How Much Are Conveyancing Searches in Brighton?
The conveyancing process is vital when selling or buying a house. That is why it’s important to find a reliable and verified conveyancer to help with the legal aspects of the sale and conduct the necessary conveyancing searches. These searches are typically made up of a Local Authority Search, an Environmental Search and a Water and Drainage Search.
The Local Authority Search is one of the main conveyancing searches your conveyancing solicitor will carry out. The price of this search can be found on the Brighton and Hove City Council website where they list their local land charges and fees. Some of the searches may be offered as a package deal with your conveyancer, affecting the overall cost.
A Local Authority Search will involve a number of detailed searches that will look into the local area and provide vital information about planning applications, enforcement activity and any charges on the property you’re viewing. It is typically split into two sections, LLC1 and Con29. In Brighton, the cost for a full Local Authority Search containing both parts is £180.30 as of 1st April 2020.
The Local Land Charges (LLC) alone will cost £53, whilst the separate Con29R search costs £127.30. There will be added fees if you require copies of any of the reports or require additional enquiries from the separate Con29O form. Your conveyancer will organise these searches as well as the Environmental Search and Water and Drainage Search.
LLC1 Search Only
£53.00 inc VAT
This includes details of any restrictions or prohibitions on the land/property and any financial charges held against it. It is exempt from VAT.
Con29R Search Only
£127.30 inc VAT
This includes approximately 60 enquiries. It provides vital information such as recent statutory notices, Compulsory Purchase Orders and any building or road proposals that may impact the property.
Full Local Authority Search (LLC1 and Con29)
£180.30 inc VAT
This will contain both the Official compiled LLC1 report and the Official compiled CON29.
What Are the Flood Risks in Brighton?
During the conveyancing process, your conveyancer will complete an Environmental Search which will highlight whether the property you’re interested in is located in a high flood risk area. As Brighton is a seaside resort, it is prone to coastal flooding making this search vital for potential buyers.
According to the UK Flood Risk Map, Brighton’s main issue comes from overflowing rivers and seas, making a lot of the area ‘high risk’ This means that many properties within Brighton have a 3.3% chance of flooding every year. Streets such as The Strand and The Waterfront are particularly prone to flood warnings, making the flood risk report vital for buyers in this area.
One of the biggest problems for Brighton when it comes to the risk of flooding is coastal erosion. The Brighton and Hove City Council has stated that, over the next 100 years, the rate of erosion for the coastline is currently assessed as minor by the Environment Agency. This does not reduce the need for an Environmental Search but should provide reassurance that the local council is keeping the coastline well-maintained.
However, if you’re still concerned, you can view the Friend’s of the Earth Flood Map to see which specific areas of Brighton will be affected by potential flooding and coastal erosion. Although most locations do not contain properties that will be affected, there are locations further inland that contain over 42 homes that could be affected by coastal flooding.
Are There Ground Stability Concerns in Brighton?
As part of the Environmental Search, your conveyancer will complete a ground stability search to uncover any unstable ground on or surrounding the land your property is located on. This search will highlight any risk of subsidence, landslides and any other factors that may cause the ground to become unstable.
Due to its coastal location, Brighton is often subject to ground instability and so it’s important to review the report thoroughly. The UK Subsidence Map doesn’t show Brighton as a high risk, but there are still areas that contain a ‘moderate’ risk of subsidence. This is likely due to the nearby coastline as well as the clay soil beneath many of its properties.
The England and Wales Clay Hazards Map portrays Brighton as a Hazard Level D, meaning the clay soil throughout the area is likely to shrink and swell when added pressure or a great change in temperature is present, increasing the possibility of subsidence. This is why an Environmental Search is so important as it can highlight these issues before the transaction is complete.
Brighton also has a low to moderate risk of landslides and has previously encountered issues of sinkholes due to the ground instability. Again, these issues should all be covered in the Environmental Search which will then tell you if the property you’re interested in could be affected.
- 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 Brighton?
As part of the Local Authority Search, your conveyancer will highlight if there’s a high level of radon gas near your property. This will be answered in the Con29 form and will discover if the property is located directly in a high-risk area or within a specific distance to the nearest radon affected area.
Radon is an odourless and colourless gas that emits from the natural uranium in rocks and soils. As Brighton lies mainly on chalk, the risk of radon emissions is significantly lowered as it doesn’t contain high levels of uranium. Both Brighton and Hove have much lower levels of radon gas compared to other areas of the UK.
As you can see on the UK Radon Map, areas of Brighton that are located closer to the coast have slightly higher radon emissions, but overall, it is still a low emissions area. You may rely more on this search if you’re viewing properties on Brighton’s coast, but even then, the level of emissions is not high enough to increase the risk of health conditions.
The worst affected areas of Brighton include streets such as Ewhurst Road and Redvers Road which are located in a raised radon area. This means that the properties may experience higher than average emissions, increasing the maximum radon potential to 3%-5%. These are the areas that buyers should be most wary of and so the Local Authority Search is vital to discover the emission levels.
However, as a whole, the majority of Brighton is luckily only rated at a 1%-3% risk of radon. This means that for every 100 homes within the area, only around 1-3 of them will be above the average level of radon emissions.
Is Contaminated Land an Issue in Brighton?
Before you commit to purchasing a property, it’s important to discover if it’s situated on or near contaminated land. Contaminated land typically contains some sort of substance or pollution that is hazardous to your health or to the environment. This can include land previously used for mining or current land used by factories and as landfill sites.
Brighton doesn’t have a major history of contaminated land but it’s still vital you use the Environmental Search to discover as much as you can about the property and the land it was built on.
Although currently clear, you can view the Brighton and Hove City Council’s Contaminated Land Register to see if any updates have been made that could affect your property. The website also contains advice and contact details for anyone who believes their land is contaminated.
For added peace of mind, Brighton and Hove City Council also have their Contaminated Land Strategy available to users so you can view the steps in which they’d take if contaminated land should be discovered.