Personal Local Authority Search - Get a Regulated Personal Search with SAM Conveyancing
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Official vs Personal Local Authority Search

18/05/2022
5,553
4 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 included within a 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;

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 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.

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.

NB Please click on Lenders Accepting Personal Regulated Personal Local Authority Searches to see the full list of these (list valid as of October 2016).

Call 0333 344 3234 or click below to request a call back and we'll book your regulated personal search for you.


What is a local authority search? Get a personal search from SAM Conveyancing

Which mortgage lenders require an official local authority search?

The list of mortgage lenders that won't accept personal local authority 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
Fleet Mortgages
GE Money Home Lending Ltd (has withdrawn from the UK mortgage market)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
Parity Trust
Penrith Building Society
Pepper Homeloans
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 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 costs £124 on average.

Call us or click below to request a call back and we'll arrange your search as soon as possible.

Fixed Fee – No Sale No Fee – On all Mortgage Lender Panels

Frequently Asked Questions

Each council has its own turnaround time, which will vary again, depending on their volume at different times. They can vary from days to weeks. Getting a Regulated Personal Search (like ours) ensures faster results.
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.
Without a local authority search, you are at risk of buying a property which is worth (or will be worth) less than you are paying for it.

Plus potential high costs of repairing or rectifying issues for the buildings safety, integrity or planning compliance.

Perhaps most concerningly, you could be exposing yourself, and your family, to cancer-causing gas for years, without your knowledge

 
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