How Much Are Conveyancing Search Costs in Liverpool?
When you’re buying a property, your conveyancer will arrange conveyancing searches to check that nothing is affecting the property or the land surrounding it, legally and environmentally. At Compare My Move, we’ve done the hard work and researched the average cost of conveyancing searches in Liverpool.
The main search your conveyancer will carry out is the Local Authority Search. Your conveyancer will submit a local land charges search to the council which will highlight any legal restrictions affecting the house or the land nearby.
According to Liverpool’s City Council website, Local Authority searches fees cost £87.00. To break down the costs, the local authority search is split into two parts, LLC1 and CON29. You can obtain the Local Land Charges searches in Liverpool via HM Land Registry for £15 and the CON 29R will cost £72 (£60 + £12 VAT).
For further enquiries and searches, Liverpool city council offer a Common Land Search (Question 22) for £6 (£5 + £1 VAT) and Part 2 enquiries (additional questions/options enquiries Question 4 to Question 22 - £6 per enquiry (£5 + £1 VAT).
Other searches include an Environmental Search and Water and Drainage search. Your conveyancer will usually offer all searches as a package deal, but this varies depending on your conveyancer. You might also require further searches, this should be arranged with your conveyancer. Below is the breakdown cost of a Local Authority Search, taken from Liverpool Council website.
Local Land Charges Search (LLC1)
£15.00 inc VAT
This consists of a search of the Local Land Charges Register. It reveals if there are any outstanding charges such as financial ones where money is owed to the council when work has been carried out on the property or land.
Form Con29 - Part 1 and Part 2
£60.00 inc VAT
This questionnaire contains Part 1 standard questions revealing any road proposals or schemes, compulsory purchase orders, enforcement actions, building regulations or planning applications and formal/informal notices. It also contains Part 2 optional enquiries such as public paths, noise abatement orders and pollution notices.
Standard Official Search (LLC1 and Con29)
£87.00 inc VAT
This will contain both the Official compiled LLC1 report and the Official compiled CON29.
What Are the Flood Risks in Liverpool?
Liverpool is situated East of the Mersey Estuary. According to a government UK flood risk map, Liverpool has an extremely high flood risk, with the chance of flooding each year greater than 3.3%. Furthermore, Liverpool is the fourth-highest risk city in the UK for surface water flooding. Surface water flooding is caused by urbanisation, ageing infrastructure and culverted watercourses.
The effect of Storm Dennis and Ciara during the beginning of 2020 left many areas of Merseyside underwater and countless properties damaged. According to The Flood Hub, there are 840 properties in Liverpool at high risk of surface water and 220 properties at the highest risk of river and sea flooding. Homes built near River Mersey, East Float and West Float pose a great threat to flooding, in particular, homes in Duke Street and Tower Road.
If you’re thinking of buying a house in Liverpool, you will need to hire a conveyancer. Your conveyancer will be responsible for arranging environmental searches around the area of the property to reveal details of the past and current uses of the land and if they pose a current threat. If a flood risk is revealed or if the property is situated on a flood plain, as it would in Liverpool, then your conveyancer will suggest you have a Flood Risk Search carried out.
Are There Ground Stability Concerns in Liverpool?
Liverpool’s industrial history means the city’s ground would have been impacted throughout time. Your conveyancer will be responsible for organising a ground stability search as part of your conveyancing searches to reveal any issues that could affect your property.
Liverpool has a small risk of subsidence as shown on GeoBear’s UK Subsidence Map. According to a Map of the Distribution of Clay Over the UK, Liverpool is in hazard level category A-C, meaning there is a low risk of properties being built on clay soil. This is an issue that will be highlighted by your conveyancing searches if your property does fall risk of being near any subsidence.
Another issue that will be highlighted in your ground stability search will be whether or not the area had or still has mines or queries. According to the Coal Authority Mine Map, Liverpool isn’t a coal mining reporting area with no active mines in the city. Although unlikely in Liverpool, if your environmental searches highlight the property is in a mining area, your conveyancer may recommend you getting a CON29M Coal Mining Search for an in-depth analysis.
With the risk of subsidence being clear in the city centre, Liverpool’s dense population might be the cause of subsidence. The pressure from many buildings and people in Liverpool will contribute to its subsidence.
- 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 Liverpool?
Part of the Local Authority Search, a CON 29 document will ask questions relating to the threat of radon gas in and near the property. This type of conveyancing search will determine whether or not the house you plan to buy is in a radon affected area. Usually, the search will return a specific distance to the nearest radon affected area, or if the property is indeed directly in a high-risk area.
According to the government’s UK Radon Map, the levels of radon gas in Liverpool are low. Radon is a natural odourless gas that is found in most locations, it can be life-threatening if there is a high level of the gas around. Rest assured, your conveyancer will be responsible for letting you know if there’s a threat of radon gas once they’ve completed conveyancing searches.
Is Contaminated Land An Issue in Liverpool?
Contaminated land is commonly found on ground that was once used for landfills, steel mills, mining, factories or refinery. Liverpool has seen a wide-spread industrial development over time, with industries using a variety of substances and materials. Historically, these substances and materials are at risk of causing spillages and leaks which can settle in the ground, contaminating it.
There is a huge presence of brownfield land in Liverpool, with 700 brownfield sites identified across the city. Brownfield land is unused land that has previously been developed, posing a threat of the land being contaminated. Out of the 700 brownfield sites in Liverpool, there are 1,813 acres that could be turned into 42,000 homes once it is safe to do so.
Contaminated land poses a threat to the development of new homes in Liverpool, with many projects being axed or delayed. A recent plan to create 600 new homes in Widnes near Liverpool was paused as developers discovered the presence of “Leblanc Process”, a chemical that was common in 19th-century industry. The council also have plans to develop the former landfill site, Festival Gardens in Otterspool, into 1,500 eco-friendly homes, but face a pricey bill to clear the contaminated land first.
Liverpool city council have safety measures in place to prevent all risk to public health from contaminated land. The Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy regulates the process of identifying and remedying contaminated land in Liverpool. There are also 9 COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazards) sites in Liverpool which aim to ensure all necessary measures are taken to reduce any risk of contaminated land threatening the local environment and people’s health.
When buying a house, it’s important that you know if the land on or around the property has previously been used for contaminative uses. Your Local Authority Search and Environmental Search arranged by your conveyancer will determine if the property is situated on or near contaminated land.