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Having your day in court

The Homeowner's Guide To Conveyancing Searches

by Beverley Lopez

There's much more that goes into becoming a property owner than the simple exchange of title deeds. Conveyancing searches are an integral part of the property acquisition process. The questions and answer session below provides the scoop on conveyancing searches with prospective first-time homeowners in mind.

What Are The Definition And Importance Of Conveyancing Searches?

Conveyancing searches are defined as standard enquiries offered by utility companies, government agencies, and commercial organizations. Conveyancing searches are a service offered by conveyancing solicitors.

Conveyancing searches are important for a number of reasons. For one, they are integral in the identification of potential restrictions and environmental conditions that may limit the intended use of the property.

There are numerous types of conveyancing searches recommended for prospective property owners, some of which may not be necessary. The conveyancing solicitor will be in a position to evaluate the nature of the property to be purchased and to offer advice on the relevant searches required.

Are There Mandatory Conveyancing Searches?

Of the numerous types of conveyancing searches, there are two searches that are required by law in nearly all states.

Local authority conveyancing searches are carried out by the concerned local authorities or government agencies. Local authority searches provide the prospective homeowner with information about road works that may affect construction-related activities on the property. They are also used to determine the proximity of railways lines to the property and to rule out the possibility that the property is located in a protected area.

Local authority conveyancing searches are important because the factors they investigate can have a profound effect on the use and/ or enjoyment of the property to be purchased.

Water and drainage searches are also mandatory in many jurisdictions. This conveyancing search is offered by the relevant utility companies. Water and drainage searches are often aimed at establishing the presence of sewers running through the property and the proximity of the property to public sewer lines.

The water and drainage search is also used to locate water mains on the property.

What Other Conveyancing Searches Are There?

Other conveyancing searches not necessarily required by law include environmental and mining searches. Environmental conveyancing searches are often aimed at assessing the potential environmental impact of putting the property to its intended use.

Mining searches are carried out to establish whether mining-related activities have been undertaken on the property before, or whether there is anticipation that such activities will be undertaken in the near future.

For answers to further questions about conveyancing searches, make a date with a local conveyancing solicitor.