- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 10 Jul 2018
When buying property or land, it is generally recommended that a series of legal searches are carried out to identify potential problems that may affect the price the client is prepared to pay, whether a mortgage lender is prepared to finance the purchase, or may result in withdrawal of an offer altogether.
- Local search: Made by the relevant local authority regarding any outstanding planning notices or decisions affecting the property, whether it is listed or in a conservation area, whether there are public footpaths and rights of way, whether any council grants need to be repaid, and so on.
- Planning search: Has a wider scope than the local search, and provides information on planning consents and applications for properties in the vicinity.
- Drainage and water search: Made by the local drainage and water supply company for information about connections to the property.
- Bankruptcy search: To check that the purchaser has not been made bankrupt.
- Environmental search: Undertaken by a specialist company to report on any potential environmental problems which could affect the property.
- Flood risk report: Typically for properties close to water courses.
- Coal search: For properties situated in areas where coal deposits are known to exist and there may be mining activity.
- Tin and other mining search: Particularly relevant for properties situated in areas where tin and other metals have been mined (such as Cornwall and Devon).
- Chancel search: For properties which may be subject to chancel repair liability.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
What future infrastructure provision might look like.
Highlighting the health benefits of home improvement.
Pavilions for music, entertainment, and leisure. Book review.
Broadening our understanding of Dublin’s chequered social history.
The charm of London's Cabmen's shelters.
Future Weather Files research tool looking for feedback.
Exploring the Colour Rendering Index.
Why it's important to find out what went wrong.
ECA reviews the shape of the construction job market.
Why proper room acoustics make a difference.
Initiative puts gas networks on the path to net zero.
WICE Woman Architectural Technologist of the Year 2019.
Traditional low-energy approaches to comfort.
Revisiting the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Ashford.
USA In-Use Version 6 is now available.
The rise of architectural barbarism.
In contentious political contexts heritage can be more fractious.