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When purchasing a property, there is a lot to learn about your new home before you sign on the dotted line and hand over your hard-earned cash. 

Your appointed residential conveyancing solicitors will run several essential property searches and possibly some recommended additional checks too, but what are these searches? 

Here we provide you with basic explanations of the most common searches.

Local Authority Searches 

Local Authority searches cover a number of issues and are used to ensure buyers are aware of any issues that may affect enjoyment of the property after completion. 

These searches will check factors such as whether a property is within a conservation area, if there are any nearby planning issues or a property’s proximity to railway lines. 

For example, if the property you are purchasing has been altered in any way the Local Search will reveal whether planning permission was sought (if required) and if so whether a Building Regulation Completion Certificate was issued by Building Control.  

Water Authority Searches

A water authority search will check a number of elements such as where the property’s water comes from and how it enters the property, as well as if the drains run through the boundary of your property as this may prevent future extensions being built. 

Chancel Repair Searches

Hundreds of years ago, there were liabilities on properties to help pay for church repairs. Although these are no longer set, some properties may have leftover charges still owed on them, therefore a chancel repair search is necessary.    

Environmental Searches

Provided by either Landmark or Groundsure, this report provides information on whether the property is on or near contaminated land. This will check for many things, including:

• Landfill sites

• Past or present industry sites

• Flood predictions 

• Radon gas hazard 

• Ground stability 

Possible Further Searches May Include… 

Your residential conveyancing solicitor may also recommend you run a few optional searches. These may include:

• Mining searches

• Additional Local Authority searches on common land, noise abatement zones, public paths etc. 

• Commons registration searches 

Find Out More About Residential Conveyancing 

Have further questions about buying or selling a home? Learn more by reading our residential conveyancing page or by contacting our friendly, expert team on 0808 178 2773. 

Read more:

FAQ: What Disbursements Do First Time Buyers Need to Consider?

What You Need to Know Before Buying a House

FAQ Series: Can You Claim for Undisclosed Property Issues?

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