The following FAQs are intended for purchasers and those who are unfamiliar with the conveyancing process, to provide an introduction to/overview of property searches, and how Scout Legal Services can be of help.
What is a Local Search?
A local search is a compilation of information relating to a particular property or area of land. It comprises a total of 13 subject areas, which include details of any entries shown on the Land Charges Register at the relevant local council. It will also provide information regarding any planning applications that have been made (approved and refused); any registered building regulations, who is responsible for maintaining nearby roads, details of roads or railway schemes and highlight if the property is within or near contaminated land.
A local search can be provided by a Local Authority or by a Personal Search Agent.
If a local search is provided directly by the Local Authority, you would receive a Form LLC1 and Form Con29R, which together make up a standard search.
If the search is provided by an agent, the information will be collated by inspecting the same records used by the Local Authority.
Why do I need one?
If purchasing (or re-mortgaging) a property or area of land, your mortgage lender will require you to have a local search. Depending on your lender or offer of mortgage, they may insist on additional searches too.
Even if you are not using a mortgage provider, we would strongly recommend that cash buyers still obtain a local search, as it may reveal financial charges registered against a property, for which you may be liable, and may reveal information about the property that could lead to it being blighted or down-valued.
Why use Scout Legal Services instead of ordering directly from the Local Authority?
Our search agents have access to all of the same information and records as the Local Authority. The records are always inspected by a fully trained search expert.
As Local Authorities may, on occasion, use automated systems, it is possible that entries and information may be picked up that no longer apply, or are not relevant to your particular property. By inspecting the data personally, we are able to discern exactly what information applies to a particular property, making our results more accurate.
If required, we will also look at other information and cover questions that may be of particular concern to a purchaser but would not usually be covered by a standard search.
Here at Scout, we pride ourselves on producing clear, concise search results, and are often praised for presenting the information in a format that makes it as easy as possible to interpret.
In almost all cases, we are also a cheaper option than the Local Authority – and if for any reason we are not, we would give you a courtesy call to let you know prior to carrying out the search.
Finally, we are often quicker than standard Council turnaround times, with greater flexibility to expedite urgent matters.
As Scout Legal Services subscribe to the Search Code and are members of COPSO, our searches are widely accepted by the vast majority of mortgage providers.
What additional searches can Scout provide?
Scout are authorised re-sellers of products from Landmark, Groundsure, The Coal Authority, CLS and all national Water Companies.
For more information regarding the variety of products we provide, please click here.
Can Scout provide searches in my area?
We have agents based throughout England and Wales and are able to carry out personal searches at all councils in either country.
How do I request a search?
We provide searches for solicitors and conveyancing professionals, so the best approach is to ask you’re the solicitor handling your purchase or re-mortgage to submit a request on your behalf.
What if I don’t understand my search results?
At Scout, we strive to make our searches as user-friendly as possible; having said that, we appreciate there may be elements which can be confusing. Our search results are intended for inspection and explanation by solicitors and conveyancing professionals who will be more au-fait with the terms and entries shown. However, if there is anything showing on your search result which you (purchaser or conveyancer) didn’t expect or don’t understand, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will promptly deal with your query.
Got a question that we haven’t covered? Please contact us via our online form or call us on 0161 929 6936 and we’ll be happy to help.