What Is An Environmental Search in Conveyancing?

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What is an Environmental Search?

An environmental search is one of the conveyancing searches which is a requisite before buying a property. It reveals prominent information that may influence your decision to go ahead with the purchase.

Related resources for further reading:

  1. What is a licensed conveyancer?
  2. What searches do conveyancers do?
  3. What is a local search in conveyancing?

Environmental searches look for historical records for the property and the surrounding area to check the past use of the land on which the property is built.

These searches focus on whether your buying property is built on or near contaminated land or water. They also inform you about the risk of potential landslides or flooding from nearby rivers, lakes, or any other water source.

In this article, I will discuss everything you need to know about environmental searches in the conveyancing process so you can make precise decisions about purchasing any property.

Let’s get started!

How Relevant are the Environmental Factors?

Environmental factors like a landslide or land pollution have a very relevant role in influencing the decisions of buyers and sellers. The environmental issues on and around a property can make or break the deal as they can pose a life-threatening situation for the inhibitors.

Therefore, you should buy only such properties with no or minor environmental issues.  

How do I Get an Environmental Search?

Conveyancing searches are specific enquiries from your conveyancing solicitor before purchasing a property. They play an impactful role in your property purchasing process, enabling you to make a completely informed decision about the property you intend to buy.

These searches are designed to protect your finances and help stop you from purchasing a property that may lose value in the future or may be dangerous for your health. 

You need to hire an experienced and qualified conveyancing solicitor for an environmental search for any property you intend to buy.

The solicitor can order the environmental search from an environmental agency so that the agency can carry out an environmental search on the property and provide the results. Conducting the environmental search at the beginning of the conveyancing process is recommended as it takes time.

The environmental search is carried out before exchanging contracts between the purchaser and the seller as it enables the purchaser to learn about any damaging information about the property. The search report helps the buyer to make appropriate decisions about buying the property.

Related resources for further reading:

  1. What is the conveyancing process?
  2. Documents required for conveyance deed
  3. What is a home buyer report? Level 2 survey

A third-party provider usually performs the environmental search as they can access all the required and relevant information about the previous land uses on and around the property. All the information disclosed in the search result is accurate as an impartial third-party agency conducts the environmental search.

You can exchange contracts once you have a satisfactory environmental search result about the property to avoid any challenges in the future.

Customer Review:

Ella, Sarah and the team at AVRillo were super helpful throughout. The process itself can be very lengthy and a lot of things happen during the whole house buying process so it is important to have a good level of communication. Fortunately this was something that did happen and at every stage of the process I was given a heads up. Alternatively I always had the option of reaching out to the team and asking them myself. Pleased with the final outcome and I am grateful for all the help from the team.” – Harvey, a satisfied AVRillo client.

What does an Environmental Search Cover?

The environmental search result reveals various significant environmental risks surrounding the property you intend to purchase. The environmental agencies who provide these search results have access to large databases of several environmental information. 

Here are some of the significant risks involved that an environmental search report covers:

  1. Flood risks
  2. Ground stability or the subsidence risk 
  3. Landslide risks
  4. Historical coal mining
  5. Contamination risks to the land, such as waste or landfill site
  6. Energy and infrastructure, for instance, power stations, solar or wind farms
  7. Radon gas
  8. Development constraints

Other essential information disclosed in an environmental search report confirms if there are any mobile phone masts or overhead power lines within close range of the property.

You need to ensure that the conveyancing solicitor conducts an environmental search to avoid facing challenges in the future. 

Why is Environmental Search Necessary?

All conveyancing searches are essential as they make you aware of different issues with the property before legal ownership is transferred. 

Here are some of the crucial factors in conducting an environmental search before purchasing any property:

1- Learn about Important Environmental and Health Risks Surrounding the Property

One of the significant reasons for conducting an environmental search is to know about the health and environmental risks around your property. These risks can severely affect your health. In addition, these risks can also pose significant threats to your property and create challenges for you as the house owner.

2- Learn about the Impact of Environmental search on Property’s Value

Conducting an environmental search lets you know all the harmful information about the property before signing the contract. Buying any property on defiled land or near flood risks can severely affect the property’s value, and it would be complicated for you to sell that property in the future.

3- Avoid Paying for the Clean-Up

Suppose it turns out that the property is on contaminated land and the person responsible can not be found, then the new landowner has to pay to clean up the land. This would make the entire process dearer, which you can avoid easily by conducting an environmental search before signing a contract.

4- Mortgage Lender Requires the Report

The mortgage lender requires an environmental search report of a property to confirm that the property will not be devalued in the future. So if you need mortgage services, you must get an environmental search conducted on your property.

Customer Review:

Avrillo always very responsive, helpful and pleasant. They were mostly clear on what needed to be done and when.They help us a lot and very fast.Well done and thank you again for all you’re suport.” – Chelan, a satisfied AVRillo client.

What should be the Next Step after Environment Search Results?

If the environmental search result is satisfying, you can undoubtedly close the deal, but if it is not up to the mark, some options are available for you. You can consult your solicitors before making any decision. 

Here are some of the options available if the search report is not satisfying:

  1. Order another search

You can order further searches if anything is worrying in the environmental search report, which allows you to have more insights into a particular risk uncovered in the conducted environmental search. 

  1. Negotiate offer

Suppose the information keeps your decision to purchase the property the same. In that case, you can use information in the search reports to negotiate your offer on the property and have a better deal.

  1. Pull out of the purchase

Since the environmental search is conducted before exchanging contracts, you can pull out of the purchase process if the search report is not satisfying without having any legal proceedings and search for a new property to invest in.

Find local conveyancing solicitors for conducting environmental search:

  1. Best conveyancing services in Oldham
  2. Top property conveyancers in Reading
  3. Licensed property conveyancers in Essex
  4. Best Oxford conveyancing Stoke on Trent
  5. Top conveyancing services in Northampton
  6. Best house conveyancing lawyers in Southampton
  7. Property conveyancers in Redditch


Environmental searches play a vital role in the conveyancing process. The search report highlights the various environmental or health risks involved with the property that can create many challenges in the future. 

That is why it is recommended to conduct an environmental search before purchasing any property to avoid any challenges in the future.

I hope this article helps you in having a clear understanding of environmental searches in the conveyancing process so that you can have the house of your dreams without facing any challenges.

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