The Local Authority Search is the most common property search a buyer gets when purchasing a property. In fact, if a buyer is getting a mortgage to fund the purchase, they will have to get the local authority search otherwise the mortgage lender won't lend the money to the buyer.
The Local Authority Search provides a report on information held at the local council about your property. The report includes information on:
• Planning permission granted, denied or pending;
• Building control regulations granted, denied or pending;
• Highways information;
• Public use of the property's land;
• Nearby road schemes;
• Radon Gas;
• Conservation area; and
• Contaminated land;
What's the difference between the Regulated and Official search?
An official local authority search is provided by the council, however a regulated personal search is provided by a search agent. As the information included in a local authority search is public record, search agents are able to compile the above information, often at a fraction of the cost of the local council.
Most regulated personal searches come with an indemnity insurance to insure against errors or omissions. Search agents are now the more preferred source of local authority searches and the majority or mortgage lenders accept the detail provided in them.
Which mortgage lenders require an official local authority search?
The list of mortgage lenders that won't accept personal searches is reducing and limited to the less known non-high street banks including (list updated for October 2016):
Banks and Clients Plc
Buckinghamshire Building Society
DB UK Bank Ltd
GE Money Home Lending Ltd (has withdrawn from the UK mortgage market)
Leek United Building Society
Loughborough Building Society
Mortgage Agency Services
Nedbank Private Wealth Ltd
New Street Mortgages
Paragon Mortgages Ltd
Paratus AMC Ltd
Penrith Building Society
Platform (a trading name of The Co-Operative Bank Plc)
Stafford Railway Building Society
State Bank of India UK
If you are getting a mortgage through any of the above mortgage providers then you'll need to get an official local authority search from the council and the costs vary depending on each different council.
Local Authority Search Fee
The local authority search cost varies depending on whether you get an official search direct from the council or if you get a regulated personal search.
If you are getting an official local search then the cost can vary from as low as £60 to as high as £300 in some of the London councils. The cost of a personal search depends on the search agent and averagely costs £124.