Conveyancing Searches: A Responsibility of the Property Buyer

Law Blog

Conveyancing searches are very important as far as property purchase is concerned. They simply help buyers know aspects about the property that they would otherwise have not known from physical inspection. Conveyancing solicitors or lawyers often carry out a number of property searches on behalf of their clients during property purchase. The local authority search is one of the most fundamental conveyancing searches. The overall objective of a local authority search is to disclose any legal restrictions as well as responsibilities that may pertain to a piece of land or property in question. Read on to find what a local authority search entails.

What a local authority search can reveal

The search can disclose planning permissions and restrictions, which specify regulations on development control. It specifies what may and may not be constructed in the property and minimum construction standards. Furthermore, the search may also disclose any future development plans that may affect the piece of land in the future. For instance, plans to construct a new road or railway system adjacent to the property. Knowing this piece of information earlier in advance can help a potential buyer make an informed decision.

Secondly, the search may reveal responsibilities or obligations that pertain to the owners of the land. Take the example of a roadway or footpath; its preservation and routine maintenance may fall squarely on the shoulders of leaseholders or landowners, not the local council. Basically, this helps to clearly outline if the local council is accountable for the maintenance costs or if the footpaths and roadways are private and thus maintenance expenses lie with the owners of the property.

Thirdly, the search may disclose any land charges against the parcel of land or property that would be particularly binding to successive occupiers or landowners, such as payment owing to the local council resulting from work they have previously carried out such as tree preservation and conservation areas.

Why the need?

Basically, it's important in every property conveyancing purchase in order to steer clear of any nasty disclosures after moving into the new house. At one end of the scale, you may use the information gathered from a local authority search to renegotiate a cost reduction, and alternatively, you may opt to pull out of the acquisition altogether. Moreover, if you are purchasing the property with the help of a mortgage, it's a stipulation of the lender that you carry out up-to-date and official searches on the land or property.


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