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What are property searches and do I need them?
When buying a property it is important to ensure that all of the relevant searches are carried out prior to purchase so that any important issues that may affect the value or security of your property may be identified.
Certain areas require specific searches depending on the location of the property. For example in North Staffordshire and South Cheshire there are several searches that must be done including mining and Cheshire brine reports due to the industrial history in the area which has caused damage to some properties.
There are a number of different searches that your conveyancer can carry out and they may well uncover potentially costly issues which otherwise you would have been unaware of.
Those issues might be as simple as making you aware of protected trees in the garden, a flooding risk or the fact that a developer has plans to build 90 new homes on the land behind the property.
Your mortgage provider (if applicable) will want to ensure that their interest in the property is protected and will require searches to be carried out. These searches are listed as “Search Pack” and will appear in your conveyancing fees breakdown.
Tinsdills Conveyancing Team will be able to explain each of the searches in more detail for you; below is a summary of the searches we provide to our clients when purchasing a property:
The Land Registry maintains the registers of ‘title’ to freehold and leasehold land in England and Wales, in other words who owns or leases land or property. Registering your property is the best way to safeguard its ownership – we can make an application for registration of your property’s title to the land registry on your behalf.
If you have any issues with your title deeds we can make the necessary application to the Land Registry to resolve them, even if your deeds have been lost.
These searches are not physical surveys of the property, but instead based on data available. Local searches will be used to identify for example footpaths adjoining the property are publicly maintained or if there are plans for a new road bypass in the immediate vicinity of the property. There may be outstanding planning applications on the property or it could be situated in a conservation area.
Drainage Searches will help define if there is suitable drainage at the property and also potentially where the major pipes for that drainage are situated on the property.
Mining searches will advise you if the property is in a former coal mining area and advice on the distance from the coal mines and if there are any issues on emissions or other hazards linked with a historic mine.