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When you are purchasing a property, as part of the initial stage of the transaction your solicitor will ask what searches you would like them to raise on your behalf. These searches help your solicitor obtain as much information as possible about the property and to guide us to raise the right questions with your seller’s solicitor.

If you are utilising mortgage assistance to purchase your property, we will raise those pre-contract searches which are necessary to comply with the requirements of your mortgage lender. If you are a cash buyer no searches are necessary, however we will always recommend you have them carried out as they can reveal incredibly important information.

 Local Search 

We will always strongly advise carrying out a Local Search. This will tell us many things including the following: –

  • Whether the property is subject to any local land charges
  • The planning and building regulation history of the property.
  • If roads abutting the property are publicly adopted or privately owned and if there are any planning charges,
  • Tree preservation orders covering the property.

It is important to note that the Local Search only considers the property itself and a range of approximately 200 metres from the property. It does not show whether there are any planning applications or a proposed development of the neighbourhood.

Environmental Search

The Environmental Search will reveal the following: –

  • Flood risk
  • Subsidence risk
  • Contaminated land

The report itself will show whether the property has “passed”, “failed”, or “in need of further investigation”. If the property fails its environmental report, your lender will need to be informed and we will always advise you if this needs to be reported to them.

Another crucial part of the report which has recently been added is how climate change may affect your property in the future. The result provides a climate score for your property, and projects changes in physical and transition risks from flooding, natural ground instability and coastal erosion. Many buyers may not consider the climate change aspect when purchasing a property, but the findings of this could affect the future value of the property as well as the ability to obtain a mortgage for the property.

Drainage & Water Search

This search considers whether the property is connected to the mains and whether foul and surface water drainage is into public or private drainage systems. This search will show if publicly maintained drains or water pipes are located beneath the property. It also includes a map showing publicly maintained sewers, drains and water supply pipes. 

Chancel Repair Liability Search

Historically, the owners of properties in certain parishes may be at risk of having to contribute toward the cost of maintaining and repairing the local church.  This search shows whether the property is located in an area whereby there is a risk of having to contribute towards these costs.

Mark Iddles 6

How we can help

Our residential property team can advise you on all aspects of selling and purchasing a property. Abigail Marsh is a paralegal at Wollens.  We have committed teams in each of our offices who will work closely with you and guide you through the property process step by step.

While it may seem a streamlined process to us, we know how daunting it can be and are on hand to help, each step of the way.

For further information, please contact our conveyancing team. Call us on 01803 225118



Abigail Marsh, Paralegal 

Email us : [email protected]

call one of our offices:

South Devon     01803 213251

Exeter                01392 274006

North Devon      01271 342268

You can also complete an online enquiry form. One of the Wollens team will contact you as soon as they are available.

Residential property