The process of buying a new home carries mixed emotions of excitement – a new adventure – and pressures of the unknown – what if you miss something that will later come back to bite you? To guard against uncertainty it helps to understand what to keep an eye out for and this includes local land searches.
Some areas of the UK are more prone to environmental factors due to the makeup of the local landscape such as those close to waterways or previous heavy mining sites for nearby mineshafts or old open casts. Other locations can be susceptible to the effects of developments planned for the future such as transport expansions.
When purchasing a property your conveyance solicitor will search local authority records to confirm there are no legal matters or potential situations that are likely to impact your future property in any way, but you must be aware of what this includes so always ask and be sure that it covers everything.
Local Land Searches – LLC1 Form
A basic search will include the LLC1 Form – one part of the local land search process – which concerns any element that has a registerable charge. Fees will depend on your local authority and any third party you instruct to handle your property affairs. As a rough guide, individual searches can be a few pounds with full combined searches reaching a few hundred pounds.
A LLC1 will cover aspects of:
- Housing and renovation grants
- Conservation orders and listed buildings
- Tree preservation orders
- Approved and conditional planning applications
- Enforcement notices
- Road agreements
Local Land Searches – CON29
A CON29 form is an extension to the LLC1 and is designed to reveal any future planning and building, road schemes, environmental histories, public pathways, enforcement, compulsory purchase, and statutory notices that may affect the property. Contaminated land and radon gas is also included. It is important to note that some developments already underway may not be listed on a Con29 report.
Local Land Searches – CON290
Whereas the Con29 form has compulsory questions, the CON290 asks additional optional questions, which cover flood defence, land consents, common land enquiries, road proposals and gas pipelines.
Since 1 June 2017 Highway information now needs to be requested under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
The local water authority will be able to assist with drinking water and drainage queries.
Requesting a local land search on a personal basis
A personal search can be requested by anyone to any local authority because planning information is publically accessible, governed by Rule 7 of the Local Land Charges Rules 1977. A copy of raw data is provided on a first come first serve basis although the time this takes can vary from a few days to almost one month. It is important to understand that this data is not verified and, therefore, not classed as official. We highly recommend that a professional conveyance solicitor review the data with you, in the event that you request a personal search yourself.
If you are looking to purchase a new property or have any questions regarding local land searches, please call us on 0800 652 3737 or contact us to request a free quotation.