What searches are involved in buying a property?

The most common searches obtained on a purchase are a local authority search (which details planning applications, listed building applications etc) and a water and drainage search (to confirm that you are connected to the water mains and sewerage system). Contrary to popular belief, the Local Search only covers the immediate vicinity of the property. It will not warn you of any potential large-scale developments in the area. It’s worthwhile asking the local authority about any approvals for development of nearby land. Your conveyancer will also need to obtain an environmental search. This will detail the likelihood of the property lying on contaminated land and any flooding or subsidence risks. If your property is an area once used for coal mining, tin mining or brine extraction your conveyancer may need to carry out additional searches.

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