Searches are a key part of every property purchase, but what are conveyancing searches? Conveyancing searches, often called property searches, are enquiries made by your conveyancer when buying a house. There are multiple conveyancing searches a conveyancer will make, and we’ll explain what these look at and why each is important.

Why are Conveyancing Searches Important?

Conveyancing searches give you full transparency on the property you’re buying. They uncover issues with the property that could impact its price, condition or even your health.

A good conveyancer will always ensure that searches are done promptly and thoroughly and will take you through the results in detail. This ensure you are aware of any issues related to the property, allowing you to make an informed decision on whether to go through with the purchase or not.

Types of Conveyancing Searches

There are a variety of conveyancing searches, but there are three main searches that are required by mortgage lenders:

  • Local authority search

This search reviews the information that the local authority holds on the property. It tells us if there are issues relating to things like planning and building regulations, for example. Local authority searches can often reveal financial liabilities that may fall to you once you’ve purchased property.

  • Environmental search

These conveyancing searches reveal things that could immediately impact your health, such as gas hazards, flood risk ratings and any contamination risks for the property. Not only do they reveal health risks, but they also highlight any potential insurance and financial risks. Some of the findings of an environmental search can be rectified but the owner of the property is responsible for funding the necessary work.

  • Land registry search

This search is more about ensuring that the transfer of legal ownership of a property is registered with the Land Registry. The Land Registry is a department of the government that keeps record of information on land and property ownership in England and Wales.

Here are some examples of other conveyancing searches you may want to consider:

  • Mining searches
  • Flood search
  • Underground railways search
  • Disadvantaged Areas Search Relief

Do I Need Conveyancing Searches?

You need conveyancing searches if you’re buying a house using a mortgage. Conveyancing searches are compulsory for any property purchase using a mortgage.

If you’re buying a property using cash, then you don’t need to carry out any searches. However, it’s recommended that you have them to be aware of any potential issues that could save you time, money and any health issues down the line.

How Long are Conveyancing Searches Valid For?

It’s important to note that most conveyancing searches are valid for six months. Your mortgage lender will only let your house purchase be complete if all your searches are in date.