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Can I check if a solicitor has carried out a search?

(14 Posts)
Palomb Wed 04-May-16 08:52:53

We are ready to go and so are our vendors and their vendors too.. We've been ready two weeks! We were taking about moving this Friday when our buyers solicitor comes back and says he's still waiting for a local search. He did not call us back at all yesterday.

I want to check that this has actually been ordered. Can I do that by calling the council?

I'm shitting myself that somethings going to go wrong sad

Luc28 Wed 04-May-16 09:31:51

The council won't tell you anything unfortunately, it's pretty standard procedure so I would presume that if they say they've requested it they have. You could always check with your buyer if they've paid for the search as this is usually paid upfront. The search timescale is dependant on the local council and how busy they are, some can be back within a day others can be 5 working days or more.
If your concerned at all speak to your solicitor or your estate agent and they should help. Try not to worry though it is normal, quite often the solicitors will wait for the final check of the file then request the search, upon receipt all ticked off and you'll then be asked to go in and sign the contract of Sale and monies will be requested.

Palomb Wed 04-May-16 09:56:44

That's reassuring, thank you. I have never ever been this stressed. Awful. Never doing it again!

Luc28 Wed 04-May-16 10:34:45

It's very stressful but try not to worry it will all be sorted soon

Palomb Wed 04-May-16 11:49:56

I've just spoken to the council and the searches haven't even been ordered sad

I have a really bad feeling about this.

specialsubject Wed 04-May-16 12:04:25

oh dear...

get on to your agent and stick a rocket up their arses to make some phone calls. If they want their commission they need to make this sale happen.

iwillbemrsminty Wed 04-May-16 12:14:32

I work in a solicitors and deal with conveyancing every day. I find it hard to believe that searches haven't even been ordered at this stage! It's one of the first things usually requested when a sale has been agreed... Local Authority and Enviro & Water & Drainage searches (sometimes others too). I bet it's been an oversight, someones forgotten to send it out in the post. Sounds the only logical explanation to me, especially if they told you they are waiting for the results. I would be angry

Palomb Wed 04-May-16 16:18:16

I am! Our sol is really on the ball but theirs is like something from the dark ages. We don't know who owns our fence, it isn't on the title deeds. We've lived here for ten years and have maintained it as appropriate but I don't know who's responsibility it is legally. Our buyers solicitor has asked us who owns it 3 times now by fucking POST! It's positively medieval. Everything from our Sol has been done, as you would expect in 2016, by email. Asking us to clarify an answer or asking the same fucking question again ought to take 10 minutes, not a fucking week!

Our sol doesn't seem worried and that the searches will have been done by an external company and that's why the council couldn't see them, our EA says buyers are happily plodding along quite happily but i'm going out of my mind!!

I absolutely hate it. Every bloody minute of it.

Spickle Wed 04-May-16 19:12:56

Palomb - have your buyer's actually paid upfront for the searches (you might think this is an odd thing to ask but you'd be surprised how many clients we have to chase to pay for these as they often think it is included in the conveyancing fees)? Because if not, the solicitor won't order them. Bear in mind also, that the local search may reveal things like building regulations certificates or fensa certificates which the buyer's solicitors will then raise yet more enquiries on. They will not exchange without the search results and further enquiries satisfied.

With regard to who owns the fence - you could obtain the deeds for the neighbouring property to see if the "T" marks are on their deeds. If no "T" marks are on your deeds or your neighbours, then Land Registry will advise that the boundary fence is jointly maintained and owned and therefore costs will be shared. It costs £3 to get a copy of the title deed downloaded and would at least answer the question immediately - your buyer's solicitor will not obtain the deeds as it is the seller's who should provide these, although not usually the deeds for a neighbour unless specifically asked for.

Palomb Wed 04-May-16 19:21:06

I expect is it ours but there are no t marks. The other side is a track owned which has ROW over it for several houses rear access so I'd be surprised if it were shared ownership but no t marks and not mentioned on the deeds. We had just accepted that if we wanted the fence replacing then we would have to replace it ourselves. It didn't come up at all when we bought the house.. Same bloody solicitor too!

As far as I can work out our buyers are in rented and have given notice to move at the end of he month. They know the rest of us are ready but don't want to have to pay 2 lots of accommodation fees for housing this month. I appreciate their issue but they knew the score when we accepted their offer. They're dragging their feet.

Palomb Wed 04-May-16 19:21:48

We've given them all our certs already. They know everything is in order there.

MyLlamasGoneBananas Fri 06-May-16 09:00:32

Some authorities can take 6 weeks to get the searches out. This is vvv worst case scenario and usually Iver summer months when council staff are on leave and working in minimum staff levels (which are already minimum these days). A solicitor usually sends for the searches the minute they are instructed due to the length of time they can take to come through.
On average it takes about 12 weeks for a house purchase to go through. We have done it in 6 weeks but that was with a family member doing our conveyancing and pushing hard for us.
Get on to your solicitor today and ask them what the delay is and to chase the searches.
Good luck.

Palomb Fri 06-May-16 09:09:45

Well we went through the EA to speak to our buyers directly and they were unaware of any issue. They had been told the sol was asking for a different amount for some indemnity insurance when actually the sol has told us it's a different, much higher amount. They're not bothered about the fences. Their sol has made it in to an issue when it wasn't for them. Re the searches as far as they know they had been done so maybe they were done by an external co after all.

Everyone else's sol seems to be really proactive apart from theirs.

Anyway, apparently they signed the forms yesterday so maybe we'll actually exchange soon. Unless their sol decides to sit on them for a week angry

Spickle Fri 06-May-16 13:41:17

Searches are done by an external company. Depending on which Council are involved, it can take 6 weeks to get the Local Search back, though the others - Environmental and Water & Drainage are usually back within days. It is difficult to hurry these along - Council's generally will not prioritise them.

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