conduct a flood risk search, which is important as ultimately if shown to be susceptible to flooding this can influence your decision to proceed.

For more information regarding Property Searches fill out a contact form, or alternatively, give us a call on 01733 203873 where a member of PDR’s award-winning team is more than happy to help.