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 marketing@legalbrokers.com. 



Conveyancing Searches 
Legal Brokers Ltd




News and General  17th May 2024


AML Searches


We've recently automated all the Bronze "pass" results. ie. the results are instant. We still manually assess all results in the event of a fail or refer response across the Bronze and Silver reports. Bronze is a quick non-biometric report and Silver is a biometric report that requires the individual to respond to our text message based system.


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).


Official Search Prices


There are around 350 Local Authorities in England and Wales, each with different fees for CON29R, LLC and the 19 CON29O optional questions. Very few of these Local Authorities notify us prior to increasing their fees and there is no central data base for this. While we endeavour to keep our prices up to date, there maybe instances where an Official search has increased. If this is the case, we will contact you before confirming the order.


Council News


Bolton Council We have been reliably informed by Bolton Council that the backlog of personal searches caused by technical issues in November 2022, has now been resolved and normal service has been resumed. In most cases we are now able to process personal local searches within 7 working days. Official searches are taking longer and currently have an estimated return time of approximately 20 working days. 


Braintree Council are experiencing delays in returning Personal and Official Local Searches due to staff shortages.


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


Derby Council are experiencing delays in returning personal search information of approximately 35 days, they are quoting 7 working days to return Official Searches.


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 indemnities@legalbrokers.com for further information.


Leicester City Council are back up and running, with access to all systems restored, following their recent cyber incident. 


London Borough of Camden are currently working with HMLR to move their data to the central register, this has resulted in delays of up to 8 weeks in returning ALL searches.


Manchester Council are returning information to us ahead of their advised 20 working day turnaround time. Personal local searches are being returned within 10 working days.


Newcastle upon Tyne Council have advised there will be delays in returning all types of searches due to annual leave 1st-14th May.


Oldham Council are experiencing delays with Personal and Official Local Searches due to the recent local elections.


Salford Council are experiencing technical issues across multiple departments which will lead to delays in returning Personal and Official Local Searches.


Sheffield Council have advised turnaround times for both Personal and Official Local Searches to increase to approximately 25 working days, due to staff shortages. During this time the council may not be able to expedite searches.


St Helens Council had a 3 month delay returning Land Charges data. They seem to have caught up now and we've received a significant batch of outstanding data. We expect turnaround times to revert to 3-4 weeks. The turnaround time for Official searches remains at 7 weeks.


Stratford-On-Avon are expreriencing delays in returning Official Local searches due to a technical issue in the Highways Department.


Stoke-on-Trent have reduced their return time for Official Searches from 35 working days down to 20 working days.


Tameside Council Official Searches are currently taking 5-6 weeks to be returned. 


Test Valley are currently quoting 30 working day turnaround time for all searches and that they are currently working through a backlog.


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


Wyre Council has been experiencing problems with their Land Charges system since Tuesday 2nd April 2024, so they are currently unable to return any searches. They have logged the issue with their IT provider but do not currently have an estimated time for this to be fixed.


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

  • Barrow Westmorland: up from 12 to 78 days
  • Central Bedfordshire: increased from 33 to 42 days
  • Gwynedd: increased from 31 to 59 days
  • Thurrock: increased from 20 to 28 days


  • Dover: down from 53 to 33 days
  • Sefton: down from 14 to 11 days
  • Stroud: down from 25 to 15 days
  • Wrirral down from 45 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.