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Which solicitor's searches should I pay for?

(4 Posts)
stargirl04 Mon 17-Mar-14 14:57:24

Hi, I am in the process of buying a 9-year-old flat in SE London (purpose-built block which was formerly the site of a factory).

I have paid for the basic searches but there are 3 more optional searches that will cost me an extra £125 approx.

These are:
1. Environmental Search - to reveal any environmental issues; ie if the land had a previous industrial use (which it did) and could be contaminated

2. Planning Search - to reveal planning applications submitted to the Local Authority, eg: plans for a big new Tesco nearby, etc

3. Chancel Repair Liability Search - to reveal whether the property is in an area where I might have to pay towards maintenance for a church, which is not necessarily close by.

Does anyone know if I can get access to this information via the council or on the internet, or should I just pay for the extra searches for peace of mind?

I was going to ask my vendor if she would know (for example, having gone through the same process herself), but thought that would be beyond cheeky......

Many thanks.

specialsubject Mon 17-Mar-14 15:23:30

in those circumstances you should definitely have the environmental search.

planning-wise, I think you can see any current applications on your council's website. But you also need to do some asking round about things that are in the works but not yet submitted to planning, or rejected applications. EG if Tesco have tried once and been rejected, they will try again. This kind of thing does not show up on a planning search.

chancel liability - try the vendor on this, they can only say 'don't know'!

usual disclaimer!

fresh Mon 17-Mar-14 15:31:57

Environmental Search; if the flats have been there for 9 years then they presumably wouldn't have been given planning permission if there were any major environmental hazards.
Planning Search; see above!
Chancel Repair Liability; absolutely not. Since October last year, if there is any chancel repair liability it has to be noted on the title register of the property. If it isn't (your solicitor will know), then you are not liable.

stargirl04 Tue 18-Mar-14 13:09:18

Thanks for the advice folks. I've had a good think about it and, as I'm a worrier, I've decided to just pay for the extra searches for peace of mind.

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