Property searches are an essential part of the conveyancing process and if you are buying with a mortgage, they are mandatory. In this article, we will explain the reason property searches are necessary and explore the various types that will be carried out.

What is the purpose of Property Searches?

When you’re buying a property, it’s not just about what you can see in and around the house, you need to be aware of any potential hidden pitfalls. To do this, your solicitor will acquire a range of searches to be carried out that provide invaluable information as they can highlight any potential issues the new owner may face. Should anything untoward be unveiled, it may influence your decision to proceed with the purchase or enable you to renegotiate terms.

Types of Property Searches:

  1. Local Authority Search: The Local Authority Search reveals crucial details about planning permissions, building regulations, conservation areas, road schemes, and more, helping you make an informed choice. It is important to note that the search only reveals consents which relate to the property searched against. It will not reveal if a neighbouring owner has applied for planning for an extension for example.
  2. Environmental Search: Wouldn’t it be nice to know if your dream home is sitting on an environmental ticking time bomb? The Environmental Search examines whether the property is in areas prone to flooding, landslides, contaminated land, or other environmental risks. such as energy and infrastructure.  The search we carry out at Backhouse also gives details of planning applications within a certain radius of the property.
  3. Drainage and Water Search: Before you take the plunge, you’ll want to make sure you’re not diving into water-related issues. This search checks water and sewage connections, flood risks, and whether the property is connected to a public sewer. It will also identify whether there are drainage assets within the boundaries of your property (this is relevant if you wish to extend your property as you cannot build over sewers without consent of the water and drainage authority).
  4. Chancel Repair Liability Search: Back in medieval times some properties were responsible for church repairs. While it might sound like something from a distant era, it’s still relevant today. The Chancel Repair Liability Search determines if your property carries any financial responsibility for church repairs in the surrounding area, ensuring you don’t receive an unexpected bill once you’ve moved in! At Backhouse we include in the cost of our searches pack an indemnity policy to cover any potential liability, rather than doing the Search itself, as this is way more cost effective and once a liability is established, it is more expensive to obtain insurance cover.

Why do Conveyancers carry out Searches?

Conveyancers are like your property detectives, diligently sifting through information to protect your interests. These searches are a crucial part of due diligence, ensuring you’re fully aware of any potential issues before committing to a purchase. Conveyancers aim to minimize risks and surprises, making your property transaction as smooth and stress-free as possible. Your mortgage lender will also require certain searches to be carried out as part of our protecting their interests, as well as yours.

How we can help:

Property searches are your key to unlocking hidden information, safeguarding your investment, and making an informed decision. The expert team of conveyancers at Backhouse do their utmost to ensure a smooth and successful transaction. To get in touch with the team, please use the contact information below.

Tel:          01245 893400
Visit:       17 Duke Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1JU
Or send us a message through the Contact Us page on this website.