Conveyancing Solicitors

The Importance of a Local Authority Search When Buying a House

When you looking to purchase a house, your chosen conveyancing solicitors will often be required to perform a local authority search of the property. The purpose of a local authority search is to find out what information the local council has on the property in question in order to ensure there are no conditions attached that may lower it’s value.

An example of this is the state of the house from a planning perspective. The local council will not only keep a record of all of the planning permissions obtained for the house but also those that have been rejected. This is particularly important if you have plans for the development of the house such as the addition of a conservatory or an extension. Previous owners may have already applied for similar planning permissions unsuccessfully which may make your application very likely to fail, but by ensuring you conveyancing solicitors have undertaken a local authority search you will be able to make a fully informed decision.

Your conveyancing solicitors search will also provides information on the surrounding area which whilst not directly impacting the price of the house, may make you reconsider it’s suitability for your circumstances. Your conveyancing solicitors search will allow you to find out whether the roads leading up-to and surrounding the property you are looking to purchase are looked after by the local council (referred to as “adopted” roads). This is something many take for granted but it is important to consider because if they are not adopted roads they must be privately owned. If they are privately owned by the homeowner then you have the benefit of controlling access but the responsibility for all maintenance costs. If you don’t own the road, you need to consider who does, whether the property you are buying has permission to use it and what would happen if that permission was revoked. In the event that the roads aren’t adopted, your conveyancing solicitors will be able to advise you further on what steps can be taken.

These are just two aspects of the information you will learn about your new property from your conveyancing solicitors doing a local area search. Other areas include information on traffic schemes and on the type of land surrounding the property and subsequently whether other properties can be built around the property in the future.

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