When you are thinking about buying a house one of the most important pre-exchange checks you can have carried out is the Local Authority Search. This is where your solicitor makes enquiries of the local council to find out what they know about the property.
So what kind of questions do we ask? Well, we ask the council to reveal any charges or notices that are lodged against the property. These may be things such as compulsory purchase orders, tree preservation orders or listed building repairs orders.
The search will reveal any planning permissions or building regulations applications made on the property. This is particularly important as when buying your house you need to ensure that any works carried out to the property have been done correctly and in accordance with the correct regulations. You could be buying a house where works have been carried out which were not signed off by building control and where the council are enforcing that against the current owners. This could lead to a fine being levied, that fine would be payable by you if you purchased the property without the current owners paying it. The search will also show whether the property is within a conservation area, whether it is on a public highway and whether the council plan on making any alterations to the roads.
If you are buying a property with the aid of a mortgage then you will have to have a Local Search, if you are paying cash then you can choose whether to have it or not. For the reasons outlined above we will always advise you to have the Local Search as it provides information that could be invaluable to your ownership of the property.
If you require any further information with regard to this, or any other issue with regard to purchasing property then contact our Property Team on 0116 2665394.
Rebecca Gunn specialises in Employment law, Commercial Property & Residential Property and is a solicitor in our Leicester office.
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The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.