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The report checks Local Land Charges as well as Planning and Building Regulations.

Official vs Personal Local Authority Search

(Last Updated: 18/07/2023)
3 min read
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 search, otherwise the mortgage lender won't lend the money to the buyer.

What is a personal local authority search?

This is also know as Regulated Local Authority Search. The 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;
Regulated Local Authority Search

What is the difference between an official search and a personal search?

An official local authority search is provided by the council.
A regulated personal search is provided by a search agent.
Historically more reliable than regulated.
Has been reliable enough to be accepted by most lenders for some time.
Typically more expensive.
Typically less expensive.
Prices vary by Local Authority.
Prices vary by search provider.
Often subject to delays.
Typically faster.

As the information included in the search is public record, search agents are able to compile the above information, often at a fraction of the cost of the local council. Search agents are now the more preferred source of local authority searches and the majority or mortgage lenders accept the detail provided in them.

Can I do my own local authority search?

You can do a search yourself. However, this is not recommended as most lenders will not accept a search carried out by someone who does not have the specialist knowledge required to to execute the search properly.

If you do not want to pay for your searches, it may be a better idea to get No Search Indemnity Insurance. Generally these policies cover:
  • adverse difference in market value
  • cost of settling out of court
  • costs and expenses arising from issues that would have been discovered in searches prior to the transaction.

Personal Local Authority Search Cost

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 have any questions about property searches, you can always get in contact with a member of our team.

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. Our price is £215 INC VAT .
Frequently Asked Questions
Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Written by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Reviewed by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

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