How Much Are Conveyancing Search Costs in Merton?
One of the most important steps when it comes to buying a house in the UK are the local authority searches arranged by your conveyancer. These provide essential details of the property you are looking to buy. This includes information held by the local council, in this case, Merton Council.
Once the searches have taken place, your conveyancing solicitor will send you the search report for you to review. You must raise any concerns you have as soon as possible and address anything you do not understand with your conveyancer.
Your report will inform you of any restrictions or charges affecting the use of the property, such as tree preservation orders, enforcement notices, planning permissions and financial charges. Your environemtnal search report will cover past land use and any concerns regarding contamination of the land, flood risks, the level of radon gas in the area and any issues relating to ground stability and subsidence. It will also cover
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 Merton is £39 and the CON29 form is £105.60 (inc VAT). Additional enquiries (Con290) cost £4.80
Local Land Charges Search (LLC1)
£39 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.
£105.60 inc VAT
The CON29 provides information on matters such as local plans, highways and assets of community value.
£144.60 inc VAT
LLC1 and CON29 combined
£4.80 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 Merton?
Within the borough of Merton, there are a number of rivers and waterways which have the potential to cause flooding in the event of sudden and heavy rain.
The River Wandle, Beverley Brook, Pyl Brook, River Graveney, Bunce’s Ditch, The Pickle, Wandle Park Ditch and Figges Marsh Ditch are found within Merton. These fall under the responsibility of the Environment Agency, whilst Merton Council is responsible for making sure that watercourses are kept clear of obstructions to prevent flooding.
Despite the number of watercourses in the borough, Merton Council reports that approximately 91% of the London Borough of Merton is defined as “Flood Zone 1”, meaning there is a “Low Probability” of flooding from rivers. Just 1.9% of the borough is classed as “Flood Zone 3a” meaning a “High Probability”.
There are also potential risks in Merton from surface water flooding and groundwater flooding. Merton Council reports that the areas identified to be most susceptible to groundwater flooding across the Borough are located in areas with permeable superficial deposits. These include Mitchem Mitcham north towards Collier’s Wood, Sections of West Barnes and Raynes Park, and an area of central Merton from South Wimbledon west towards Cottenham Park.
Furthermore, the London Borough of Merton PFRA states that the West Barnes, Raynes Park and Colliers Wood areas are known to experience sewer flooding during heavy rainfall.
As part of the conveyancing process, your solicitor will arrange essential environmental searches that can highlight any potential flooding issues in the area of Merton you are looking to move to. It is recommended that you read your reports thoroughly and raise any concerns you may have with your conveyancing solicitor prior to completion.
Are there Ground Stability Concerns in Merton?
Ground instability can be disastrous for homeowners, resulting in issues such as subsidence and cause the property to drop in value. In extreme cases, it can make the home unstable and unsafe to live in.
London is a particular hotspot for ground stability issues, as the 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. Due to it’s proximity to central London, ground instability may be a factor in Merton.
A map created by Geobear which identifies the UK subsidence hotspots revealed that in Merton has a lower risk of subsidence than in central London, but that it is still an area of notable subsidence risk.
It is vital that you are aware of any ground instability issues in the area of Merton you want to move to. The search report sent to you by your conveyancer will highlight any risks of subsidence and any other concerns regarding the stability of the ground around the property you are looking to buy. It is therefore essential that you read and understand the findings and raise any questions you may have with your solicitor.
- 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 Merton?
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. High levels can potentially cause a number of serious health issues, including lung cancer in non-smokers. Radon Gas can often go undetected, 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, the readings for Radon Gas in Merton are very low, with the only notable level found in the Tooting area. It is therefore unlikely that Radon Gas will be an issue for the majority of homeowners in the borough of Merton.
That said, with the health risks linked to Radon Gas in mind, it is vital you read the details of your search reports. This ensures you are aware of the level of Radon gas in the area of Merton you are purchasing and that it will not be an issue in your home.
Is Contaminated Land an Issue in Merton?
Any land in the UK that contains pollution and substances which are considered harmful to humans and the environment is considered “contaminated land”. Contamination of land largely arises as a result of industrial activities or past waste disposal practices.
Merton Council’s website states that although there has been a recent decline in the industrial uses of land in Merton, there was a considerable amount of industry operating within the borough from about the 18th century onwards. Many of these industries developed on land adjoining the River Wandle, using the river water for power and transport.
The council also reports that there has been a wide variety of potentially polluting industrial processes active in Merton, ranging from gas works, large-scale oil storage depots and metal foundries to mills, engineering works and petrol stations.
Before buying a home in Merton, you will want to be sure that the area you plan on moving to is free from any risks of land contamination or pollution. The environmental searches arranged by your conveyancer will usually include a search of records and maps held by the local authority, in this case, Merton Council. These documents can provide details of the land, including previous uses and any indications of contamination.