How Much Are Conveyancing Search Costs in Chelsea?
One of the most crucial steps in buying a house is the local authority searches arranged by your conveyancing solicitor. These will provide essential details of the property you are looking to buy. The searches include reviewing information held by the local council, in this case, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Following the completion of the searches, your conveyancer will send you the search reports for you to review. It is important that you raise any concerns with the finding that you may have as at the earliest possible convenience. The report will cover past land use and any concerns regarding pollution and contamination of the land. It will also review the flood risks in the area, the level of radon gas in the home and any issues relating to ground stability.
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 Chelsea and Kensington is £27.50 and the CON29 form is £276 (inc VAT). Additional enquiries (Con290) cost £14.40 per question.
Local Land Charges Search (LLC1)
£27.50 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.
£276 inc VAT
The CON29 provides information on matters such as local plans, highways and assets of community value.
£303.50 inc VAT
LLC1 and CON29 combined
Optional enquiries (form CON290)
£14.40 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 Chelsea?
According to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council, sewer flood risk and surface flooding are considered particularly problematic. This is due to the inability of the sewers to cope with a fast intake of surface water run-off during heavy rainfall and storms. In particular, basement sewer flooding associated with the Counters Creek sewer in the west of the Borough is considered a major local flooding concern.
The council are responsible for developing a Flood Risk Management Strategy under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. This includes the management of flooding by working in partnership with other flood risk authorities, reduce flood risk and its consequences and undertake research about flood risk to the borough.
Your conveyancer will be responsible for arranging searches that will indicate any potential flooding issues in and around the area of Chelsea where you are looking to buy. It is vital that you read your reports thoroughly and raise any concerns you may have with your solicitor.
Are there Ground Stability Concerns in Chelsea?
Ground instability can be disastrous for homeowners. Issues such as subsidence can result in a building or home becoming unstable, causing the home to decrease in value and potentially making it unsafe to live in.
The centre of London is a known hotspot for ground stability issues, as the modern-day Greater London area is built on a type of shrinkable clay which is susceptible to changes, known as “London Clay”. This foundation has resulted in potentially unstable ground and subsidence in parts of the city.
Geobear, an organisation that provides solutions for ground instability or subsidence, has said that the weight and pressure on the ground in a small square mileage from multiple large buildings also plays a part in subsidence concerns throughout Inner London. A map created by Geobear identifying the UK subsidence hotspots has revealed the extent of subsidence concerns in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea. As is the case with many of the boroughs situated in central London, the risk of subsidence appears particularly high.
It is vital that you are aware of any ground instability issues before you proceed with your property purchase in Chelsea. A search report will be sent to you by your conveyancer will highlight any risks of subsidence and any other concerns regarding the stability of the ground around the home.
- 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 Chelsea?
High levels of Radon Gas in the area you live in can potentially cause a number of health issues. Radon gas is a colourless and odourless gas, formed by radioactive decay of small amounts of uranium that occurs naturally in rocks and soil. Cases of lung cancer in non-smokers have been linked to the gas, which is why it is essential that you are aware of the level of radon in an area before purchasing a home.
According to Public Health England’s heat map of Radon Gas, which reveals the areas affected by Radon Gas across the UK, the levels in Chelsea and the surrounding area are considerably low. As a result, it is unlikely that you will find that this will be a concern in your conveyancing search reports.
That said, with the serious health risks linked to Radon Gas in mind, it is still essential that you read the details of your search reports regarding the gas. This way you can be sure Radon Gas will not impact your new Chelsea home.
Is Contaminated Land an Issue in Chelsea?
Any land in the UK which contains pollution and substances which are considered harmful to humans and the environment, including natural water systems, is considered contaminated land. Past land use, particularly from the industrial revolution onwards, has contributed to pollution in the land across the country.
In the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, there are no notable reports of contaminated land or ground pollution. Initially a village, Chelsea has long been home to residential properties and unlikely to have been used for any industrial purposes in the past. According to the council, Kensington was not an industrial area.
That said, you will want to be sure that your home is free from any land contamination risks. The environmental searches arranged by your conveyancing solicitor will usually include a search of records held by the local authority, which will provide details of the land, including previous uses and if there are any indications of contamination. This can give you peace of mind that contamination and pollution will not impact your Chelsea property.