Local authority searches are an important part of due diligence during conveyancing. These searches are to protect your interests, and the findings will help you make a more informed decision about whether or not to go ahead with buying the property as well as whether the price is right or you have grounds for negotiation. Similarly, banks will insist on these searches if you are taking out a mortgage.
Local authority searches reveal, among other things, the following pertinent information.
Specifics of Property Location
You will want to ensure you know all the fine details about the land on which the property is built during conveyancing. Is the property you intend on buying located in a designated conservation area? Is the land on which the property is built contaminated? Local area searches will provide with these and more details on property location.
Maintenance of Footpaths and Roads
Local authority searches during conveyancing will also establish to whom the responsibility of maintaining footpaths and roads near the property falls. Will the local authorities be responsible for this maintenance, or are the roads privately maintained? If it is the latter, this means that you, as the new property owner will incur additional costs, and this is something to factor in when making your final decision.
Planning Decisions That Affect the Property
During conveyancing, you want to know if there are plans to construct new infrastructure such as roads and other structures like shopping malls. Any such constructions will significantly affect the value of the property, which, as a buyer, you should know during the conveyancing process.
Record of Violations
Local authority searches will also show whether or not there is a record of planning permission violations against your property. Your conveyancing solicitors will check to see if there are outstanding enforcement notices against your property and how these can be resolved.
As highlighted, local area searches are a crucial part of the conveyancing process, and the findings will greatly influence several decisions going forward. The sooner your property solicitor can make arrangements to begin the searches, the better. Regarding how long the searches will take, the period will vary from one local authority to the next. You can expect to get back the findings within a week or more.
Local authority searches are conducted when the conveyancing process is just starting, alongside other searches. The findings of these searches are essential in helping to make an informed decision. For more information, reach out to a professional who provides conveyancing services.