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Last edited 04 Jan 2021
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.
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