What searches does my conveyancer do?

08 Apr 2013

It is almost universal (and therefore the test as to whether a conveyancing solicitor has been negligent) that conveyancers carry out a minimum of 4 searches on any house purchase, to protect both the buyer and also any mortgage lender who may be lending.

Then, depending on a property’s geographical location, additional searches may be additionally be required – coal/tin/brine/clay mining, planning, Highspeed 2 etc.

However, a nasty surprise might await you depending on who your conveyancer chooses to use to obtain your search results.

There are several practices:

1. Direct to the official bodies (e.g. in other words the 'horses mouth') at cost price.

2. Rather than sending multiple separate search requests off, there are some businesses who will simply take a plan and an address and send the searches off for the conveyancer. Some businesses charge a fee on top to do this, but many do not – and can secure their own discount with the official bodies to pay for this service.

3. There are some businesses who employ staff to visit the official bodies to interpret the official records and who then compile a non-official result for the conveyancer. Such businesses will undercut the official prices by quite a margin, but the results are not ‘official’ and this is not universally accepted by conveyancers.

It is advisable when seeking quotes for conveyancing to ask your conveyancing solicitor which is their practice. The Trethowans' Residential Property team will only obtain ‘official searches’.