Property Searches – A Guide

Property Searches – A Guide

What Are Property Searches?

One important task when buying a property is conveyancing or property searches. Searches are a standard set of queries submitted to various authorities that concern the house you plan to buy. They reveal important information about the property and should be ordered at the beginning of the conveyancing process. Compare estate agents with moving buddies.

House searches are made up of a local authority search, environmental search, water and drainage search, and title search. Sometimes other searches are needed depending on the location and type of property you are buying. 

What Are The Main Searches On A Property?

The 4 main searches when buying a house usually come consist of:

  1. Local Authority Search
  2. Environmental Search
  3. Water and Drainage Search
  4. Title Search

Property searches will reassure you there aren’t any unwanted surprises about the property you intend to buy or the surrounding area, either now or in the future. It’s important to get them underway in a flash as they can take a number of weeks to be returned. This is why we will make sure they are ordered at the soonest possible convenience. Don’t let late search ordering slow down your purchase.

Compare Estate agents here. We analyse the performance of every active estate agent in the UK and using basic information about your home, we provide you with a list of agents that cover your postcode and how they perform against each other.

Local Authority Searches

These will tell you whether the property you are buying is:

  • a listed building
  • located in a conservation area
  • subject to a tree protection order
  • in need of an improvement or renovation grant
  • or situated in a smoke control zone

It also covers planning agreements and conditional planning permissions. 

The search also supplies information relating to:

  • public highways, 
  • proposals for new roads, 
  • rail schemes
  • planning decisions that could affect the property. 

It also highlights any: 

  • outstanding statutory notices, 
  • breaches of planning or building regulations or 
  • the existence of a compulsory purchase order. 

Environmental factors, such as whether the house stands on contaminated land or in a Radon gas affected area are also covered.

Compare Estate agent fees UK and make your home buying or selling a simple and easy process.

  • Drainage and Water Search

We will also ensure that Drainage and Water Searches will be carried out when you are buying a house. This will provide information on the location of sewers and whether the property is connected to the mains water supply. 

Drainage and water searches will gather vital information on:

  • If the property is connected to the public sewage system.
  • If the property is connected to the public water supply.
  • How the property will be charged for its water supply.
  • Title Searches

The term title search refers to the examination of public records to determine and confirm a property’s legal ownership. Title searches on a property are essential for buyers. They confirm with the Land Registry that the seller is the legal owner of the property and that they’re legally allowed to sell it.

Title searches will provide information on:

  • Who currently owns the property.
  • Who has previously owned the property.
  • How much the property was bought for.
  • If the property has any debt associated with it.
  • The location of the property.

Other Searches On A Property

Local authority, environmental and drainage and water searches are the most prominent house searches. Moving Buddies orders all of the relevant searches for your property purchase. 

Depending on the area the property is in, we may need to dig a little deeper and look into the following:

Compare Estate agent fees UK and make your home buying or selling a simple and easy process.

Flood Search

Thousands of people are affected by floods every year and evenmore are at the risk of flooding. To avoid this, it is advised that the property should be checked on the Flood Map at the Environment Agency’s website. Results will show the extent of a possible flood and also provides a detailed assessment of the area.

We will take care of organising searches that help assess the risk of registering titles in areas where it is possible. 

Chancel Repair Search

A Chancel Search is a check to see if you’re liable to pay possibly up to tens of £1,000s towards the repair and upkeep of your local church in England and Wales.

A search will be made of The National Archives of the historical records for the parish your property (the one you’re looking to buy) is located in to see if you might face this claim in the future.

The chancel repair search returned is headed up as either:

  • A certificate: a warranty that the area of land selected falls within a parish which does not have the ability to claim for chancel repair liability; or
  • A report: this chancel check search result is returned when the area of land selected falls within a parish which has the ability to claim for chancel repair liability.

When the chancel repair liability search is returned as a report, normally you can then get chancel liability insurance – also known as chancel search indemnity insurance – to cover you against any future claims. We can help you with all you need to know about this.

Mining Search

If you are buying in a mining area, mining searches when buying a house will provide vital information on the history of mining near the property and if this affects the house. Properties built on old mining grounds are at risk of a variety of costly issues, especially subsidence.

Who Needs Conveyancing Searches?

Sometimes cash buyers decide not to proceed with searches on a property. However, you may decide that a few hundred pounds spent on house searches is a worthwhile expense. Especially when considering the cost of a home and the security it gives.

If you are taking out a mortgage, your lender will likely insist that property searches are made. They will want to be sure that the money they are lending you will not be invested into a property that has a chance of being worth less in future. 

How Long Do Property Searches Take?

It’s important to note that the turnaround for searches on a property can range from a few days to several weeks depending on how fast the relevant authority acts and how many they carry out per month.

What Can Delay Searches?

You might have a delay in receiving the results from the house buying searches if your local authority is slow to act or has a manual system. This can slow down the process by a few weeks. However, most local authorities have or are in the process of using an online system with the rise of online portals such as Moving Buddies.

If your searches reveal anything worrying, we might have to order further searches which will delay the process. They sometimes might recommend taking out indemnity insurance for peace of mind in certain situations.

Moving Buddies

From finding a conveyancer, estate agent, or mortgage broker, to looking for a surveyor and setting up your new utilities, we’ve got it all. Plus, any legal tasks that you need to complete can easily be taken care of in your portal. Let’s make your move stress-free together!

Related Posts