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Solicitors like Latin. Conveyancing Solicitors like one Latin phrase in particular, CAVEAT EMPTORThis means “Let the Buyer Beware!”

In English Law it is the responsibility of a purchaser to ascertain whether the property is structurally sound, whether there are any physical defects and also whether there are any legal issues. This means your seller is not necessarily legally obligated to reveal defects in the property.

Searches on the property you are buying

Searches are investigations that your Conveyancer carries out as part of their Conveyancing work.  They send a standard list of questions to certain authorities in order to obtain information about the property. The searches most commonly undertaken are:

Local Authority Search which gives information such as whether there have been any planning applications or building regulations applied for the property.  This can indicate whether the works done to the property were undertaken in accordance with statutory regulation.

A Water & Drainage Search shows whether the property is connected to proper drainage and a water supply.

Environmental Reports indicate whether the property is at risk of contamination, flooding, subsidence and other environmental factors.

A Mining Search may be required depending on the property’s location. You may need to have a coal, tin or some other kind of mining report undertaken to check that the property has not been adversely affected by past mining activities.


A Survey must be carried out by a surveyor.  It is not generally a legal requirement but is very much recommended.  A surveyor can check that the property is structurally sound, whether there are any defects and even give your Conveyancer some hints as to whether they need to look into a legal matter further. A surveyor will visit the property and see it physically, in person. Remember although a Survey is not a legal requirement, because of the Buyer Beware rule if you find something wrong with the property after completion, you’re stuck with fixing it yourself.

At Fidler & Pepper Solicitors we have our own search company so we can run the searches quickly alongside our conveyancing which makes the process much easier.

Get in touch – we can help or provide you with a quote

Take a look at our website if you would like a conveyancing quote, need more information or want to see our  frequently asked questions. If you would like to speak to one of our experienced team please call 01623 45 11 11.

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