Conveyancing Searches – What Are They, And How They Can Affect A Property Sale

Posted by on Aug 30, 2022 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Conveyancing Searches – What Are They, And How They Can Affect A Property Sale

There are so many uncertainties about land sales and acquisition these days. House buyers want to eliminate as much risk as possible while sellers want to get the most value for their properties.

As a player in the UK property market, the more you know about your property the better. Both house buyers and sellers need the knowledge that conveyancing searches provide.

This article explains conveyancing searches in detail, highlights the major types, and discusses how it affects property sale.

conveyance searches

What are Conveyancing Searches?

Conveyancing searches are extensive inquiries carried out on a property. It helps buyers to find out all the necessary information about the land or a building.
It is conducted by a conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor on behalf of the house buyer, before acquisition. Typically they use a UK  conveyance search company who work to high standards and ensure accuracy of the results.

A conveyancing search is a process that could span from several days to months, depending on the property and location.

It entails the submission of inquiries to several authorities and it helps to discover details undisclosed by the property seller.
These details include several factors that might affect the property in the future, previous land use, and facilities such as drainage systems, among a host of others.

The Council Of Property Search Ogranisations (CoPSO) is the major trade association for the property search industry.

Types of Conveyancing Search

There are several types of conveyancing searches carried out on a property. Several factors that determine the type of search that might be necessary include type of property, location of the property, demands of your lender in case of a mortgage, possible risks identified in preliminary searches, etc.

However, there are three basic conveyancing searches necessary for any property. They are:
Local Authority search
Water and drainage search
Environmental search

Local Authority searches reveal community planning issues surrounding the property. It is the report of the local council regarding a building or property and its community.

It also reveals building restrictions and regulations in the neighborhood where the property is situated. There are two aspects of local authority searches. They are the LLC1 and the CON29
Local Land Charges (LLC1)
The Local Land Charges register is a record kept by all local authorities in the UK. It is a compilation of all complaints or charges against a property. Conducting an LLC1 search helps you know:
All financial charges associated with the property
If the building is listed
All planning agreements.
If there are notices for light obstructions.

The CON29 contains additional information about a property not contained in the LLC1. It reveals the local authority’s plans for future development in the area that might affect the building. This search includes the required section (CON29) and the optional section (CON29O).

Water and Drainage Search

Another crucial search to consider when acquiring a property is the quality of the water and drainage system. This search entails an application to the local water company in charge of the building.

It helps to ascertain the availability and quality of pipes, drains, and sewers on the property. This search helps to confirm the condition of public sewers and waterways in the area. There are two major types of water and drainage searches in the UK. These are:

Official drainage and water search

The official drainage and water search is also called the residential drainage and water search. It gives basic information on water systems. These include water supply, sewer system, and water billing arrangements. The CON29 local authority search also makes a provision for this, called the CON29DW.

Regulated drainage and water search

The regulated drainage and water search provides information on sewers, foul water, etc.

Environmental Search

This search covers all environmental issues surrounding the property. This search is conducted by an environmental agency at the request of your conveyancing solicitor. It evaluates previous and current use of the land or property. It checks for activities that might present risk such as:
Previous mining activities on the land
Contamination due to landfills e.g. toxic chemicals
Previous or current industrial activities on the property or the area
Flooding risks
Ground stability
Radon gas

Other types of conveyancing searches include:

Commons Registration Search

A large percentage of land is Common land. This type of land is accessible to the whole community and cannot be accessed by vehicles. Conducting a Commons Registration Search helps you ensure that the property you plan to buy is not affected by the Commons Registration Act.

Disadvantaged Areas Relief Search

The disadvantaged Areas Relief plan is a program that exempted residents of some areas from stamp duty. However, this scheme was abolished in 2013.
Planning Search
High-Speed Rail Search
Land Charges
Title Search

Why should you conduct Conveyancing Searches?

If you are looking to fund your building project with a mortgage plan, you will be required to conduct a conveyancing search. Most lenders make this a requirement.

However, you should still consider having conveyancing searches even if you are funding your project yourself.

There are a lot of risks involved in property acquisition. As a house buyer, conducting a conveyancing search will put your mind at rest regarding the property you plan to buy. It will also help you rule out all doubts and prevent unpleasant future surprises.

Conveyancing Searches are not only relevant for buyers. As a seller, a proper conveyancing search will help you determine the value of your property. You understand the risks, challenges, or opportunities of your property and you can demand the right value for it.

How do conveyancing searches affect property sales?

Properties are priced based on their observed values and qualities. There are a lot of things that affect the value of a property. Some of these include:
Location of the property
Market performance
Property age and condition
Economic factors
Interest rate, etc.

Buyers make offers based on their estimation of these factors. The goal of conveyancing searches is to unveil information about the property and determine its overall condition.

Information gotten from these searches can increase or reduce the value of a property in the estimation of buyers. For example, properties with high flood risk will yield less for a seller than one with no flood risk. Also, a property with no proper water or sewer system will not attract many offers.

Also, Conveyancing Searches are a requirement when purchasing a house with a loan. In this case, the lender determines what searches are necessary. Most house buyers subscribe to loans. Hence, the higher a property performs during conveyancing searches, the better its prospect of attracting offers.

Final Thoughts

Conveyancing Searches are important in the real estate business. Both house buyers and sellers stand to benefit from a proper inquiry. It is not sufficient to find a good house, you should also find out all you can about it. Search outcomes would help you make informed choices about your purchase.

You might decide to:
Cancel the purchase altogether
Decide to resolve the issues and go on with the sale.

As a house seller, you should also go beyond merely putting up a house for sale. You should understand all factors that could affect your house sale.

We all want to be careful about our investments. Property sale and acquisition involve a lot of cash exchange. Proper Conveyancing Searches will help you make the right decisions.