Why do I need to have searches for a property?

28/09/2020

Buying a property may be one of the most expensive purchases you are likely to make. Therefore, before committing yourself to a property purchase, it seems obvious that you want to ensure that you know all you can about the property. 

People sometimes see the additional cost of searches as an unnecessary expense on top of an already expensive undertaking. However, we want you, as our clients, to realise the value of searches and how they could in fact save you thousands of pounds. 

As your conveyancer, we want to ensure that you are happy with the property that you are purchasing and that you understand as much about the property as is possible in order to make a fully informed decision as to exactly what you are buying. In addition, if you are buying the property with a mortgage, lenders will need to be satisfied from various searches that there is nothing that could adversely affect the value of the property.

We will always investigate the title of the property you are purchasing but there are also several different types of searches that we, as your conveyancer, are required to conduct before you purchase your property.

These include:

> Local Authority; 
> Drainage and water; and
> Environmental.

Please note: the geographical location of the property you wish to purchase will affect the types of recommended searches, for example if the property is near Newcastle, a mining search will often be recommended. 

What happens if a search result raises an issue?

The time it takes for search results to be obtained can vary depending on a number of factors. These include the location of the property, the number and type of searches that need to be conducted and the response times to search requests from external bodies.

Typically, searches will take around 2-3 weeks but may take longer for more specialised searches.

We will keep in regular contact with you in respect of the timescales given by the respective search providers for responding. Once we receive the results of all the searches, we will report to you on the results and their implications. In addition, we may need to ask additional enquiries of the Seller’s solicitor should the results require further investigation.

We will also work with you to resolve any issues which are flagged up by the search results including the possibility of taking out an indemnity insurance policy if applicable. There are times when the results of a search may unearth something of which you are completely unaware. For example, tree preservation orders over all the trees in the garden of the property you wish to purchase or a drain in the middle of the property over which the drainage and water undertaker requires access.

On other occasions, the results of a search may provide you with more information about something you may be aware of but didn’t fully understand how it may affect the property. For example, confirmation that part of the road in front of, or near your house is not publically maintained which then requires further investigation as to what rights of access the property enjoys over the road and also whether there are any cost implications for the owner of the property. 

Searches will allow you to make informed decisions with all of the facts available. 

If you don’t find out about an issue with, or at, a property until the sale has gone through you have no or little recourse from the seller or authorities. 

During your transaction, we will talk to you about the searches you will need, any additional searches you should consider and the fees payable.


Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate and correct, the information provided does not constitute any form of advice, recommendation or opinion. DPM Legal Services Limited accepts no liability for any loss or damage, howsoever caused, as a result of any reliance on any information provided.