How Much Are Conveyancing Search Costs in the City of London?
Conveyancing searches are one of the most crucial steps in buying a house. These are searches arranged by your conveyancing solicitor which will provide details of the property you are looking to buy and the surrounding area. These searches include reviewing information held by the local council, in this case, the City of London Corporation
A report will be compiled complete with information on past land use and any concerns regarding pollution and contamination of the land. These searches 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 cost for these searches will depend on the location of the property you are looking to purchase. The local authority search is split into two parts - the Local Land Charges Search (LLC1) and the CON29 form. The cost of the Local Land Charges Search (LLC1) in the City of London is £15 and the CON29 form is £133.20 (inc VAT). Additional enquiries (Con290) cost £7.20 per question.
Local Land Charges Search (LLC1)
£15 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.
£133.20 inc VAT
The CON29 provides information on matters such as local plans, highways and assets of community value.
Optional enquiries (form CON290)
£7.20 inc VAT
These are additional enquiries to Con29 and are optional.
What Are the Flood Risks in the City of London?
According to the local authority, the City of London Corporation, historically the district has not experienced significant flooding and there are relatively small areas of the City of London that are at risk of flooding.
Surface water flooding is one of the City's higher risks and as Lead Local Flood Authority, the City Corporation is responsible for managing it. There is also a 'residual risk' of flooding in the event of a breach in the Thames' defences.
The Thames Barrier and local flood defences protect the City, but changes will be needed to address risks from sea-level rise and other impacts of climate change. Furthermore, limited areas of the City are at risk from river flooding in the absence of any flood defences
Your chosen conveyancer will be responsible for arranging crucial searches that will indicate any flooding concerns in and around the area of the home you are looking to buy. It is important that you read your reports thoroughly and raise any concerns you may have, prior to completion on your City of London property.
Are there Ground Stability Concerns in the City of London?
Discovering serious ground instability or subsidence on your property can be catastrophic for homeowners. These issues can result in a building or home becoming unstable, causing the home to decrease dramatically in value and potentially making it unsafe to live in.
The City of London is a known hotspot for ground stability concerns, as the modern-day Greater London area is built on London Clay - a type of shrinkable clay which is susceptible to changes. This type of foundation can result in unstable ground and subsidence for properties, including residential homes.
Geobear, an organisation that provides solutions for ground instability or subsidence, state that increased weight and pressure on the ground from multiple large buildings in a condensed area also plays a part in subsidence and ground instability in London. A map created by Geobear identifying the UK subsidence hotspots shows a considerable amount of subsidence concerns in the City of London district, as is the case in much of the central London area.
It is vital that you are aware of any ground instability issues before you decided to purchase a property. The search report sent to you by your conveyancer will provide details of previous land use in the area of the City of London you are looking to buy. It will also highlight any risks of landslides, 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 the City of London?
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.
A heat map of Radon Gas affected areas from Public Health England shows that Radon Gas levels are low in the City of London and it is unlikely that this will be highlighted as an issue in your search reports.
That said, with the health risks in mind, it is still recommended that you read the details of your search reports, including the level of Radon Gas, to be sure it will not impact you in your new City of London home.
Is Contaminated Land an Issue in the City of London?
Land that contains any kind of pollution and substances which can be harmful to humans, natural water systems and/or the environment will be considered “contaminated land” in the UK. Industrial development and processes from the 19th and 20th centuries are linked to much of this contamination, in addition to any previous waste disposal activities in the area.
The City of London Corporation website reports that there are no records of current or former landfills within the City of London boundary. They further state that they are responsible for deciding what land qualifies as contaminated land in the district. Currently, no sites in the City of London have been classified as 'contaminated land' under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Nevertheless, it is important to be clear on the risks of contamination on the land where the property you are looking to buy resides. The environmental searches arranged by your conveyancing solicitor will usually include a search of records and maps held by the local authority, giving details of the previous land uses. This will ensure there are no concerns regarding contamination and pollution in and around your new home.