How Much Are Conveyancing Search Costs in Bexley?
The searches organised by your conveyancer are one of the most important steps when it comes to buying a house in the UK and can provide you with useful information about the property you are looking to buy. This includes information held by the local council, in this case, Bexley Council.
You will be sent reports with the findings by your conveyancer. It is vital that you raise any concerns you have with these at the earliest possible convenience. Your report will highlight any restrictions or charges affecting the use of the property, such as tree preservation orders, enforcement notices, planning permissions and financial charges. It will also provide information on matters such as local plans, highways and assets of community value.
The environmental searches organised by your solicitor will detail land use and any concerns regarding contamination of the land. It will also shed light on any flood risk, the level of radon gas and any issues relating to ground stability and subsidence.
The local authority search is split into two parts - the Local Land Charges Search (LLC1) and the CON29 form. The cost for these searches will depend on the location of the property you are looking to purchase. The cost of the Local Land Charges Search (LLC1) in Bexley is £28 and the CON29 form is £82 (inc VAT). Additional enquiries (Con290) cost £33.
Local Land Charges Search (LLC1)
£28 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.
£82 inc VAT
The CON29 provides information on matters such as local plans, highways and assets of community value.
£110 inc VAT
LLC1 and CON29 combined.
£33 inc VAT
These are the optional issues you can ask about, which would be in addition to the standard information provided.
What Are the Flood Risks in Bexley?
According to Bexley Council, flooding in the borough can arise from a variety of sources including groundwater, surface water, sewer flooding and river flooding. Surface water is the largest risk of flooding in the borough with 13,000 properties considered at low risk, with 660 at high risk. This is due to the extent of urbanisation in the borough.
Tidal flood risk affects land along the Borough's Thames frontage, up the Dartford Creek (River Darent) and along the River Cray to their tidal limits. Additionally, there are approximately 40 properties with a high risk of flooding from rivers (fluvial flooding), with a further 10,000 properties at low risk of this type of flooding in Bexley. Fluvial flooding occurs from the River Cray, the River Shuttle and other tributaries, for example, the Wyncham Stream.
When buying a house, your solicitor will arrange searches that can highlight any potential flooding issues in and around the area of Bexley you are looking to buy. As flooding can cause considerable damage to residential properties - and in some cases a threat to life - it is essential that you are aware of any risks prior to purchasing. You can safeguard yourself and your investment by reading the search reports thoroughly and raise any concerns you may have with your conveyancing solicitor prior to completion.
Are there Ground Stability Concerns in Bexley?
One of the most crucial parts of the searches arranged by your conveyancer is ensuring there are no issues regarding ground stability. Ground instability can cause a host of serious problems for homeowners, from decreasing the value of the home to subsidence, which can cause the house to “sink” and become unstable.
A majority of Greater London has been built on a natural material known as “London Clay”, a type of shrinkable clay which is susceptible to changes. As a result, London is a known hotspot for ground stability issues. This is further exasperated by the considerable amount of large and high-rise buildings in a condensed area, adding pressure on the ground.
According to a map created by Geobear, which identifies the UK subsidence hotspots, risks of subsidence are present across the borough of Bexley, although it appears it is a lower risk than areas of Central and South London.
Following a search arranged by your solicitor, a report will be sent to you by your conveyancer that will highlight any risks of subsidence and any other concerns regarding the stability of the ground around the home. This will allow you to make an educated decision on the property purchase and understand any risks or concerns regarding ground instability in the area of Bexley you wish to move to.
- 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 Bexley?
Radon Gas is a colourless and odourless gas formed by radioactive decay of small amounts of uranium that occurs naturally in rocks and soil throughout the UK. As a result, it can often go undetected in UK homes. High levels can potentially cause a number of serious health issues, including lung cancer in non-smokers.
According to Public Health England’s heat map of Radon Gas, there is evidence of Radon Gas throughout East London. Bexley is no exception, with Radon Gas levels found across the borough, albeit at a low level.
Nevertheless, the health risks linked to Radon Gas mean that it is essential that you are aware of the levels of radon gas in the area of Bexley you are looking to buy. Once the searches are completed, ensure that you read your report thorough and query anything you are uncertain of with your solicitor.
Is Contaminated Land an Issue in Bexley?
Any land in the UK that contains pollution and substances which are considered harmful to human health, water sources and the wider environment is considered “contaminated land”. This contamination is usually caused by past industrial use or the deposition of waste such as heavy metals, oils and tars, solvents, gases, asbestos and radioactive substances.
Bexley Council, as is the case with local authorities, has a statutory duty to identify land in the borough which may be contaminated. The Council’s Contaminated Land Strategy helps manage the approach to dealing with land contamination.
With regard to new housing, Bexley Council encourages the redevelopment of previously-developed land (‘brownfield land’) rather than undeveloped (‘greenfield’) land. However, according to a report from the Council, these brownfield sites are more likely to be affected by the presence of contamination, due to historic industrial processes, waste disposal or accidental spillages. Remediation of any contaminated land is generally dealt with by imposing conditions on development, as part of the planning process.
Your conveyancing solicitor will arrange the necessary environmental searches to ensure there are no risks from contaminated land in the area of Bexley you are looking to buy a home in. This will usually include a search of records, maps and documents relating to past land use which are held by the local authority.