What Are Local Authority Searches?
June 9, 2020

What are Local Authority Searches
When buying a property, local authority searches are required by mortgage lenders to ascertain information about the property and the surrounding area. Local authority searches are conducted by an appointed solicitor to help buyers avoid nasty surprises with their newly purchased home.

Local Authority Searches Explained

There are two main types of local authority searches which are required by mortgage lenders, these are, the Local Land Charge Register (LLC1) and the highway-related CON29. Local authority searches give buyers valuable knowledge about any potential problems or regulations which property (or surrounding land) may be subject to, e.g. if the property is built on contaminated land or in a radon-affected area.

When purchasing a property, it is essential to have as much information about the property and the surrounding area as possible. Local authority searches provide information to the mortgage lender, but they are also essential to help you identify any issues with the property itself or the surrounding area.

Property Searches

The first section of local authority searches regards information about the property itself. The LLC1 will provide information about whether your potential property is a listed building, in a conservation area, in a tree preservation area or a smoke control area.

Knowing that your property is subject to any of these issues is crucial, as there are considerable regulations and restrictions which will need to be abided if you go through with the property purchase. On the other hand, you may choose not to go ahead with the purchase if you find out that your property is a listed building, as listed buildings incur more costs than non-listed buildings, e.g. higher insurance premiums and more expensive upkeep.

Surrounding Area Searches

The last thing anyone wants is to move into their lovely new home which is built on a quiet country lane, to find out a few months down the road that there will be a new supermarket or highway built right next door!

The second part of the mandatory local authority searches (CON29) helps to avoid new homeowners from falling into this trap by running searches on the area surrounding your potential new property. In particular, the CON29 search focuses on any new proposals for new roads, traffic schemes and development plans which will affect your property. The CON29 checks for new roads or traffic schemes, contaminated land, planning decisions, building regulations, radon, and sometimes other environmental and pollution notices.

To learn the best way to approach your property search and the steps you should take, contact the experts at Bowsers Solicitors today.