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What is a land search and why do I need one?

Before buying any land or property, you may need to request a Local Land Charges search (also referred to as a Local Authority search or a land search).

The results of a search will give you any information that the Council holds that is relevant to your decision to purchase, such as whether the land has any land charges upon it, a full copy of the planning history and details about any public highways (roads, footpaths, bridleways, etc) in the area.

What is a land charge?

There are many different land charges, but what they all boil down to is an obligation that the owner or any subsequent owner of the land will need to comply with - quite literally, a charge upon the land. For example, these could be conditions imposed in any planning permissions that have been granted, protected trees that must not be damaged, monies owed to third parties, or restrictions on permitted development.

All land charges come with their own obligations, and it is important to be aware of any that affect the property you are looking to purchase.

Breakdown of the different forms

The LLC1 is a search of the land register (not to be confused with the Land Registry), which is a record of all the land charges that are currently in effect within the borough.

The CON29 is a set list of questions that are answered by various departments within the Council and the highways authority - in our case, Surrey County Council. You can find a breakdown of all the questions on page 2 of the CON29 form.

There is also a list of optional questions called the CON29O. Again, you can find a breakdown of these questions on page 2 of the CON29O form.

These forms can either be submitted together or separately. For example, if there is just one question on the CON29O that you want the answer to, you do not need to submit a full search (we will still require a plan however).

Finally, if there is anything else you want to know about the land that isn't revealed as standard, you can ask any additional questions of your own.

Please see privacy notice and data protection