We are often asked by clients who are moving house whether they need to instruct us to undertake conveyancing searches.
As part of the home buying process we would normally carry out various searches in relation to the property you are purchasing or leasing.
The searches are undertaken and their results considered and reported on before we invite our clients to enter into a legal commitment. If any adverse issues arise from those search results, then these are clarified before we advise you to proceed.
However the information obtained from the searches does not reveal any aspects of the physical condition of the property – for this you should instruct a qualified surveyor to inspect the property and report to you on it.
Arguably, if you are a cash purchaser, you could instruct your solicitor not to undertake any searches at all. However this would be contrary to our advice and best practice. If you are obtaining a loan which is to be secured over the property, your lender will require a number of searches to be undertaken.
These are normally the following:
1. Local Authority search
Information provided by this search is provided by your Local Council and will reveal a variety of issues on a more local level which will include a history of any planning applications or building regulations applications, consents or refusals in relation to the property, public rights of way, footpaths and bridal paths, nearby road schemes, road adoption and any other issues in relation to the property in the records held by your Local Council.
2. Environmental Search
This reveals information in relation to contaminated land, flooding issues or problems and issues in relation to radon gas. It will also include a report on current and historical land uses in the vicinity which may have an impact on current or future saleability of the property which may affect your decision to proceed as a result of land contamination.
3. Energy and Water Search
The data provided in relation to this search is from the local water company in which the property is situated. It would normally reveal whether the property is connected to mains water supply and drainage, or whether the property has a private water supply and if it is reliant upon a septic tank or other private drainage arrangements in respect of both surface water and foul water from the property. It will also reveal the route and position of any drains, sewers or water mains in the vicinity and whether they pass through the property upon which we will be able to advise both the legal and practical implications of this affecting the use and enjoyment of the property.
There are a variety of other searches which we may undertake, depending upon the type of property that you are proposing to purchase or lease and where it is situated e.g. a Coal Mining Search or a Radon Gas Search. All the searches undertaken by Ungoed Thomas and King are done online to ensure the results are available as quickly as possible. We also obtain the searches direct from the data provider, as opposed to a personal search which is provided by an intermediary search company which will not be as comprehensive as the official search which we obtain on our clients behalf.
On receipt of search results we report to our clients enclosing a copy of the search result but also summarising and explaining its implications. If any issues arise from the search results, we will raise this with the current property owners’ legal representatives, so that before you enter into a legal commitment to purchase or lease the property you are fully aware of all legal and practical issues.
For further information in connection with the service that we can provide for our clients purchasing a property please contact our property team on 01267 237441.