Welcome to Legal Brokers Ltd and our Conveyancing Searches blog page.


We use this page internally to keep our clients updated with changes affecting specific Local Councils, as well Utility Companies, and other providers who have a part to play in providing conveyancing searches to solicitors and conveyancers.


This page is generally updated every couple of days as a way to keep fee earners updated. 


Our admin system, when a client logs in, provides Estimated Return Dates (ERD's) for each bundle of searches hence the News Section is simply an additional tool to keep clients updated with respect to matters affecting their search orders.


Furthermore from the searches portal our clients can also generate conveyancing quotes via our quotes calculator, get Indemnity Title Insurances, and select AML search products.


If you'd like to discuss becoming a client and our generating searches on your behalf please either call 0345 603 0708 or email jon@legalbrokers.com.



Jon Hilton

Conveyancing Searches 
Legal Brokers Ltd




News and General  31st May 2023


Personal Searches


Completed Personal Searches are a combination of data obtained from different Council departments, specifically; Building, Highways, Land Charges and Planning. Some data is available online, other information needs sending to us by the Council, and in the majority of cases we need to visit the Council's offices to retrieve the data we need.... and Councils can make search agents wait for available appointment slots. ie. all search firms are in the same boat (so to speak).


Council News


Bolton Council have experienced serious technical issues since 14th November 2022 due to a new software installation. They can provide Personal local searches and results for LLC1's but they currently have a 4 month delay - their backlog is (we're told) being dealt with in chronological order. If the delay jeopardises a sale or exchange date please contact us with the details for the urgency and we will pass this along to the council.


Central Bedfordshire have increased their turnaround time for Official Searches to 18 working days due to staff covering local elections earlier in the month.


Daventry Council are experiencing a huge back log with local searches and are advising an approximate 30 working day turnaround time.


Dudley Council are still experiencing technical difficulties with their Building Control Search database. All information is currently being obtained via their MapSearch tool, which has been stated as containing accurate and complete records by Development Control. 


East Staffordshire have increased to a 45 working day turnaround time for Personal and Official Local Searches due to experiencing issues beyond their control. They are advising chases only be sent after this time has passed. 


Epsom and Ewell have increased their turnaround time for Official Searches to 15 working days.


Gloucester Council have started processing Local Land Charge searches. It's expected that it could take approximately 5 weeks to process the current backlog, which will be processed in submission date order. They are also experiencing problems with the Planning emails which they are working to resolve. You may wish to consider indemnity insurance to enable transactions to proceed, please email darren@legalbrokers.com to discuss this option.


Hackney are not accepting "full" Local Search requests at present. There is still the option of a Partial Search, to discuss this further email kath@legalbrokers.com. Alternatively we can offer a Search Delay Indemnity Policy for £30 plus IPT, please contact darren@legalbrokers.com for further information.


Oldham Council have advised they are currently working through a 4-week backlog following the local elections


Sheffield Council Land Charges department are experiencing increased timescales for both Personal and Official local searches due to staff shortages. They have advised turnaround times may increase to 25 working days.


Tonbridge and Malling are experiencing delays returning Local searches due to recent annual leave within the Land Charges Department.


As an overview there are 350 Councils, plus Utility Companies, and we've listed the following noteworthy elements; 

  • Knowsley: increased from 21 to 28 days
  • Salford: increased from 25 to 30 days
  • South Ribble: up from 10 to 15 days 


  • Charnwood - down from 59 to 21 days
  • Lichfield - down from 30 to 18 days
  • Salford - down from 31 days to 14 days
  • Sefton - down from 24 to 14 days
  • Worcester - down from 50 to 20 days

Please be aware that £250 spent buying a Cheshire East "Highways Search" only returns the Road adoption status. Please contact us prior to ordering. ie. the Council aren't providing the data you may be hoping for...


New Builds. In some circumstances the development and properties will be registered with the Land Registry (which is where our data comes from) and the site will be able to identify each property. If the Land Registry hasn't got the data we'll need a Plot plan, Location plan, and Development plan. ie. we need to find the property with reference to existing roads and infrastructure. 


In some circumstances it may be quicker to order an Official Search rather than a Personal Search. Officials are generally more expensive, but the Council may offer a faster turnaround time. Please email kath@legalbrokers.com if you have an urgent search requirement.


We understand that there are unfortunately times that searches have to be cancelled. To make sure your request is received and dealt with promptly, please send all cancellation requests and queries to searches@legalbrokers.com as this email is monitored daily by all members of staff.


Kind Regards


Stacey Armitage

Searches Department

Tel: 0345 603 0708

Providing a range of different services we are a multi-faceted business that can assist with online marketing, organic Search Engine Optimisation, Pay Per Click advertising, Legal Recruitment, Property Searches, White Label Conveyancing, Franchising, Law firm sales, Fee Sharing and providing PII quotes.