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What searches are involved in conveyancing?

Conveyancing searches are the standard enquiries which are conducted by a property purchaser’s solicitor or conveyancer prior to the legal purchase of the property. Searches can provide critical information about properties and should not be neglected in the buying process. Although a cash property buyer could proceed with a property purchase without undertaking conveyancing searches, this is a risky approach to take. If you are purchasing a property via a mortgage from a recognised lender, you will be obliged to obtain conveyancing searches as part of the mortgage agreement.

So, what searches are involved in conveyancing?

The searches required for your property purchase will very much depend on the geographical location of the house, as various specialist searches are required for properties which could be located in areas likely to be at risk. All properties will require a search with the local authority and some conveyancers conduct a drainage and water search or an environmental search on every property, however this is not an essential.

Searches can provide details that are important for the buyer to know – for example if the road leading to your new home is a public adopted highway, because if it is a private road you could be liable for the costs of maintaining it. Other important details shown by searches could include the location of any mine shafts in the vicinity or whether your new home would be subject to any planning enforcement notifications.

The following list of searches will only be applicable for property searches in geographic areas likely to be affected:

– coal mining search
– chancel liability search
– commons registration searches
– tin mine search
– Cheshire brine searches
– British Waterways search
– gypsum search
– search of index map
– lead mining
– china clay search
– plan search
– limestone search

Some other rare searches are also available, and your conveyancing solicitor will advise you of anything else that is needed when instructed to take on the purchase of your new property.

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