Whether you are buying a commercial property, or a residential one, property searches will be carried out by your conveyancer to discover issues with the property that may not be registered at the Land Registry, and so cannot be discovered from the title (if registered), and the owner may not know, or simply cannot remember everything. So, what are the common property searches?

Local Authority Search

The local search reveals a variety of useful information regarding a property. 

This report reveals:

  • Planning Permissions and Building Regulations
  • Roads and Public Rights of Way
  • Conservation Areas / Listed Buildings / Tree Preservation Orders
  • Community Infrastructure Levy

All of which is usually very important to buyers!

Drainage search

This will check whether the property is connected to mains water and sewerage.  It cannot be assumed that all properties are, and in our area there are a lot of properties that use septic tanks, and this then leads on to whether it has been registered with the Environment Agency. A drainage search will check if the water is metered or billed on an annual charging basis, and whether there are any sewers or drains within the boundaries which could affect any future plans you may have for building an extension for example.

Environmental Search

This will cover flooding (perhaps hard to consider during this lovely weather!) surface and coastal flooding, fracking, HS2 solar farms and contaminated land.

These are the standard searches which will generally be carried out for you, and will be a requirement if you are borrowing from a commercial lender such as a bank.  Further searches are available such as Mining and Chancel Searches, or a Commons Search, but your conveyancer will advise you if these are necessary depending on the area your property is located in. At Scott Bailey, we do not earn commission from any searches we suggest, and so you know you are only being advised to purchase searches that are wholly in your interest (or are a requirement of your lender!). 

You can choose not to have searches if you do not have a mortgage, but if something is revealed after exchange of contracts, and you chose not to carry out searches (or consider the results properly) you are too late to do anything about. It is far better to be safe than sorry rather than risk incurring costly remedial works, litigation, or you find out that a huge housing estate is about to be built in your back garden and block a beautiful view.

The property team at Scott Bailey has carried out thousands of property purchases and sales throughout the region, and it’s fair to say there are not many streets in the New Forest that our conveyancers have not had experience of. For a truly local and expert service when buying or selling your property, you should contact our trusted team by email at [email protected] or telephone on 01590 676933.