How Much Are Conveyancing Searches in Reading?
The conveyancing searches will be submitted to the relevant authority to ensure nothing is legally or environmentally affecting the property or the land surrounding it. Property searches are typically made up of a Local Authority Search, Environmental Search and Water and Drainage Search.
Our goal at Compare My Move is to make the moving house process as simple as possible for all our users. That is why we’ve researched the average cost of conveyancing searches in Reading. We’ve taken the relevant costs and data from the Reading Borough Council website and, more specifically, their Land Charges Register page.
One of the main searches your conveyancer will carry out is the Local Authority Search. It is a compulsory search when applying for a mortgage and will highlight any legal restrictions affecting the house or nearby land. This type of search will come in two parts, LLC1 and CON29.
According to the Reading Borough Council website, the standard search including both LLC1 and CON29 will cost £129.60, including VAT. Standard enquiries for CON29 only will cost £99.60, including VAT. The LLC1 is exempt from VAT and will cost £30.00 if requested separately.
If you require further searches, you can receive sections of CON29O Q4-21 for £14.40 each, or the singular CON29O Q22 section for £16.80. There will likely be additional administration fees if you want any documents copied. Keep in mind that these prices can vary depending on the conveyancer you’re working with. Some conveyancers will also include ‘package deals’ for searches, possibly saving you more.
Other searches to factor into the overall cost will be the Environmental Search and Water and Drainage search. These are not currently stated on the Reading Borough Council website so it would be wise to consult your conveyancer first to discuss prices. They may even suggest a number of separate searches depending on what the results say.
Requisition LLC1 Only
£30.00 inc VAT
This includes details of any restrictions or prohibitions on the land/property and any financial charges held against it. It is exempt from VAT.
Standard Enquiries CON29 Only
£99.60 inc VAT
This includes approximately 60 enquiries. It provides vital information such as recent statutory notices, Compulsory Purchase Orders and any building or road proposals that may impact the property.
LLC1 and Con29
£129.60 inc VAT
This will contain both the Official compiled LLC1 report and the Official compiled CON29.
What Are the Flood Risks in Reading?
One of the most essential factors of the conveyancing process for Reading buyers is using the Environmental Search to identify flood risk areas. As Reading is within close proximity to both the River Thames and the River Kennet, it often experiences flood alerts, especially in streets such as Rose Kiln Lane and Brook Street West.
When viewing the Flood Risk Areas Map, you can see the biggest factors that increase Reading’s risk of flooding are the two rivers surrounding it. The reservoirs and potential for surface water also increase the flood risk.
If you’re viewing property within close proximity to the rivers, it’s vital that you speak to your conveyancer about the search results. According to the interactive map, many properties situated near these rivers have over a 3.3% chance of flooding each year.
The Reading Flood Map is a useful tool for house-hunters as it depicts Reading’s flood alerts by postcode. This means you can search for the postcode of the property you’re interested in to see it’s flood risk level. A few areas located near the rivers are shown to be ‘medium’ or ‘high risk’ so it’s important to be aware.
Don’t forget to read the report carefully and to speak to your conveyancer about the potential issues that may arise from factors like flooding or increased surface water.
Are There Ground Stability Concerns in Reading?
Due to Reading’s history of chalk mining, the ground would have been greatly impacted over the years, making the Environmental Search vital for ground stability.
One factor that can cause damage to homes is subsidence. This is when the ground beneath your property compresses or sinks, creating an unbalanced foundation. According to Geobear’s UK Subsidence Map, subsidence isn’t a major concern for many Reading homeowners. The areas most affected will be the ones closest to London.
However, a Map of the Distribution of Clay Over the UK depicts Reading as a Hazard Level D area. This means that the clay soil could shrink or swell with added pressure, redevelopment or even from a change in temperature, increasing the likelihood of subsidence occurring.
Another factor that will be uncovered throughout the ground stability searches, will be the risk of landslides and sinkholes. According to the UK Landslide Map, Reading has pockets of areas that are at ‘moderate’ risk of landslides.
In January 2000, 30 homes had to be evacuated due to the collapse of a 19th Century chalk mine around the Field Road and Coley Road area. This created a sinkhole which ultimately collapsed 2 houses.
You can view a number of previous examples on the Reading Borough Council website, even the original Field Road and Coley District Initial Investigation Project. For further help, you can also have a separate Chalk Mining Search for added peace of mind.
- 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 Reading?
As part of the Local Authority Search, your conveyancer will likely request a CON29 document that will highlight any potential risks from local radon gas emissions in the property’s area. Radon gas is a colourless and odourless gas that is emitted from rocks and soils due to the decay of small amounts of natural uranium.
It’s important your conveyancer requests this information as high levels of radon gas can cause health problems, including an increased risk of lung cancer. Many homeowners in Reading do not need to be overly concerned, however, as the area does not have a high level of radon emissions.
The UK Radon Map does not show Reading as a ‘high risk’ area. Some areas such as Caversham and the outskirts of Reading have a higher percentage of emissions, but even these are below or equal to the average.
Overall, Reading has a less than 1 in 100 chance of its properties experiencing high levels of radon gas. But it’s still vital this conveyancing search is carried out as some areas will be more affected than others, providing further peace of mind for you as a buyer.
Is Contaminated Land an Issue in Reading?
Contaminated land typically contains substances that could cause significant harm to people, properties or protected species. They may also contain significant pollution or the risk of radioactivity. Examples of contaminated land include landfills, factories or previous mining areas. As Reading has a major history of chalk mining, this is a vital search for buyers.
Some areas of Reading will experience contaminated land due to its past chalk mines affecting the ground and its stability. There could still be minerals present within the soil or sinkholes may appear, destroying properties. If your conveyancer highlights your property is located within or near a contaminated/previously contaminated area, it’s vital you discuss the situation and do further research to uncover the issues at hand.
Reading Borough Council has a thorough Contaminated Land Strategy that you can view online. For further peace of mind, they also provide examples of previously contaminated areas that have now been remedied to highlight the success of their strategy.
The George Street Allotments were once considered as contaminated due to excessive pollution, but the council’s report details the entire project and the steps taken to remedy the issue. If you’re concerned about contaminated areas and how they are treated in Reading, this is a good example to ease your concern.