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Telford Solicitors Conveyancing

Property Searches in Telford

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When buying a house in Telford your expert property solicitor will advise you that you need searches.

Lenders usually require that searches be carried out when buying a house in Telford. However, if you are buying a house in Telford without a mortgage, your expert property solicitor will always strongly recommend that you have searches carried out on the property. This is because searches provide extra detail regarding the house you are buying and sometimes reveal issues that you had not considered before buying a house in Telford.

The main searches needed when buying a house in Telford and Shropshire are discussed in further detail below:

Local Authority Search

This search is carried out by either the Telford & Wrekin Council or Shropshire Council, depending on where the property is located. This search tends to take the longest for a result, this is because the Local Authority have to collate various information from different departments.

Some of the information provided by this search, includes the following:

  1. Whether any road/footpath that the property abuts on, or the nearest road/footpath thereto is adopted by the Local Authority and maintained at the public expense. This is particularly important with the number of new build properties currently being erected in Telford and Shropshire.
  2. If there are any planning permissions or building regulations relating to the property specifically, not the surrounding area.
  3. Whether the property falls within a smoke-controlled area – meaning that only smokeless fuel can be burned within the area that the property is in.
  4. Whether the property falls within a conservation area which may limit what alterations you can do to the property, without obtaining planning permission, if any. The search would also reveal any conservation area consents that should have been obtained for any works carried out at the property.
  5. Whether the property is a listed building, which will also limit what alterations you can do to the property. The search would also reveal any necessary listed building consents for works carried out at the property.
  6. Whether there are any nearby railways or potential railway schemes to be put in place.
  7. The search will reveal whether any notices have been served for the breach of any planning permission or building regulation. We will want to obtain further information from the seller’s solicitors regarding this.
  8. Whether the property is affected by a Tree Preservation Order (“TPO”). If there is a tree on your property that is protected by a TPO you will need to obtain permission from the Local Authority if you wish to carry out any work to the tree i.e. remove it, lop it, top it, cut it down etc.

Drainage and Water Search

When buying a house in Telford you will also need a drainage search, which is usually carried out by Severn Trent Water, as they are the main utility provider in Telford and Shropshire.

This search provides the following information:

  1. Whether the property is connected to mains drainage for both foul water and surface water drainage. If the property is not connected to mains drainage, particularly in the Shropshire area, it normally means that drainage is dealt with by way of a septic tank or other private drainage. If that was the case, then further enquiries would need to be made with the seller’s solicitors about this. Alternatively, if the property is a new build in Telford, then it may be that the drains have just not been adopted yet.
  2. Whether the property is connected to mains water.
  3. It will also reveal whether any sewers/drains fall within the boundaries to the property. If such drains/sewers did fall within the boundary to the property, we would make enquiries as to whether anything has been built over them.
  4. There will be a plan showing where the mains water and sewers/drains are located.

Environmental Search

A further search you will be advised to undertake by your expert property solicitor when buying a house in Telford is an environmental search. These can be carried out by various providers.

The main thing your expert property solicitor will look for in this search is whether the property falls within an area of contaminated land. It is not very often that a property will have been built on contaminated land, but if it has, this search will let us know. We would then need to make further enquiries about this to satisfy the requirements of any lender and to ensure the house is safe for you to buy.

The search also reveals the following:

  1. Whether there is any flood risk within proximity to the property, this may be of particular importance when buying a house in Telford or Shropshire if located near the River Severn. However, it would also confirm if there was a risk of surface water flooding, and groundwater flooding, not just river and coastal flooding. If you have any concerns about the flood risk, we can then carry out a further flood risk report for you.
  2. Whether the property falls within a coal mining area, which is very common in Telford and Shropshire, as a lot of the land has been used for mining in the past.
  3. Whether the property has any issues with ground stability – which does come up occasionally, especially with Telford and Shropshire being a heavy mining area.
  4. Whether the property is affected by radon gas.

Ground Report

This search is particularly important when buying a house in Telford or Shropshire because these locations used to be heavy mining areas in the past.

This report will provide further information about the following:

  1. Any past mining uses including clay mining.
  2. Whether there are any mine shafts within the boundaries of the property or close proximity thereto. If a shaft was revealed, we would need to let your lender know if you were purchasing with a mortgage and it would also be something yourselves would want to carefully consider before purchasing the property, due to the risk of the ground above it collapsing for any reason.

Additional Searches

The standard searches carried out are those above, but your expert property solicitor may also advise you to carry out the following additional searches if required:

  1. Planning Search – This will reveal any planning permissions within a 500-metre radius of the property.
  2. Flood Search – If a flood risk is revealed by the Environmental Search, we can carry out a further detailed flood search if you have concerns.
  3. Chancel Insurance – If you have concerns that the property may fall within a Chancel Repair area i.e. an area where you may be asked to contribute towards the cost of repair of a chancel for the church, then we can obtain a Chancel Repair Indemnity Insurance Policy with an indemnity limit of £1m. Therefore, if you were asked to pay towards such repairs, you could claim for the cost of those repairs under the policy.

As you can see the searches are an integral part of the buying a house in Telford and provide you with further information about the property you intend to purchase, to allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceeding with buying your home in Telford.

I hope this helps to give you an overview of searches in Telford and Shropshire and what they contain, but any enquiries please feel free to contact our expert conveyancing team on 01785 223440 or team@orj.co.uk.

For further information, please e-mail us or call 01785 223440