Whether you're a layman looking to understand your own transaction or a lawyer needing assistance with a client's conveyancing our step by step sale and purchase guides will lead you through the process while our mini guides will break the whole thing into manageable chunks and give a deep insight into the key issues and stages. Leasehold, freehold, unregistered, registered – we've got it all covered.
Need help with a remortgage or transfer of equity / deed of gift? Our guides will walk you through the process and highlight some of the common pitfalls. Mortgages and transfers can be very simple procedures but complex issues can sometimes arise and mistakes are easily made. These guides will help you deal with them.
So you want to have a go at your own conveyancing? First you should read about the risks, then if you're still happy to proceed, our guides will take you through each stage of the process telling you what to look out for and helping you avoid falling into expensive traps. Our subscription service will give you access to all of the documents you should need for your conveyancing and we can even supply you with the Land Registry Official Copies you'll need. Our general guides will cover all the obstacles you are likely to face and offer a practical solution. Have a look at our sale and purchase guides too.
A big part of the conveyancing process is the conveyancing searches. This section tells you all about them. What they are, how and when to order them and how to interpret the results. Each search has its own guide and you'll see they are separated into Standard (should be done in every case), Regional (area specific) and Optional (not essential but often useful tools for the would be purchaser). All buyers should beware that when you buy a property, the law assumes that you have seen the information that would have been revealed by searches whether or not you have actually carried them out, so you buy the property subject to the results.
Using a conveyancer to handle your conveyancing will greatly reduce the risk to you and sometimes, particularly if you are taking out a new mortgage, you will have no choice but to instruct a conveyancer. The good news is it doesn't have to break the bank. Get a free, instant quote here. We can also help with quick easy quotes for other moving related services.
Are you looking for the documents you'll need for your conveyancing transaction? Or official copies of the title or other documents from Land Registry. We can help you. Follow the links below.
This is a search of the coal authority's records of past mining activity to establish whether the property is on land which is at risk from mining subsidence. Click here to see an example coal mining search result.
If the property is in a coal mining area then it may be affected by subsidence caused by underground mining. All mortgage lenders will expect a search to be carried out in order to comply with CML guidelines. The areas where searches may be needed are Yorkshire, Tyneside, Nottinghamshire, parts of the Midlands and Wales (this list is not necessarily exhaustive). To establish whether the property is in an area where a search is required you should contact The Coal Authority. Contact details can be found by clicking the link.
The search is ordered online via the Coal Authority
This section tells us whether the property is within an area that is likely to have been affected by past workings and if so, when the mines in question were last worked. It will also say whether ground movement caused by the mining activity should now have ceased.
This is as above but in relation to present workings. You would certainly expect to see that the property is not in the zone of influence of any present mining activity. If it is then the situation should be reported to the purchaser and lender. Assuming the transaction proceeds the purchaser should be advised to contact his buildings insurance provider and declare the fact as this will surely affect the premium, if indeed they are prepared to insure against subsidence damage (a prerequisite if taking a mortgage) at all.
This tells us whether the property is in an area likely to be mined in the foreseeable future.
This tells us whether there are any old shafts or adits within 20 metres of the property. A shaft or adit, if not properly capped, could be a major subsidence risk. If any entries are revealed then a Mine Entry Interpretive Report will be offered, at a current price of £40 + VAT, which will advise what (if anything) has been done to make the mine safe. It will also offer an opinion as to the level of risk it represents. Once all the information is to hand it should be disclosed to the lender and purchaser. The purchaser should also be advised to disclose the fact to potential insurers.
This section is self-explanatory, please read the response in our example search result.
This section tells us whether the property is subject to any past, present or future opencast mining.
Here we will see whether there has ever been a claim for subsidence or other loss made against the Coal Authority. If the claim was successful it will also say whether it was discharged by compensation or by repair. If by repair then enquiries will need to be raised to establish exactly what was done and in particular whether any underpinning work was carried out since this would require building regulations approval an a structural engineer's/architect's certificate. If the claim was discharged by compensation then you must establish, by enquiring of the seller, whether any repairs were actually carried out. If not, then clearly the problem still remains and will have to be reported to purchaser and lender.
This tells us whether any mine gas emissions have ever been recorded on the land.
This tells us whether the Coal Authority has ever had to respond to an emergency call out to repair a mining related hazard.
We will deal with Cheshire Brine searches as a separate topic.