Skip to main content Skip to footer

Conveyancers warn of Property Acquisitions without searches

We were alarmed to read this week the sad story of a couple in Bradford who had recently purchased a property only to then subsequently discover that the property had not been signed off by the local authorities building control department. When purchasing a property with a mortgage you are obligated, by the lender, to undertake local authority as well as water & drainage searches. If necessary, and depending upon the area, a mining search and environmental search may also be required. See the full story here.

A local authority search will provide a full report of all information that the local authority holds on the property. This will include recent and nearby planning permissions, planning permissions requested and rejected for the property as well as planning permissions granted for the property and also include details of all building regulation works. This may be works signed off by the local authority such as the conclusion of works under a planning permission or could also include work undertaken by an appropriate skilled tradesman under the self-certification scheme. 

If you are a cash buyer you can choose to proceed to purchase a property without these searches. However, you then run the risk of not obtaining the full information and history of the property and would not learn of such instances as the case of the owners of these properties in Bradford who do not have building regulation compliance certificates. 

Your conveyancer should both interpret and advise you on your search results and raise appropriate enquiries with the solicitors acting for the sellers once received. These searches should be provided to you before you proceed to the exchange of contracts to allow you to make a fully informed decision as to whether you wish to proceed. 

At TMJ, we promptly order searches on all purchase transactions to allow the local authority the time to produce the necessary reports without affecting clients’ requested time scales for exchange and completion. 

If you have any questions or require any advice in relation to searches or purchasing a property, please email Chris Parker


About the author

Chris Parker

Chris is a Director and Head of the Property Department. He advises both regional and national companies on various aspects of Commercial Property. 

TMJ Legal Services

TMJ Legal Services has been helping individuals and businesses since 1986. We offer a range of advice and services. 

Lexcel logo
The Law Society Accredited Conveyancing Quality Logo
The Law Society Accredited Personal Injury Logo
Association Lifetime Lawyers
Contracted with the Legal Aid Agency Logo
disability confident employer logo