Local Authority Searches and their importance

Local Authority Searches and their importance

What is the search?

A local authority search will provide important information about any potential restrictions, benefits, and conditions regarding the property searched that you may not be aware of. If you are using a mortgage lender, this search is mandatory however even if you are a cash buyer we would advise obtaining one.

There are two parts to a local authority search – a LLC1 and a CON29. The LLC1 (Local Land Charge Register search) covers any charges or restrictions relating to land or property. These can include whether the property is:

  • A listed building.
  • Located in a conservation area. Should this be the case then it could permit any further development at the property. This could be an issue if you are planning any future works at the property.
  • Subject to a tree protection order. The TPO makes it an offence to cut down, uproot, prune, damage or destroy trees without the consent of the local authority.
  • In need of an improvement or renovation.
  • Situated in a smoke control zone.
  • The form also covers planning agreements and conditional planning permissions as well as any building regulation works that have been granted. Any works undertaken at the property will be identified. This can be as small as the installation of a new window or door, to a double storey extension at the property. It will show exactly when the works were done and will give us an understanding of what alterations have been made.

The second part of the search (the CON29) supplies information relating to public highways, proposals for new roads, rail schemes or planning decisions that could affect the property, as well as outstanding statutory notices, breaches of planning or building regulations or the existence of a compulsory purchase order.

It is important to note that the local search just searches within the boundaries of the property. It does not reveal any issues falling outside of this area.

How long do they take?

The timescales vary significantly, from 2 days to 10 weeks. Each local authority differs and as such the timescales will vary depending on where the property is located. In the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area, the search usually takes about 3 to 5 weeks to be returned.

How much is the local search?

As above, each local authority is different and as such the costs of which will vary. You could be charged anywhere between £50 and £250 depending on the local authority. In the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area, these cost around £70.00.

Written by Lucy Sivell, Paralegal

Please do not hesitate to contact Chester and Co Solicitors on 01202 395395 if you would like to instruct a lawyer on your conveyancing transaction or if you wish to obtain legal advice.