What are searches?

Searches are various checks completed by your conveyancer and will pick up any problems with your property.

Written by John Cullen
Updated over a week ago

One of the first things your conveyancing solicitor will do is carry out searches on the property you wish to buy.

What are searches?

Searches are various checks to determine whether there is any good reason not to buy the property.

Because searches typically take more than a month, your solicitors will kick start the process after you’ve had an offer accepted on a property.

Why are they important?

Plenty of not-so-nice surprises can crop up when buying a house. Although the cost of searches isn’t too appealing, it’s better to know in advance if there are any problems. You don't want to buy a home that you’ll struggle to sell later.

What do the searches search for?

Local Authority searches highlight any issues to consider in the surrounding land, such as responsibility for footpaths, conservation area status and tree preservation orders.

Environmental searches check for environmental issues, such as land contamination. An enhanced search can flag issues like waste sites or if a property lies in a flood plain.

Water authority searches identify the source of water and drainage for the property. They also check whether any public sewers exist within the property boundary which may affect future development projects.

Land Registry searches are to prove that the seller is actually the legal owner of the property you’re buying. This is a legal obligation. You have to make sure they are legally able to sell it!

There are plenty of others that may be relevant, depending on the property you're buying!

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