25 June 2023

What Are Land Registry Searches?

By ruiiid5

Before you exchange contracts you should know as much as possible about the property you are buying. Searches are inquiries your solicitor / licensed conveyancer makes on your behalf to various bodies that hold information about the land the property sits upon or things that might directly or indirectly affect it.

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HM Land Registry, or simply ‘Land Registry’, is an independent government body charged with maintaining a record of ownership and title deeds for property in England and Wales. Their main documents are the Title Register and Title Plan. They are purchased through Land Registry for a small fee and are obtained by your conveyancer who will order them on your behalf.

The Title Register provides a summary of the facts about the property (ownership, tenure, enfranchisement), the land that it sits on and a description of it, together with maps indicating the boundaries. Parcels of land which are subject to rights of way, easements, covenants etc are coloured on the map. For advice on Cheltenham Conveyancing, visit Montpellier Legal who supply Cheltenham Conveyancing services.

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A further section of the Register, called C, sets out charges, restrictive covenants and other burdens that have been imposed on the property. The Register also shows whether the property is freehold or leasehold.

There are a number of other searches that can be ordered and these are usually dictated by the mortgage lender and your legal company. These can include an environmental search which checks whether a property is within a flood zone or is near to a waterway that has been subject to subsidence in the past. A chancel repair liability search is also often required and this check tells you if you are liable to contribute towards the upkeep of the local parish church.