What Conveyancing Searches Should Be Carried Out When Buying a Property?

The searches carried out by your conveyancer will depend on the location of the property you are buying and the searches recommended in that particular area. In general, a Local Authority Search and Drainage and Water Search will always be carried out. Then depending on local factors, you may require searches such as, amongst others, an Environmental Search and a Coal Mining Search. Your conveyancer should be able to advise you at the outset as to what searches you are likely to require in a given location and advise you if any further searches are needed when they have received further information about the property.

What Do Conveyancing Searches Cover?

A Local Authority Search is a search at the local Council offices of records they hold in relation to the property. This includes things like past planning permissions for the property and matters in relation to roads abutting the property. A Water and Drainage Search checks, amongst other things, that the property is connected to mains drains and water. An Environmental Search looks at past and present factors that may have affected the environment the property is in, and a Coal Search looks at the likely impact of past and present coal mining in the area.

How Long Do Conveyancing Searches Take?

The Local Authority Search is the search that normally takes the longest. With searches such as Water and Drainage and Environmental Searches, these are normally returned within a few days. However, a Local Authority search is dependent on the Local Authority and can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Your Conveyancer will be able to advise you better when they know your Local Authority details.

Can I Do My Own Conveyancing Searches?

The simple answer is no you cannot really do your own conveyancing searches. The Local Authority Search is a search of records held at the Council and they restrict access to their staff and authorised search agents.

How Much Do Conveyancing Searches Cost?

Each Local Authority can charge their own prices for producing the Local Authority Search, so there is no set price for an “official” Local Authority Search (which is where the Council staff conduct the search). However, here at Keebles we have fixed prices for “personal” Local Authority Searches (where a private search agent conducts the search) and this is the same for all areas of the Country. At the time of writing our regulated Local Authority searches cost £55, a regulated Drainage and Water Search costs £35.00, an Environmental Search costs £40.00 and a Coal Search costs £35.00.

Why Do Conveyancing Searches Take So Long?

It is normally only the Local Authority Search that takes more than a few days. This is because the Council who provide the information either only have limited numbers of staff conducting the searches, or they will only allow a maximum number of daily appointments for private search agents to have access to the Local Authority information required to compile the search. The length of time to get a Local Authority Search result varies by Councils.

Visit our Conveyancing Frequently Asked Questions page for more topics.

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