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FAQs

General FAQ’s

Here are some of the most popular questions that we are asked on a regular basis

What are property searches?

Conveyancing property searches are reports that reveal if there are any risks to a property being purchased in relation to issues like contaminated land, flooding, planning, mining or subsidence, and more.

A local authority search, for example, will provide information about the property being a listed building, if it is in a conservation area, if building regulations have been approved for any extensions and if any land within the property is required for public use and other things.

Property searches help to protect homebuyers by providing them with enough information to make an informed decision about continuing with the purchase of their property.

Why do you need property searches?

It is best practice to carry out property searches before a homebuyer purchases a property as it will help to reveal any risks to the property or rule out any risks so the homebuyer is safe in the knowledge that the property they are about to purchase is worth the money they are paying for it and is adequate to live in. Property searches reveal a wealth of vital information that homebuyers need to be aware of to avoid any potential hazards or expenses that they may be liable for.

Are property searches compulsory?

We would always strongly recommend carrying out property searches before a purchase, although it is not compulsory to do so. Any respectable property solicitor or conveyancer would also support this claim, not to mention the risk and compliance regulations that they are bound by to guarantee homebuyers are fully aware of any risks to the property they are purchasing to ensure they are informed and still happy to go ahead with the transaction.

Homebuyers may also need to check the terms of their mortgage to determine if certain property searches are compulsory.

What property searches do I need?

Solicitors and conveyancers processing property transactions will be qualified and experienced enough to recommend the correct searches for the property being purchased. Different searches may be required depending on where the property is located and which region in the country it is situated in. The type of use of the property will also determine if residential or commercial searches are required, although there are exceptions to this rule in some instances.

Several searches are usually ordered from us at one time for a property and a standard group of searches tends to include a local authority search, a drainage and water search, a chancel check and an environmental search. Obviously this is not an extensive list for each and every property and we would recommend that the advice given by a property solicitor or conveyancer is followed to determine which property searches they believe are necessary to be carry out before the purchase.

Who carries out property searches?

In most instances the homebuyer’s property solicitor or conveyancer will order property searches on behalf of their client. Solicitors and conveyancers working in the industry are highly trained and will have previous experience choosing the right searches for the property being purchased. Our state of the art online ordering system will give automatically alerts to users if extra search reports are identified as prudent to acquire, based on a number of unique datasets, to ensure homebuyers receive the very best information and advice about one of the biggest financial commitments they are about to undertake.

Can I do property searches myself?

Strictly speaking anyone is able to order property searches from us, although we would not recommend this if a qualified property solicitor or conveyancer is involved in the purchase of a property. Professionals working in the property industry will have a wealth of experience behind them and are also bound by strict risk and compliance rules and regulations to ensure they are fully compliant and protecting their clients.

For example, if property searches were carried out by a solicitor or conveyancer and a risk was identified after the purchase, which was detrimental to the property, the solicitor or conveyancer could be liable for any costs associated with this as they have a duty to their clients to ensure they are aware of anything that may deter them from purchasing the property.  They will of course have professional indemnity insurance cover in place to protect both yourself and them if such an unfortunate situation were to arise.

Do property searches expire?

Property searches will last for up to 3 months, after which time we would recommend that new searches are purchased to guarantee the accuracy of the information and data included in them. This would occur in very rare instances such as if chains break down resulting in the process of the transaction being drawn out for a longer period of time than normal.

In the event that the transactions fails to complete altogether, if one of our reimbursement schemes were added to the homebuyer’s search order, they could claim for a refund for some of the initial fees paid out during the buying process.

Buyer Protect covers the cost of non-refundable mortgage lender arrangement fees, mortgage broker fees, product and booking fees, valuation fees and solicitor’s fees and disbursements up to the value of £2,050.

Visit www.buyerprotect.co.uk for more information.

Search Protect is a lighter protection scheme which covers only the search costs paid out up to the value of £300.

Visit www.searchprotect.uk.com for more information.

Who pays for property searches?

he homebuyer is responsible for paying for any property searches carried out, however these are usually ordered by their chosen property solicitor or conveyancer. In some cases solicitors or conveyancers will provide a total fee for their service and any additional conveyancing costs, whilst others will break these costs down and fees will be given for each service.

We have a number of payment option to choose from:

  • Debit/ Credit Card
  • BACS

Invoices are generated and sent by email at the time the order is placed and again when the last search in that order has been returned. Statements are also emailed to you on a monthly basis if there are any outstanding invoices to be paid.

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