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What Is a Local Authority Search in Conveyancing Transactions?

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There are several components which add to the due diligence performed by your conveyancing solicitor on your new property. A local authority search is one of the important components and may be extremely revealing in a good way for the property buyer. This article explains what a local authority search is and its importance in conveyancing transactions.

Why the Need?

Basically, a local authority search is important in every conveyancing transaction; that's if you do not want any horrible surprises once you've purchased the property. It's undertaken to identify further information regarding the property that often is not obvious even upon physical inspection. It reveals information known by the local authority regarding the property. At one end, you may use the information gathered from the search to renegotiate a reduction of the property price and at the other end you can opt to discontinue with the purchase altogether. If you're getting a mortgage, one of the lender's requirements is to have the local authority search carried out so this means you'll have to fulfill the property search condition.

What's Included in a Local Authority Search?

Here are some of the information that will you gather from the local authority search. You will ultimately know:

  • whether the roads and footpaths neighboring the home are publicly maintained or if it's the responsibility of the residents residing around that area.
  • whether the local council authority has in place any plans for major or minor road schemes adjacent to or affecting the property.
  • if there are any planning decisions in place affecting the property.
  • whether the property is located in or nearby contaminated land.
  • whether the property is located in a conservation area or the existence of a tree preservation directive.
  • whether there are any debts or charges owed to the local council by the property.
  • any enforcement notices for contravention of planning permissions in respect to the property.

What a Authority Search Won't Do                                         

The local authority search will not perform a physical assessment of the property. Instead, it's only data based. In other words, it's the records at the local authority concerning the property that are assessed to reveal any underlying issues It's always the duty of the property buyer to organize and pay for a local authority search which is carried out by the conveyancer on behalf of the buyer.

To learn more about local authority searches, contact local companies that help with conveyancing