What Are Property Searches For?

Chancel Repair Search

Chancel Repair Liability dates back to the times of Henry VIII, when Churches (or more specifically their chancels) were maintained by wealthy land owners. The obligation to pay for the maintenance of the church continued to be attached to the land and the potential for Chancel Repair Liabilities has been passed down to successive owners of the land.

Chancel land accounts for approximately 40% of all land in England and Wales and the liability is to pay for the repair of the chancel of the Parish Church.

A Chancel Check Search can be carried out against the property at a relatively low cost. This will establish whether the property lies within a parish which could be affected by a chancel repair liability.

If you are obtaining a mortgage then your lender will require you to undertake this search.

If the search reveals that the property is in an area which is potentially affected by Chancel Repair Liability then we will recommend that you take out Chancel Repair Indemnity insurance. If you are obtaining a mortgage then your lender will require this insurance to be in place on completion. We will discuss this further with you once the results of the searches have been received.

Drainage Search

The drainage search will reveal whether the property is connected to a public sewer, and whether there is a surface water drainage system. It will also show whether there is a public sewer running under your property and whether or not the property has a mains water supply.

Environmental Search

The environmental search can provide a report on the environmental status of the property in an area within 500 metres. It will tell you more about the property and the surrounding area and identify if there is a toxic waste dump nearby, a risk of flooding or subsidence, a danger of industrial pollution and the probability of radon gas.

The law now requires the owners of polluted land to pay for the cost of cleaning up the site (even if the owner did not cause the pollution). Due to the increasing health worries associated with land contamination and houses with environmental question marks, the future land & property value will be affected also making it very hard to sell.

Local Authority Search

A Local Authority search will reveal important information about the property such as the following:

If the property abuts or has access to the public highway, if there have been any notices issued by the Local Authority presently outstanding which may affect the property, if there is any road proposals or any road schemes within 200 metres of the property which would affect you, if the property is within a conservation area or is listed along with various other matters.

Advice on protecting yourself against online fraud

Online fraud is on the increase specifically in property transactions. To help keep yourself safe from this threat please view our advice on protecting yourself.

Cyber-attack affecting firms serviced by the IT provider CTS

Around 80 firms have been unable to complete transactions following a service outage affecting IT provider CTS.

Whilst this firm is not directly affected by this ongoing incident, where there are firms in a related chain of transactions who are, this may have an impact upon completion of their transaction.

What Are Property Searches For? Lawyers

Pippa Woodcock

Associate - Team Leader Residential Property

Amanda Buttress BA (Hons)

Partner - Residential Property

Claire Burns


Elaine Cummins


James Steward LLB


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Key contact

Pippa Woodcock

Associate - Team Leader Residential Property

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