Over the past few weeks we have looked at the searches mortgage lenders require when purchasing a property: the Local Authority search, Drainage and Water search, and Environmental search. In addition, there are other searches which you may wish to obtain to find out further information on a property, or which are advisable due to the property’s location.
Coal Mining Search
If your property is in a former coal mining area, it may be at risk of subsidence (where the land is unstable and prone to moving), and there can also be issues such as gas emissions from the former mines. This can lead to a decrease in value to your property. As a result, where the property is in a former coal mining region, a coal mining search is advisable. In fact, if you are purchasing with the assistance of a mortgage, your lender will require a clear coal mining search before proceeding with the mortgage.
Areas at risk from coal mining include Yorkshire, Lancashire, the North East, the Midlands and North and South Wales.
The coal mining search will investigate whether the property is within 20 metres of a mine entry and whether there has been any known subsidence. It will also indicate whether there have been any other issues associated with the former mines, and whether there is likely to be mining activity in the future. If the search indicates any risk, your solicitor has an obligation to report this to your lender for further consideration.
Your solicitor will normally advise you as to whether a coal mining search is required and will inform you if the search indicates anything which may affect your decision to purchase the property.
Other optional searches
If you are concerned about a particular issue affecting the property, there is a wide range of searches which can be obtained to investigate further. The most commonly purchased optional searches are HS2 report, Energy and Infrastructure report and Plan Search Plus.
The HS2 report looks in detail at the routes of the proposed train routes announced by the government and whether this will be in close proximity to your property. It will give information as to the whereabouts of the track, the track type and the potential speed.
The Energy and Infrastructure report also investigates whether the property is in close proximity to the HS2 route, but will also look at distance from any energy sources such as wind farms, turbines and areas licenced for fracking.
The Plan Search Plus can give information about the area which the property is in, such as crime rates, employment, schools and local facilities as well as average property prices. This search is particularly useful if you are relocating to a new area.
If you wish to discuss the searches which we have looked into over the past few weeks or if you are purchasing a property, contact our specialist residential conveyancing team today on 0113 244 9931.