What is the Local Authority Search?

Local Authority Searches are an essential part of any residential conveyancing purchase. Vital information can be revealed on the searches which can be extremely useful to people who are looking to move home. So what is a Local Authority Search?

A Local Authority Search is made up of two parts. Firstly a search of the Local Land Charge Register which covers any charges or restrictions relating to land or property. For example, these could include whether the property is a listed building, located in a conservation area, subject to a tree preservation order or situated in a smoke control zone.

The second part of the search covers information relating to public highways, proposals for new roads or rail schemes and also includes details of the full planning history and building control history for the property being purchased. The search being carried out is specific against the property however, additional enquiries can be made of the surrounding areas if required.  

The information contained on the result of the Local Authority Search can be extremely useful to a buyer in ensuring for example, any existing extension has the requisite planning and building regulation approval. It can also be important to reveal if there are any restrictions on the property such as it being a listed property which could affect future development.

The purpose of the Local Authority Search is to protect the buyers by revealing matters which could affect their future use and enjoyment of the property or which may have an effect on valuation and it is a key element in the conveyancing process.

The Local Authority Search is carried out within the Local Authority of the area in which the property is being purchased. Fees can vary from Local Authority to Local Authority and the time it takes to complete a Local Authority Search can also vary considerably.

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