How Much Are Conveyancing Searches in Guildford?
The conveyancing process is an essential step when both buying and selling property as it ensures the right documents have been completed to make it a legal transaction. This is why it’s so important to find a verified conveyancer to help you through each step. As part of the process, your conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor will organise the necessary searches such as an Environmental Search or Drainage and Water Search.
As the home of moving home, our goal is to make the process as simple as possible for our users, which is why we’ve researched the average cost of conveyancing searches in Guildford. One of the main searches your conveyancer will conduct is the Local Authority Search. Below, we’ve taken the relevant costs from the Guildford Borough Council website to ensure you’re fully informed before your moving date.
The Local Authority Search is a compulsory part of the process for applying for a mortgage as it will highlight any legal restrictions affecting the house or nearby land. The search will come in two parts, LLC1 and CON29. Our team discovered that the standard search including both parts costs £188 in Guildford. However, if you require the CON29 form solely, the cost is £148 whilst the LLC1 form is priced at £40.
If you or your conveyancer require further information, there is also the option of requesting enquiries from the CON29O form. The cost of this is £20.40 for each of the following sections: 4, 21 and 22. Information from any other sections will cost £12 each. There could potentially be added administration costs should you require any of the documents to be copied but your conveyancer should notify you of this during the process. Some conveyancers will include ‘package deals’ for these searches, meaning the final price will vary depending on who you’re working with.
£40 inc VAT
The LLC1 form shows you any information in the Local Land Charges register. It will find specific charges which apply to a piece of land. These include finance charges, planning charges, Tree Preservation Orders and Land Charges made due to a previous breach of planning rules on the site.
£148 inc VAT
The CON29 form shows you general information about a piece of land. This includes highways, planning history and notices (such as an enforcement notice) that affect the property. You can request either of these forms individually.
Full Search (LLC1 and CON29)
£188 inc VAT
This will contain both the Official compiled LLC1 report and the Official compiled CON29R.
What Are the Flood Risks in Guildford?
Another part of the conveyancing process will be arranging an Environmental Search on the property. This should highlight whether the building is located in a high flood risk area which is a vital fact to consider before legally committing to the purchase. As you can see on the UK Flood Risk Map, many properties within Guildford do not have a high risk of flooding. However, those located close to the rivers flowing through the town will have an increased risk.
The map indicates that the biggest risks for flooding in Guildford are the River Wey and the Tillingbourne River. Houses situated close to these bodies of water are often subject to flood alerts, making the Environmental Search invaluable for some buyers. In 2000, the River Wey even burst its bank, completely flooding the Bedford Road car park. According to the map, properties situated along these rivers have a medium to high risk of flooding, meaning there is more than a 3.3% chance of flooding each year.
Whilst the rivers and reservoirs are the main cause of flood alerts in Guildford, it is also important to uncover the possible risk of flooding from surface water. This will typically occur as a result of faulty drainage systems, so it’s vital you research the area’s history. Luckily, it appears that flooding from surface water is not a high risk in Guildford. The map indicates that some properties, again, located near the River Wey could encounter surface water flooding, but overall, it is not a huge concern for local homeowners.
As this data shows, it’s vital you discuss the results of the Environmental Search with your conveyancer before you continue with the transaction. If you do continue to purchase a home with a history of flooding, the Guildford Borough Council has a very helpful Sandbag Map that highlights the locations where you can find sandbags in the area.
Are There Ground Stability Concerns in Guildford?
When organising the Environmental Search, your conveyancer will also complete a ground stability search to highlight any unstable ground on or surrounding the land the property sits on. Issues such as the risk of subsidence, landslides or other ground-related problems will typically be found throughout this search.
According to the UK Subsidence Map, Guildford properties are not at high risk of subsidence. Subsidence often occurs in densely populated, urban areas such as London, as the added pressure of multiple buildings will weaken and dry out the ground below. As Guildford is a town and less populated than these larger urban areas, the risk of subsidence is fairly decreased.
However, if you do encounter a risk of current or potential ground instability, know that it could affect your property’s value when you go on to sell further down the line. It can also affect the safety of the building, as ground instability can weaken or misalign the foundations. Your conveyancing solicitor should be able to highlight any threat of ground instability once the searches have been completed.
- 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 Guildford?
Part of the Local Authority Search will include researching whether the area your property is located in has a high level of radon gas. This enquiry is typically found in the CON29 form and will help you discover if the location is a high-risk area or within a specific distance of a radon affected area.
Radon gas is an odourless and colourless gas that is naturally emitted from uranium in rocks and soil. Every home within the UK will experience some level of radon gas as it is a natural occurrence. However, the average is typically low and so high-level areas often have a number of health warnings such as an increased risk of lung cancer. This is because, despite being natural, the gas is radioactive.
As you can see on the UK Radon Map, Guildford has a medium risk of radon gas, with most areas containing properties with a 1 in 100 chance of experiencing high levels of radon. The majority of the town contains the typical levels of radon gas found in the UK, but there are a few streets where the risk slightly increases. Streets in the centre of Guildford, such as Artillery Road and Drummond Road, have a maximum radon potential of 1-3% making them raised radon areas. On the outskirts of town, there are some areas to the east and west that have a higher maximum radon potential of 5-10% - these include streets such as Harvey Road and Addison Road.
If you’re concerned about the level of radon gas in the local area, you should discuss the results of the Local Authority Search with your conveyancer before finalising the purchase.
Is Contaminated Land an Issue in Guildford?
Another issue that may be uncovered by the conveyancing searches is whether the home is located on or near contaminated land. Contaminated land is legally defined as areas of land that are causing or could cause significant harm to people, property or protected species, significant pollution of surface waters or harm to people as a result of radioactivity. Examples of this can include landfill sites and areas previously used by factories.
Historically, the land used in Guildford included gunpowder manufacture, brewing, mineralextraction and heavy metal manufacturing, industries that could cause contamination. Whilst we could not find an exact number on the local council’s website, it’s possible that your property could be situated near contaminated land should the area be used for these previously mentioned purposes. To be sure, it would be worth discussing the local search results with your conveyancer before continuing with the property purchase. You can request a contaminated land enquiry with the Guildford Borough Council, which is £86 for the first hour and then £82 per hour after.
For added peace of mind, know that the council do have a Contaminated Land Strategy available on their website, should you want to understand what steps would be taken to remedy any contamination.