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At Randle Thomas, we aim to offer high-quality Conveyancing to clients who prefer personal service. We offer our clients the attention their transactions deserve, and we can accommodate individual requirements wherever possible. Our highly qualified and experienced team can advise on all aspects of a residential transaction, including finance, planning laws and the involvement of trusts on a case-by-case basis.

Carrying out the various searches and interpreting the results are significant parts of the conveyancing process. These searches provide vital information, such as whether the property is affected by current road widening proposals and planning applications or whether the seller is bankrupt. Our local geographical knowledge is immeasurably helpful at this stage of the conveyancing process.

What searches do I need, and why do I need them?

Unless you are buying with the help of a mortgage, searches are not compulsory but we will recommend them as it is part of our job to advise you on the searches that are appropriate for your property.

It is important to find out as much as possible about the property or land you wish to acquire before entering into a binding contract to buy it. By carrying out searches before exchange of contracts, if you were to discover something about the property you do not like, you are free to withdraw from the transaction without any further consequence or expense to you, other than payment of your costs to date.

Below is a brief explanation of the usual searches carried out in a conveyancing transaction.

Local Search

This search will reveal various matters concerning the local council. Examples include whether or not the road abutting the land is an adopted highway, if any planning permissions have been granted or applied for, if there are any restrictions or permitted development rights (this is particularly relevant if you have any future development plans) and if the land itself is within a conservation area.

Other examples of issues revealed by this search are whether any new roads or railways are proposed within 200m of the land or whether any notices have been served in relation to remediation of contaminated land or whether the land is crossed by a public path or bridleway etc.

Water & Drainage Search

These enquiries will reveal (amongst other things) whether there is a water main, public sewer, disposal main or lateral drain within the boundaries of the land; and whether the land is connected to the public water supply. It is worth mentioning that if there is a public sewer on the land, the water company’s consent will be needed to any development over or within the vicinity of the sewer.

Enviromental Search

One of the more important aspects that can be revealed by this search is the possibility of the land being contaminated by previous owners eg a Mining Company. Responsibility for cleaning up contaminated land will lie with the person/company who caused the contamination in the first instance. However, there is the potential risk that this expense may fall to you in the event that, for example the Mining Company no longer exists. Other environmental matters that may be revealed are whether the land is near a landfill site or whether there are any factories in the area discharging any hazardous substances.

Mining Search

This search is required if the property or land is located in a mining area which is more than likely in Cornwall because of the former Tin Mining Industry here. The search will reveal whether the property is in an area where mining has taken place in the past or is likely to take place in the future, the existence of underground workings which may cause problems with subsidence, and whether compensation for subsidence damage has been paid in the past or any claim is pending.

Chancel Repair Indemnity

Not so much a search but, rather, insurance. It is advised to obtain this as certain land and property in certain parishes could be under an obligation to pay the cost of repairing the chancel of the parish church and even though unlikely, these repair liabilities can be considerable.

Example Fees

Freehold Sale

Sale of a £200,000 House

Our Fee875
Bank Charges30
Land Registry (Estimated)10

Freehold Purchase

Purchase of a £200,000 House

Our Fee975
Our Fee (Acting as your lender)200
Bank Charges30
Land Registry (Estimated)100
Searches (Estimated)380

Leasehold Sale

Selling a flat for £150,000

Our Fee1,025
Bank Charges30
Land Registry (Estimated)20
Management Company (Estimated)200

Leasehold Purchase

Buying a flat for £150,000

Our Fee1,125
Our Fee (Acting as your lender)200
Bank Charges30
Land Registry (Estimated)100
Searches (Estimated)380


Having a new mortgage with the borrowing of £100,000

Our Fee500
Bank Charges30
Land Registry (Estimated)40
Searches (Estimated)350

For more information on pricing, view our Price Guide.