Conveyancing Searches: Commons and Not So Common Searches

Paul Hajek | 22 Mar 2011

Day 22: Everything You Need To Know About Buying and Selling a House or a Flat in 31 Daily Bite-Sized Chunks -“Conveyancing Searches: Commons and not so common

In Day 21, we looked at what the Local Authority Search might reveal or not reveal.Would you be responsible for the repair of this chancel?

Here is a round up of some of other searches which may be carried out by your Conveyancing Solicitor; some of which will be obvious, others less so

The Water and Drainage Search

This was compulsory under the old HIP regulations. Now, although no longer compulsory, most Conveyancing Solicitors will carry one out as a matter of course.

A Water and Drainage Search will discover; the location of the nearest public sewer; is there a public sewer within the boundaries of the property and whether the sewers are adopted or still private.

Chancel Repair Liability.

Chancel Repair liability is an ancient law which could still affect property in England and Wales.

Property owners in the vicinity of a medieval or earlier church could be asked to contribute some or all of the repairs to the Chancel of the Church.

The Chancel is where the altar lies and pretty much the east end of the Church.

Conveyancing Solicitors will carry out a Chancel Repair Liability search for you in certain circumstances; some Conveyancing Solicitors will carry out the Chancel Repair search by default. For a fuller investigation click here for Chancel Repair Liability

Common Land and Village Greens.

If the property you are purchasing is close to or separated from the road by “common land or a village green”, your Conveyancing Solicitor will insist on carrying out a commons search.

Commons searches are crucial in such circumstances. In general no development is allowed where land has been registered and designated as a common or a town or village green.

Coal Mining Search

There are obviously areas of the country where the effects of past coal mining are still clear. Such areas include South Wales, the East Midlands and Yorkshire and Northumberland

Other areas are not so obvious where the coal workings may have ceased over a hundred years ago.

I my neck of the woods, if you are buying a property and having your Conveyancing in Bristol or in the former Somerset Coal Field, the threat of past coal mining may not be so obvious- unless you are buying somewhere with a clue in the title, such as Coalpit Heath in South Gloucestershire

Brine Search.

Some searches have a purely regional tint: Conveyancing in Cheshire; Conveyancing in Great Manchester or Droitwich Spa will normally require a Brine Search.

Limestone Search

Conveyancing in Dudley or Conveyancing in Sandwell, Walsall or Wolverhampton will flag up a Limestone search

Tin Searches

If you are buying and having your Conveyancing in West Devon or Cornwall then invariably a Tin search will be advisable.

Clay Searches

These searches are common when Conveyancing is carried out in Dorset, West Devon or Cornwall.

Regional searches are relevant, even where any such mining operations may have ceased many years ago as a risk of subsidence remains a possibility

If you are also taking out a mortgage, your Lender will need to have such information before it decides to lend money on the property.

Your Conveyancing solicitor will look at each Conveyancing transaction on its merits.

Where you have any doubts always consult with your Conveyancing Solicitor 

Be sure to sign up for a chance to have your Conveyancing carried out by Clutton Cox, free of charge. 

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