House Sale & Purchase

What are Local Authority Searches?

3 MAY 2019

When you are buying a property, it is always advisable to obtain a Local Authority Search report. If you are buying with the assistance of a mortgage, most lenders will insist you obtain one.

So, what is a Local Search?

There are two forms of Local Search: An Official Search and a Personal Search, but what’s the difference?

A Local Search is a report prepared on a standard set of enquiries. Please click the link to see the standard enquiries raised.

Both forms of report provide replies to the specimen enquiries. The difference lies with cost, speed and who prepares the report.

An Official Local Search is conducted in-house by a member of the Local Authority. A Personal Search is conducted by an employee of a Search Company. An Official Search is slightly more expensive, but the reports are typically provided sooner than those prepared by a Personal Search agent. If there is an error in an Official Search which causes you financial loss, the Local Authority will be liable, as opposed to a private company, which may potentially go out of business, making it impossible to claim for any losses caused by human error when the report is prepared.

The majority of lenders will accept the use of Personal Searches, so in most cases you can decide which search to commission. Both forms of search are an invaluable safeguarding check on the property you are purchasing.

For help and advice on all things Conveyancing, contact our experienced Property Team on 01524 401010, or email [email protected]


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