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Searches for Conveyancing
Why do I need these?
If you are buying with a mortgage, your lender will require you to have local authority and drainage searches carried out. If you are a cash buyer these searches are not mandatory, but we recommend having them carried out for piece of mind.
Our normal practice is to carry out one personal local authority search and one official drainage search. Not all lenders will accept the personal search but most will. If you would prefer us to carry out an official local authority search please let us know immediately but they will normally carry a higher charge and can take longer to prepare.
What sort of other searches are there?
Environmental search (approx. £51 with results normally available within 24 hours) - this search provides an environmental assessment of the property and the surrounding area. It will also provide information on the known past uses of the land together with brief details of it. This search is recommended by the Law Society but is not compulsory.
Flood search (approx. £19 with results normally available within 24 hours) - this identifies whether the property is affected by a flood risk. Where appropriate it will show the presence of any river and flood defences.
Chancel repair liability check (approx. £27 with results normally available within 24 hours) - this check provides information on whether the property could be potentially affected by chancel repair liability. If it is, the Parochial Church Council can require owners of former rectorial land to meet (or at least contribute to) the cost of repairing the church chancel. A decided case in the House of Lords resulted in landowners having to pay around £600,000 to their local church which re-inforces the need for caution and insurance (where appropriate). The potential cost of the repairs that could be levied outweighs the relatively low cost of checking the liability and insuring against it. If insurance is required, the premium will depend on the circumstances but they start from about £60.
Planning search (approx. £32 with results normally available within 24 hours) - this search provides information on planning within the immediate vicinity of the property. It may be useful if you are concerned about vacant land near to the property.
Coal mining and Cheshire brine search (approx. £43 with results normally available within 24 hours) - might be required if the property falls within an area where mining has been carried out in the past or is presently active. It will detail any subsidence claims which have been made since 1984 and whether they were settled by cash or repair. This search will also reveal any disused mine shafts within 20m of the property. The Cheshire Brine aspect is recommended if the property falls within certain areas of Cheshire that have been or will in the near future be subject to brine extraction. If the property falls within a compensation area or any claims have been filed, the search will reveal them.
Tin mining search (approx. £73 with results normally available within 10 working days) may be required in any area in which Tin Mining has previously been carried out. There have been a number of cases of personal injury and also of buildings developing cracks due to, for example, badly capped mines. It is important that in these areas a tin mining search is undertaken, as subsidence due to these mines is not uncommon.
Limestone mining search (approx. £45 with results normally available within 10 working days) may be advisable within the areas that carry a risk of subsidence, however this is much less common than other forms of mining, as mining of this nature was last undertaken in England and Wales in the 1930's.
China clay mining search (approx. £64 with results normally available within 10 working days) - is to check that your proposed property purchase is not in danger of subsidence and that any proposed mining of China clay will not affect your property. China clay was mostly mined in the 18th and 19th centuries, when there were in excess of a hundred pits in the West Country.
N.B. Please note that this list is not intended to be exhaustive and there may be other searches we have to carry out. Please let us know if there is any specific search you would like us to carry out on your behalf.