Conveyancing searches | A guide to the common and not so common

Conveyancing Searches are a necessity on a property purchase. Searches ensure you know as much as possible about the property you are buying.

If you are buying with the aid of a mortgage it is a requirement of the lender that your property lawyer obtains up to date and valid searches on the property.

In-Deed have created this conveyancing guide to detail some of the searches that will or may be obtained by your lawyer. It is important to check with your property lawyer, which searches will be required on your property and if the cost is included in your conveyancing quote. All the searches below are included in In-Deed’s quotes.

 

Brine search
Coal search
Clay and Tin Mining searches
The water and drainage search
Environmental search
Land registry priority search
Bankruptcy search
Chancel repair liability

 

Brine search

A Brine Search is required when there’s a chance of structural damage from brine seeping in to a property. Affecting parts of Cheshire and some parts of Greater Manchester, this search is often referred to as a ‘Cheshire Brine Search’.

Coal search

A coal Search is often required in areas where coal mining has previously taken place. It can also tell you if there’s any current mining activity or any plan for coal mining in the future which is likely to affect your property.

Clay and Tin Mining searches

These are usually required on properties located in and around Cornwall and are similar in nature to the Coal Search but relating specifically to tin or clay mining history.

The water and drainage search

Your lawyer will obtain this search from the Local Water Authority. This search details how the water is supplied to the property and how the property drainage system works and who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of it.

A Water and Drainage Search will detail whether the property is connected to the mains water and drainage systems, the location of the nearest public sewer and whether there is a public sewer within the boundaries of the property.

Environmental search

An environmental search looks at the past uses of the land on which the property you are thinking of buying is built to see whether there’s a chance of it previously having been contaminated and whether there are any other environmental concerns that may affect the property.

Land registry priority search

The Land Registry Priority Search is a search against the up to date records held by HM Land Registry relating to the property to check that no one has lodged any rights or interests in the property since your lawyers checked the seller’s right to sell. Provided the result is clear it ensures that no one can register any such right or interest on the property for 30 days from the date of the search. This search is usually undertaken just before legal completion of the purchase takes place and your lawyers will then register your ownership of the property within this 30 day period to ensure that you have exclusive rights of ownership.

Bankruptcy search

This search is carried out to find out whether any potential borrower has been made bankrupt or has any other court judgement (previous or pending) against them, as bankruptcy can negatively affect your credit rating and reduce your ability to borrow money. Some banks and mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend to someone who has been made bankrupt.

Chancel Repair Liability

Chancel Repair Law dates back to medieval times where parishioners were responsible for the repair of the nave and the rector. Now, any owners of properties sitting on “Rectorial land” (thought to exist in about 5300 parishes) can be held responsible for the upkeep of the parish Church, with the Church able to demand limitless amounts of money for repair work. Furthermore, if your property is found to fall under this law it could makes the property worthless, uninsurable and unsellable. Not nice!

 

Related conveyancing articles:
What is a Local Authority Search | A conveyancing guide
In-Deed’s solicitors de-mystify the conveyancing process
First time buyers guide | Budgeting for your move