What are Conveyancing Searches

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Conveyancing searches are vital for anyone looking to purchase a property. In its simplest terms, these searches are an integral part of the conveyancing process and involve the solicitor or licensed conveyancer researching the background of a property, to ensure that it is suitable for purchase. Conveyancing searches can include:

  • -local authority searches,
  • -land registry checks
  • -and environmental reports.

These searches arm buyers with useful information when it comes to deciding whether to proceed with a particular house purchase. Furthermore, they make sure that any potential legal issues relating to a property come to light before the completion of the sale contract. Conveyancing searches remain an invaluable foundation piece in any successful transaction.

Also read: What Are Searches When Buying a Property? 


What Are Conveyancing Searches?

Conveyancing searches are enquiries made to local authorities, utility companies and other sources to check that there are no problems with a property before it is bought or sold. The types of search can vary depending on location, but typically include the local authority, drainage and water authority, environmental, chancel repair liability and mining searches.

Also read: The Legal Stages of Selling a House 

Types of Conveyancing Searches

The type of conveyancing search depends on what type of information needs to be obtained about a particular property. Common types of searches include local authority searches, environmental searches, chancel repair liability insurance searches, flood risk assessments, mining reports and water authority reports.

Also read: Conveyancing Fees on Transfer of Property 


Local Authority Searches

A local authority conveyancing search assesses whether there are any planning decisions or restrictions that may affect your proposed purchase, such as listed buildings, conservation areas and building regulations. It also looks at any outstanding debts owed by the current owner to the local council, such as unpaid council tax and business rates. This information can help you decide whether it’s worth pursuing your proposed purchase or not.

Water Authority Searches

A water authority search checks for any historical water defects on the land you’re intending to buy. It will also check if there is public access to any private drainage systems.  This could affect your proposed use of the land.

Environmental Searches

An environmental search looks for potential risks associated with contamination from landfills, industrial sites or hazardous materials sites nearby. It also looks for information regarding ground stability, flooding risk and subsidence issues related to mining activity in the area around your proposed purchase. Results from an environmental search are especially important if you plan on using the land for agricultural purposes or developing it further down the line.

Also read: Can I do my own property conveyancing 


Why Conveyancing Searches are Important?

The purpose of conveyancing searches is to make sure that buyers have all of the necessary information about a property. This can help protect buyers from costly surprises down the road if there were any issues with things like :

    • planning permission
    • or potential liabilities related to chancel repair or mining activity in an area.

By having access to these details early on, buyers will know exactly what they are getting into before signing on the dotted line.

Also read: Can Conveyancing Be Done in 3 Weeks? 


Why Are Conveyancing Searches Necessary?

Conveyancing searches provide insight into any potential risks or liabilities associated with purchasing a particular property. It also helps to identify any potential problems that may arise in the future related to ownership of the property.

By conducting a thorough search of public records and other sources, buyers can make sure that they are not taking on any unwanted liabilities. Conveyancing searches protect both buyers and sellers from making costly mistakes when it comes to buying or selling a property.

Also See: Who Pays The Conveyancing Fees? The Buyer Or The Seller? 


Who Pays for Conveyancing Searches?

In most cases, it is customary for the person buying a property to pay for conveyancing searches. However, if there is any dispute between buyers and sellers regarding which party should pay for these searches then it may be best to consult a solicitor who can help resolve this matter.

Both sides have to be aware that if searches are not completed properly then they could face legal repercussions further down the line. It’s best to get this sorted out before signing any contracts.

Also read: Conveyancing Quality Scheme And Conveyancing Protocol 


How Long Do Conveyancing Searches Take?

Most local authority searches can take up to 10 days to complete while environmental reports can take between 14-21 days.

Chancel repair liability checks usually take between 5-7 days while drainage and water reports can be obtained within 24 hours in most cases.

Again, depending on the nature of the search being conducted and which local authority is involved it can sometimes take longer than this so buyers and sellers must factor this into their timelines when planning their move date or sale completion date respectively.

Also See: How Long Does Conveyancing Take With No Chain? 



In summary, conveyancing searches are an essential part of any house-buying process. They provide valuable information about potential risks associated with purchasing a particular property. That can save both buyers and sellers from costly mistakes down the line.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home then make sure you understand what conveyancing searches entail. They will help you protect against unwanted liabilities arising from your purchase or sale transaction.

You’re 8x times more likely to move with us than with other conveyancers.