What are Searches in Conveyancing? 
May 20, 2024

It’s a phrase you might have heard when discussing a property purchase, and many people are familiar with the concept. However, do you really know what is involved in the searches a solicitor undertakes as part of the conveyancing process? 

In this blog, our experienced Residential Conveyancers shed some more light on conveyancing searches and answer your frequently asked questions. 

What are searches in conveyancing? 

Searches are a key stage in the conveyancing process. They are usually undertaken by your solicitor after you have had an offer accepted and before you sign a contract of sale. 

Conveyancing searches are designed to find more information about the property you are interested in and expose any issues before you are legally bound to the purchase. 

What searches do solicitors do? 

A conveyancer will complete three main searches when you are buying a property. These are:  

  1. Local authority search. A local authority search reveals any issues that might affect the property directly and can forewarn of any restrictions a property may have imposed on it.  

There are two parts to a local authority search: 

  • Local land charges certificate (LLC1). This reveals if the property: 
  • Is a listed building. 
  • Has debts registered against it. 
  • Is in a conservation area. 
  • Is subject to a tree preservation order. 
  • Is in a smoke control area. 
  • Enquiries of the local authority (CON29). This form helps to determine if the property will remain a worthwhile investment in years to come by highlighting, for example: 
  • Any proposals for new roads or traffic schemes. 
  • Any planning decisions that might affect your property.  
  • Whether it is on the contaminated land register. 
  1. Environmental search. An environmental search surveys historical and current land records to reveal any potential land contamination related to past use. It gives you information about: 
  • Flood risk. 
  • Ground stability (i.e. subsidence risk). 
  • Historical coal mining. 
  • Radon gas. 
  • Energy and infrastructure (power stations, wind or solar farms). 
  • Development constraints. 
  1. Water and Drainage search. This will confirm: 
  • Whether the property is connected to a mains water supply.  
  • Whether the property is connected to a public sewer. 
  • How the property is charged for water and wastewater services. 

A conveyancer can also undertake additional searches depending on the exact nature of the property or if you have any particular concerns that requires further investigation. 

Supplementary searches a conveyancer can complete include: 

  • Neighbourhood search.  
  • Flood search. 
  • Mining searches. 
  • Energy and Infrastructure search. 
  • High-Speed Rail 2 (HS2) search. 
  • Underground railways search. 
  • Commons Registration. 

How long do searches take? 

Searches generally take about four weeks to complete but may take longer during busy periods. 

At Bowsers Solicitors, we utilise the best technology to ensure an efficient, cost-effective, and fast conveyancing service. 

If you are buying or selling a property and need legal advice from a specialist, contact us today. For many years, we have provided quality conveyancing services in Wisbech, March and the surrounding areas. 

For an instant conveyancing quote, click here

To speak to one of our team, call on 01945 583194 (Wisbech) or 01354 652606 (March), or email reception@bowsers.co.uk. Alternatively, you can fill in our contact form

Are conveyancing searches compulsory? 

If you are buying a property with a mortgage, searches are mandatory. Your mortgage lender will usually inform your conveyancer what searches are required before they release your funds. 

Conveyancing searches should be a crucial part of the home-buying process even if you are a cash buyer. 

Searches are essential in highlighting any issues with a property and ultimately dictate whether a house sale or purchase goes through.  

If any issues come to light, these must be concluded to the satisfaction of the seller and the buyer before the purchase can proceed. 

Conveyancing Solicitors Wisbech and March 

Buying or selling a property can be stressful. Seeking advice from an experienced conveyancing solicitor provides valuable peace of mind and ensures your transaction runs smoothly. 

At Bowsers, we have a wealth of experience selling and buying leasehold and freehold properties in March, Wisbech and across Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk. 

 Our conveyancing legal service includes:  

  • Sale and Purchase of Freehold and Leasehold Properties. 
  • First-time Buyers. 
  • Buy-to-Let. 
  • Remortgage, Equity Release and Transfer of Equity. 
  • Landlord and Tenant. 
  • Lease Extensions. 
  • Development Land. 

We are proud to be accredited by The Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), a recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing practices. 

If you are looking for property law advice, please contact our experienced conveyancing solicitors and chartered legal executives today on 01945 583194 (Wisbech) or 01354 652606 (March), or email reception@bowsers.co.uk. Alternatively, you can fill in our contact form

Find out more about our residential conveyancing service by clicking here