When you are buying a property there are a number of searches and checks that your conveyancer / solicitor must carry out on your behalf. Your conveyancer / solicitor will charge you whatever they have to pay (these are usually called expenses or disbursements) to carry out these checks, so these expenses will generally be the same whichever conveyancer / solicitor you choose to work with. These searches may include:

Local Authority Search:  Apart from local road proposals affecting land within 200 metres of the property, the Local Authority search will only give information about the property itself, concerning the effect of Town & Country planning legislation, liability for road charges, compulsory purchase or demolition orders, financial orders and other matters which could vitally affect it.

The search will not give information about other property, for example the development of neighbouring land. If, therefore, you are concerned about the possibility of a development or any matters relating to other property or land in the neighbourhood, you should make enquiries yourself of the local authority before you consent to the exchange of contracts on your purchase. We can explain how this can be done. Alternatively there are specialist agency companies who can carry out these enquiries for you. This would involve a separate fee to that agency; if you would like further details please let us know.

Environmental Search:  This is intended to reveal such matters as whether the property is in an area subject to flooding, whether the property is built on contaminated land, and whether there are any other environmental considerations e.g. radon gas.

Water & Drainage Search:  This type of search will enable us to find out whether the property is connected to the mains drainage and mains water supply. It will also show whether there is a mains sewer passing through the garden of the property and if the property is on a metered water supply.

Chancel Repair Liability:
Due to a change in the law which came into effect in October 2013, there is an ever-decreasing possibility that the property you purchase may attract a liability to contribute to the costs of chancel repairs in churches in and around the locality of the property. As part of the process of checking the title to the property before we exchange contracts, thereby committing you to the transaction, we will see if chancel repair liability might be relevant to the property you are purchasing. If it appears that there may be a risk of chancel repair liability we will then report back to you and discuss with you what steps we should then take.

Bankruptcy Search:
A bankruptcy search will need to be made in respect of each buyer and any other individual contributing to the purchase price either by way of gift or loan, both at the outset of the transaction and once contracts are exchanged. The Bankruptcy Search Fee is currently £2* per search.

Land Registry Search:
This is a search carried out before completion to check that there have been no charges to the property title and to enable us to register you as the new owner of the property following completion. The Land Registry Search Fee is currently £3*.

There are other searches available and we can discuss these with you in detail if we consider they are appropriate.


LAND REGISTRY FEE:  This fee is paid through your conveyancer / solicitor to register your ownership of the property with the Land Registry. The scale of fees, generally based on the purchase price of the property, is fixed by the Government. In many cases we are able to deal with registrations electronically by way of an online application, which not only speeds up the process but often attracts a reduced fee (although some transactions, including leases, are still subject to the full fee payable for a postal application, even if submitted online). The fees are currently as shown in the table to the left.


BANK TRANSFER FEE:  On completion we have to transfer the purchase monies from our account to the seller’s conveyancer’s / solicitor’s account for which the bank will charge the sum of £6 including VAT, in addition to our charges for arranging the transfer, details of which will be provided as part of our detailed estimate.

We have put together a Guide to Moving Home, a PDF copy of which you can download by clicking here. The Guide covers everything you need to know about the buying and selling process. Alternatively contact us here or email movinghome@tsplegal.com to request your free, no obligation, quotation.