4 Important Conveyancing Searches to Do Before Buying Property

Law Blog

Conveyancing or property searches are formal enquiries that are made on your behalf to uncover important details on property you wish to buy. These searches form an integral part of due diligence during the home-buying process. If using a solicitor, he/she will contact the local authorities as well as other parties to unearth any important details you should be privy to before making the final decision to buy.

Property searches can reveal details like possibilities for future developments which would adversely affect your property or its value, access rights and common drains, property liens and quality of the ground on which the property sits among other details. Below are common types of searches and how they will impact your buying decision. Based on the findings above, the solicitor may recommend additional searches or advise you to buy or not buy your desired property.

1. The local authority search

This is the most important search, and it will reveal many details including proximity of property to conservation areas, tube/railway lines and road works and planning permissions for developments that may affect the property among other details. Usually, the conveyancing solicitor enquires about plans for any empty land lots and nearby buildings as certain future developments may affect your quality of life in the property. Local authority searches have different costs depending on the level of detail required.

2. Search to selling conveyancer

A property's seller should reveal any details that may make a major impact on your purchase decision as a show of good faith. However, it's important for your solicitor to make a formal request for this information to avoid any omissions that could affect you negatively. Your solicitor asks the seller's solicitor to give details on property boundaries, past and present disputes, property liens, planning permissions and constraints, utility providers, rights of way, any guarantees or outstanding warranties, home content details and any restrictive agreements/covenants.

3. Water, drainage and utility search

From the above information, it's important to contact the water company servicing your prospective property for confirmation that they indeed maintain the piping, sewers and drains of the property. In addition, ask them and other utility providers whether they have a right to use any part of the property for electricity or telephone lines or water/gas supply piping. Your solicitor should finally confirm whether there are any public supply lines already running on the property and proximity to the public sewerage system.

4. Environmental search

Lastly, the environmental search reveals whether previous land usage may have created an environmental risk. This is also the search which reveals potential for flooding if near the sea or other water body, risk of contamination from historic waste disposal sites or landfills nearby and risk of land subsidence/sinking.


25 April 2017

Probate Law: What You Need to Know

Hello, my name is Jenny and this is my probate law blog. I should say now, I am not a lawyer and I have not had any professional legal training. However, I do know a thing or two about probate. I taught myself a lot after the death of my grandma. My grandma left a lot of money and property behind, but unfortunately, she didn't leave a will. This lead to several family members staking a claim on the inheritance. I instructed a lawyer to act on my mother's behalf to ensure that she was not cheated out of her share.