Local Land Charges Guide
The Register, Charges & Searches
Buying a property is a major undertaking. It is probably the single most expensive investment you will ever make. It is essential that you have as full a picture as possible of the property you are purchasing.
In most cases, when a property or parcel of land is purchased, leased, mortgaged or a valuation carried out, a request for a search is sent to the Local Land Charges Department at the Council. This search is usually submitted on your behalf by your solicitor or licensed conveyancer.
In simple terms, the search is an investigation into any information held by the local authority relating to a specific property or parcel of land and is usually required by your lender (i.e. your bank or building society) as a condition of securing a mortgage.
A basic search comprises two parts: firstly the Official Certificate of Search which reveals all entries listed in the Local Land Charges Register, commonly called the LLC1, and the CON29 Enquires Form.
IMPORTANT. The search will not tell you about planning proposals for adjacent land or property (eg. a new housing development on the field behind) unless your solicitor or conveyancer specifically asks for this information at an additional cost.
All Local Authorities must maintain a Local Land Charges Register which contains details of "Charges" which are binding on successive owners or occupiers of a particular property or parcel of land. Charges would include conditional planning consents and planning agreements, Tree Preservation Orders, Conservation Areas and Listed Building entries, Enforcement Notices or Financial Charges (eg. details of monies owed to the Council as a result of works carried out by them in default).