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 email@example.com.
Legal Brokers Ltd
News and General 20th November 2023
We are launching 3 new AML Products;
Bronze - Non-Biometric AML £2.20 plus VAT
Silver - Biometric AML £7.00 plus VAT
Gold - Safe Harbour Compliant Biometric AML £10.00 plus VAT
Landmark Price Increases
We have been advised that Landmark are putting up their prices in January and anticipate other suppliers will do the same. As soon as we've been able to run through the numbers we'll let you know.
Christmas and New Year
As the festive season is aproaches, people are understandably eager to be in their new home before Christmas.
We will do all we can to get your searches returned in time for you to be able to complete conveyancing transactions before the big day, however we are reliant on councils providing the necessary information to to us in order to complete your searches. This can be hindered by council staff taking time off or closing their offices early. Please let us know if you have any urgent transactions and we will do everything in our power to help.
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, occassionally we only find out the price of an Official search has increased when we come to order it from the Local Authority. when this is the case, we always contact our client before placing the order to advise them of the correct price and check if they are happy to proceed.
Chancel Check Price Increases
Due to a recent price increase from our suppliers, we have had to increase the price of the Chancel Check. This is now £34.00 including VAT for a Residential Chancel Check and £42.00 including VAT for a Commercial Chancel Check.
If you have a Chancel Check included in your Search Bundle, the price increase will come into affect from Monday 6th November 2023.
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 5 working days.
Official searches are taking longer and currently have an estimated return time of approximately 12 weeks. We are told this is due to certain information being sourced from other departments within the council, which slows the process down. We will continue to monitor the situation and amend our estimated return times accordingly, so they are as accurate as possible.
Chorley Council are experiencing an issue with their system and are unable to action anything until this has been sorted. They are actively working to resolve the problem.
Daventry Council are experiencing a huge back log with local searches and are advising an approximate 30 working day turnaround time.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com. Alternatively we can offer a Search Delay Indemnity Policy for £30 plus IPT, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Knowsley Council have advised that the Council's Online Maps service is currently offline and the Council's IT team are looking at the issue with the intention of getting it back online as soon as practically possible. This may result in a delay in returning Local Searches.
Leeds Council are working behind schedule due to a data breach.
Manchester Council are returning information to us ahead of their advised 20 working day turnaround time. Unfortunately, they do not guarantee this, so we are unable to reduce our estimated turnaround time for this council. However, personal local searches are continuing to be sent out well in advance of the estimated return date.
Oldham Council have advised they are currently working through a 4-week backlog following the local elections and staff annual leave.
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 have advised the turnaround time for Official Local Searches and Personal Local Searches has increased to 7 weeks. As such, search requests made after November 6th are likely to be returned in the New Year.
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.
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;
- Barrow Westmorland: up from 12 to 78 days
- Blackburn: up from 23 days to 36 days
- Central Bedfordshire: increased from 33 to 42 days
- Leeds: up from 10 days to 31 days.
- Lichfield: up from 15 to 33 days
- Wirral: up from 15 days to 40 days
- Barrow In Furness: down from 55 to 16 days
- Boston: down from 45 to 24 days
- Knowsley: down from 28 to 16 days.
- Pembrokshire: down from 50 to 21 days
- Sefton: down from 14 to 11 days
- Sheffield: down from 36 days to 26 days
- Waverley - down from 55 to 25 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org as this email is monitored daily by all members of staff.
Tel: 0345 603 0708