How Much Are Conveyancing Searches in Birmingham?
Local Land Charges searches are a vital part of the conveyancing process. The results of these searches will inform potential purchasers on essential information about the property which is held by the local authority, in this case Birmingham council.
The report will include information on flood risks, if there are any planning permissions in place and details of historical industry which may have had a negative impact on the land.
Your conveyancer will arrange these searches on your behalf and supply you with the reports once they are completed and returned. It is essential that you pay close attention to the content of the reports and raise any concerns you have with your conveyancer.
Cost for these searches will depend on the location of the property. Below we’re listed the costs of the searches for Birmingham, as per the Birmingham Council website.
Local Land Charges Search (LLC1)
£31 inc VAT
The LLC1 search informs purchasers of restrictions or charges affecting the use of the property, such as tree preservation orders, enforcement notices, planning permissions and financial charges.
Form Con29 - Part 1 and Part 2
£73.50 inc VAT
The enquiry forms CON29 and CON29O provide information on matters such as local plans, highways and assets of community value.
Standard Official Search (LLC1 and Con29)
£104.50 inc VAT
This will contain both the Official compiled LLC1 report and the Official compiled CON29.
What Are the Flood Risks in Birmingham?
Birmingham’s location, geographical and topographical characteristics makes the area susceptible to various types of flooding from surface water and groundwater, reservoirs and canals. There are 12 main rivers in Birmingham and 22 Large Raised Reservoirs.
The canals are a beautiful element of the city, but can breach or overtop as a result of elevated water levels from heavy urban runoff. With many homes on the front of these canals, it is essential that you hire a reliable conveyancer who will prioritise the required environmental searches for a property in Birmingham.
The city has a history of flooding, with recent years seeing an increase in flooding events. During Storm Dennis in February 2020, Birmingham saw roads and railways flooded following torrential downpours which put strain on the waterways in the city. Solihull in particular suffered severe damage, with 10 flood warnings in the area during the storm.
According to the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy for Birmingham, flash floods are most commonly experienced due to the nature of the landscape and urban nature of the city, leaving residents little time to prepare or evacuate.
Your conveyancer will organise searches on the area of the property you wish to purchase and a report on the findings, complete with council data, will be sent to you to review.
Are There Ground Stability Concerns in Birmingham?
As part of the conveyancing process, your conveyancer will arrange for a Ground Stability report to be undertaken. This will reveal any risks of landslide or subsidence.
A map created by Geobear identified the UK subsidence hotspots, showing Birmingham and the surrounding area with a high level of subsidence issues.
Subsidence is a relatively common problem across the UK due to the clay-heavy soil types in the country. However, due to increased weight and pressure on the ground due to multiple buildings concentrated in one area such as Birmingham, groundwater runs out which results in compacted and dried out soil leading to subsidence and ground instability.
This can cause homes to “sink” or for the foundations to become unstable, making the home unsafe. It is vital that you review the risks of subsidence, especially when purchasing a property in Birmingham, before completing the sale. Subsidence can not only make the property dangerous, it can also lower the value of the home.
When it comes to buying your home, subsidence is an element which will appear in both your conveyancing searches and by a building surveyor should you choose to have a building survey undertaken. You can find both high quality, regulated conveyancers and surveyors by using Compare My Move, ensuring your Birmingham property purchase is in good hands.
- Reveals instability issues from natural or man-made hazards.
- Highlights historic and current landfill sites.
- Identifies natural ground subsidence.
- Recognises historic tin, coal, clay and any other mining activity.
What are the Radon Gas Levels in Birmingham?
Radon Gas is a radioactive and dangerous gas, which is both colourless and odourless, created by radioactive decay of small amounts of uranium that occurs naturally in rocks and soil.
This gas can cause a variety of health issues, most promitanly lung cancer in non-smokers, and is therefore one of the most essential searches organised by your conveyancer. However, according to a heat map of Radon Gas affected areas from Public Health England, the centre of Birmingham has notably low levels of Radon Gas.
Outside of the city centre, areas in the West Midlands such as Halesowen, Oldbury, and West Bromwich show higher levels of Radon, but are considerably lower compared to the levels that are seen in the South West of the country.
Nevertheless, it is important to have a reliable conveyancer on board who will ensure the right searches are completed and reports returned to you in good time. Ensure you read the full report and results before proceeding with your Birmingham property purchase.
Is Contaminated Land an Issue in Birmingham?
The city and surrounding areas has a wealth of industrial history which has made Birmingham the city it is today. However the impact on the land has resulted in areas of contamination which can impact residential properties and the surrounding land.
Birmingham council released a report in which it described the city as having a “legacy of land contamination issues” and that the council has therefore extensive experience of dealing with land contamination issues associated with the city’s industrial heritage. As a result, the council holds a large amount of information on the issues which will be reviewed during conveyancing searches.
That said, much of Birmingham is occupied by housing public open space and agriculture, with the council reporting that the majority of such land can be considered free from historical contamination.
Contaminated Land Searches, conducted on the land surrounding the property, will take into account the historical use of the land. This includes current and past industrial use, waste and landfill and contaminated land liability.
The report will be graded as “passed” or if action is required. If your report reveals that action is required, it does not necessarily mean that the property is unsuitable for dwelling, but your conveyancer will need to arrange further assessments to gain a further understanding of the issues raised. This may include searches which look further into the impact of Birmingham’s industrial history on the land.