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What is a ‘Local Search’?

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This is a report from the local authority.

It has two purposes: to avoid the risk of unknown liabilities, which could be financial, and to provide information that could be useful to the purchaser.

Wards Solicitors has an arrangement with most local authorities, local to our offices.  The fees and service we receive from them reflect this. Wards Solicitors only commissions official searches, supplied directly by the local authority, and these are available, in most cases, within a few days, depending on the area.

The search reveals if anything adverse is recorded by the local council, against the property.  It also provides information as to matters such as roads and planning.

The local authority search relates only to the property being bought, and does not give details of any proposals to develop land near to or in the immediate vicinity of the property, nor of any parking restrictions.  A more general planning search is available as a separate additional search. Most local authority websites are very informative and have planning portals which enable public access to planning information.

North Somerset Council supply, with the search result, a useful Information Sheet for buyers.

If you are looking to purchase a property, with a mortgage, a local search is compulsory to meet lenders requirements. Local searches do go out of date and, for lenders purposes, must be no older than 6 months, at the time of completion.

For more information contact Susan Ellis

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Update: Covid-19 arrangements from 5 November 2020

Wards Solicitors remains very much open for business despite the new restrictions. We are still able to take on new cases.

However, we are no longer able to arrange face to face meetings with clients except in a very few individual and emergency cases. The doors to our offices are locked in accordance with government advice. We are however available for video call and telephone meetings.

If you have documents for us, including for ID certification, please deliver them to our letterbox at the office handling your case.

How to get in touch:

  • Please email or telephone your usual lawyer or team, or
  • Please telephone the branch most convenient to you between 9am and 5:30pm,
  • Or email info@wards.uk.com at any time and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

A list of our 11 branches is available here. Our telephones lines are operating as normal behind closed doors

We look forward to hearing from you.