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Do I have to purchase searches when I am buying a house?

A photo of Matthew Thom
7th January 2020

If you are purchasing a house with a Mortgage, then your mortgage lender will normally require your Solicitor to obtain searches on their behalf – this is regardless of whether you wish for the same to be purchased.

It will depend on the location of the property as to the searches that will be required, however your Solicitor should, as a matter of course, obtain a Local Authority Search together with Water and Drainage and Environmental Searches for the property.

If the property is within an area previously known to have been mined then your Solicitor will also need to consider whether a Tin, Coal or Brine Search is required.

A Mining Search will identify whether there is any risk attributable to historic or current mining in close proximity to the property and the Environmental Search will confirm whether there are any issues in relation to flooding or contaminated land together with whether the property is close to any existing or proposed wind or solar farms.

A Water and Drainage Search will confirm whether the property is connected to the mains water and whether the foul drains into the public sewer.

Finally, the Local Search will confirm whether there are any Planning Permissions or Enforcement Notices relating to the property together with any Building Regulation approvals. The Local Search will also confirm whether the property you are purchasing is Listed and whether the road abutting the property is adopted.

If you are not purchasing a property with the benefit of a mortgage then there is no legal obligation to obtain searches, however here at Thomas Flavell & Sons we do strongly advise that in all purchases searches are obtained to ensure that you are fully aware of the property and any risks involved with the same.

If you do not purchase searches then you are effectively left “in the dark” and you could be significantly out of pocket in the future should an issue arise that you were not aware of.

Should you require any further information then please do not hesitate in contacting one of our experienced conveyancing team here at Thomas Flavell & Sons who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.