Buying a property

29 June 2016 • Articles

Local Search

(enquiries of a Local Authority to include an extent of highways plan as standard (where available from the local authority)). This report searches local authority records and answers specific questions as laid down by the Law Society in relation to any Land Charges, Planning and Building Regulations and information concerning the roads adjacent to the property.


Drainage Search

(enquiries of the water and sewerage utility provider). This report answers specific questions in relation to the connection of a property to the public mains clean and waste water network and will identify if known public sewers are located within the boundary of the property. This will be relevant in terms of responsibility for drains and also in the context of possible and existing extensions.


Environmental Report

Various industrial practices have led to substances such as chemicals, oils and tars being present in, on or under the land. An environmental report provides a professional assessment from an Environmental Consultant on whether the land on which your property lies is likely to be designated as “Contaminated Land” as defined under Part IIa of the Environmental Protection act 1990. It also provides other environmental information concerning the local area, which should be considered. Not obtaining a report could make your property more difficult to sell in the future and/or reduce the value should a subsequent report be obtained by a purchaser which identifies an issue you were unaware of. It could also mean an expensive bill from the Local Authority for “clean up” costs.


Planning Report

When purchasing a new property, knowledge and understanding of local planning information and awareness of potential changes within the surrounding area should be a key consideration. For example there could be plans to construct a telecommunications mast, a new nightclub or there could be plans to build a block of flats or a factory nearby. The impact of such proposals could be substantial – reducing value, ruining the view from the property and decreasing your enjoyment of the property and its surroundings.


We will obtain these reports for you as standard and this is reflected in our quote to you.

There are other reports which we would recommend you consider to ensure that you have more detailed information regarding your proposed purchase and the surrounding area. These are listed overleaf. Please have a close look through and simply tick the boxes for the reports you would like to purchase alongside your conveyancing pack and return this to us with your signed engagement letter.

A planning report also provides you with neighbourhood insight, uncovering the best schools and other local amenities close by, local authority information such as tax banding and crime statistics including:



Mining Report (Coal & Metalliferous)

There are many areas throughout England and Wales that have been extensively mined for their naturally occurring minerals. The process of mining can have long term impacts on the land and it is important that you are aware of any potential issues that can affect property in a mining area.



One in six homes in England and Wales is now at risk of flooding. Surface-water events associated with heavy rainfall, high groundwater levels and tidal & river flooding can all pose significant threats. A flood report hones in precisely on any given location, for a dedicated assessment rather than a broad area assumption.



With an ever growing population and new housing developments appearing up and down the country, it is important to understand the local area and its potential as prime land for new homes. The DevAssess report gives information on current planning permissions within a 75m radius of your future home and goes one step further to reveal unexploited development opportunities that could impact your enjoyment of the property if you proceed to purchase.


Energy Infrastructure

As new and renewable energy sources continue to dominate the headlines it is easy to become blasé about the effects that practices such as hydraulic fracturing (fracking) can have on our landscape, but have you ever considered the impact it may have on your future property? The Energy Infrastructure Report indicates if a property is likely to be impacted by on-shore energy exploration and production including areas licensed for hydraulic fracturing, hydrocarbon exploration and extraction sites and existing and planned solar farms. The report also shows the location of existing and proposed wind farms and wind turbines across the UK.


Lawyer Checker Account and Entity Screen

Fraud is a very real threat when it comes to property transactions, the high value transfers are very attractive to fraudsters out to make a quick buck. Lawyer Checker is a tool used to help combat the increasing risk of vendor conveyancer fraud and protect your assets when it comes to transferring funds. The Account and Entity Screen scrutinises the previous use of the client account number to which you are sending funds to ensure you are not left out of pocket.