3 Searches Made During the Conveyancing Process: A Guide

Posted on: 22 September 2017

If you are looking to purchase your first property, you will need to hire a conveyancing solicitor. Conveyancing is the legal term for the process of exchanging the title deeds of the property from one person to another. However, as well as dealing will all of the legal paperwork, the solicitor will also carry out various searches relating to the property. These searches are very important as they can uncover hidden problems or potential hazards which you would have to deal with if you purchased the property. Below is a guide to the searches that a lawyer may carry out.

Local Authority Search    

The solicitor will contact the local authority which has jurisdiction over the area the property is located in and request details of everything that his held on record about the property. This process is particularly useful with older properties, where the current owner may not be aware of changes that were made to the house many years previously. These changes will be held on record by the local authorities planning department. The planning department will also be able to supply your solicitor with details of any new developments which may be happening in the local area in the near future, which may impact your decision to buy. For example, if there are plans to build a prison or sewage processing plant near to the property, you may wish to think twice.

Flood Search

If you are planning to buy a property which is located next to a body of water such as a lake or river, a property on the coast, or one located in a valley or other low area of land, your solicitor will also carry out a flood search. This search will detail the extent of any past flooding in the area as well as a projection of any future flood risk.

Environmental Search

Your solicitor will also contact private companies which compile environmental information about the property and the local area. This environmental search is designed to check what other buildings have previously occupied the land. In many Australian cities and town, old industries such as mining and chemical processing have vanished from the landscape, and new houses have been built on the land. However, while the industrial buildings may have been demolished, mine shafts and pollution can remain. An environmental search will give you peace of mind that the property you plan to buy is not located on contaminated or unstable land.

If you would like to find out more about the searches carried out during the conveyancing process, you should contact a solicitor today.


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Hello, my name is Jenny. I am happily married and have two kids. A few years ago, I started a company with my husband. At first, it was just the two of us working away from home, but as the business took off we had to think about hiring more staff. The company grew in size from 2 people to 4 people to 10 people. Once the number of staff reached double figures, I realised that I needed to make sure that I had legal paperwork and contracts in place so I could hire and fire staff if need be. We hired a lawyer to work with us so we could make sure our business was well within the law.