When purchasing a property, if you are securing a mortgage on the property, it is compulsory to obtain property searches (not to be mistaken with a survey). These are optional if you are a “cash buyer”, but we would recommend searches be obtained in all instances.

There may be matters that you do not know about from just from viewing the property with an estate agent or even getting a survey, this is why, we as your solicitors will do a set of legal searches to ensure there are no other factors you should be aware of. Some searches will be recommended by the solicitor for all purchases and others will be required by your mortgage lender to protect them from any liabilities that the property may have.

The compulsory searches

– Local authority searches: are there plans for a motorway in your new garden? How about radioactive gas? Are there any planning notices or financial charges against the property, that you would be liable for. These costs between £80 – £200 depending on the Local Authority and usually takes 2- 3 weeks, but can take up to 6 weeks.

-Water authority searches – find out how you get your water and if any public drains on the property might affect extensions or building works. The water authority search will cost between £50 – £75.

  • Environmental Search –The report will give information about contaminated land at or around the property, landfill sites, former and current industry, detailed flooding predictions, radon gas hazard, ground stability issues, and some other related information. The cost should be around £50 – £60.

Optional and location specific searches sometimes extra searches are required or recommended depending on the location or type of property or due to particular concerns raised by the mortgage company.

These could include:

  • Mining searches in various parts of the UK (including Staffordshire) and Cheshire Brine searches
  • Additional Local Authority Questions such as Public Paths, Pipelines, Noise Abatement Zones, Common Land, etc.
  • Tin mining searches

Our New Build department offers a nationwide service with a local approach for residential property sales, purchases, part exchanges and plot purchases. Contact us or calls us on 01270 750057 for your free quote and a friendly service at an affordable price.