How Much Are Conveyancing Search Costs in Hammersmith and Fulham?
A key step when it comes to buying a house in the UK is the conveyancing process. In addition to the legalities of the sale, this process includes searches organised by your solicitor. These searches can provide essential information on the property you are looking to buy and the surrounding area so that you have a full overview of the home before completing on the purchase.
The cost for these searches vary depending on location but will be included in your overall conveyancing fees. In Hammersmith and Fulham, the Local Land Charges Search (LLC1) is £6 and the CON29 form costs £327.50. The cost of a full residential search (LLC1 And CON29) in the borough is £333.50
Following the completion of the LLC1 and CON29, your conveyancing solicitor will send you a report which will provide details of any charges or restrictions which could impact the use of the property. This includes any tree preservation orders, enforcement notices, planning permissions and financial charges. It will also detail any local plans, highways and information regarding assets of community value.
Additionally, the environmental searches arranged by your solicitor can provide information relating to the land surrounding the property you are looking to buy. This includes flood risks in the area, the level of radon gas and any issues regarding ground instability, subsidence and land contamination.
Local Land Charges Search (LLC1)
£6 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.
£327.50 inc VAT
The CON29 provides information on matters such as local plans, highways and assets of community value.
£333.50 inc VAT
LLC1 and CON29 combined
£17.80 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 Hammersmith and Fulham?
According to Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s website, residents of the borough may be at risk from three types of flooding. These include surface water flooding, flooding from the Thames and flooding as a result of burst water mains. Due to the nature of the flooding in the borough, you are more likely to be affected if you live in a basement flat.
In Hammersmith and Fulham, surface water flooding usually happens as a result of thunderstorms and heavy rainfall which can cause water to run off roofs and surrounding areas which can either flood your home via your doorway or collect in the basements of properties in the borough. High levels of rain can also cause sewers to overflow, contributing to flooding issues.
Although the probability of flooding from the Thames is small, the Flood Risk Management Strategy for Hammersmith and Fulham reports that the consequences are potentially high due to high flows which can cause rapid inundation of low lying areas, increasing the potential threat to life. That said, the last major flood from the River Thames in the area occurred in 1928 and flood protection has improved significantly since. Furthermore, Hammersmith and Fulham council states that there are only a few properties likely to flood from the Thames since the Thames Barrier was built.
The environmental searches organised by your solicitor will review any potential flooding concerns in the area of Hammersmith and Fulham you are looking to move to. It is essential that you read your search reports and are aware of any flood risks before proceeding with your property purchase.
Are there Ground Stability Concerns in Hammersmith and Fulham?
Another element reviewed as part of the environmental searches is ground stability. Ground instability and subsidence can result in potentially catastrophic damage to property, lowering its value and in extreme cases, causing the home to be deemed unsafe to live in.
Research into ground stability across the UK by Geobear found that larger cities tend to suffer from higher amounts of subsidence, in part due to the number of high-rise buildings in a relatively small area adding increased pressure to the ground.
London is considered further at risk due to the fact that much of the city has been built on “London Clay”, a natural material that is a type of shrinkable clay and susceptible to changes. The solid geology of the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham comprises of London Clay overlying chalk and is, therefore, an area where subsidence and ground instability may be more prevalent.
This is supported by a map created by Geobear, which identifies subsidence hotspots across the UK. The map shows that the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham experiences high levels of subsidence, albeit on a lesser scale than inner London. Nevertheless, it remains a concern throughout the borough and as a result, it is essential that you are aware of any potential risks around the home you are looking to purchase.
Your conveyancer will supply you with the relevant reports once the environmental searches are completed and will be able to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have regarding the results.
- 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 Hammersmith and Fulham?
Another aspect of the searches organised by your solicitor includes eviewing the levels of Radon Gas in the area. Radon Gas is a colourless and odourless gas found across the UK formed from the radioactive decay of small amounts of uranium that occurs naturally in rocks and soil.
Radon Gas can often go undetected in homes yet has been linked to various health issues, which is why it is so important to understand the levels of Radon in the area you are looking to buy.
Public Health England has created a heat map of Radon Gas which acts as a visual guide depicting the levels of Radon Gas throughout the UK. The map shows that West London has the lowest levels of Radon Gas found across London, with notably low amounts found in Hammersmith and Fulham. It is therefore unlikely that Radon Gas will be noted as a concern during your environmental searches.
However, as we’ve mentioned there are considerable health risks associated with Radon Gas, including lung cancer in non-smokers. It is recommended that you read your search report thoroughly and question anything you are uncertain about. Your conveyancing solicitor can answer any questions you may have and help you understand the results of your report.
Is Contaminated Land an Issue in Hammersmith and Fulham?
One of the aims of an environmental search report is to identify potentially contaminated land issues that may exist in the area or in close proximity to the area you are buying a home. Contaminated land is largely a result of the industrialisation of Britain during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Severe contamination of land has the potential to negatively impact both human health and the wider environment, including natural waterways.
According to Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s Land Contamination Strategy, the physical development of the borough has taken place predominantly in the last 120 years, coinciding with the arrival of the railway. Post-war, the riverside from Fulham Reach towards Hammersmith has gradually transformed from industrial uses and working wharves to mostly private residential and office buildings. It is such sites, the council reported, where potential contamination sources coincide with proposed sensitive uses (receptors), that contaminated land issues can arise.
However, the council states that many of the potentially contaminated sites do not pose any significant risk to human health or the environment because there is no link between the contamination and those potentially at risk from it. For pollution to be a risk, there has to be a means by which people come into contact with it by either breathing, eating or via skin contact.
That said, you will want peace of mind that land contamination will not impact your new home. The searches arranged by your conveyancing solicitor will include a review of the information held by the council regarding contaminated land in the area where the property you wish to buy resides. Your search report will also include information related to historic land use, planning activity, waste and landfill sites and pollution incidents in the borough.