Who pays for conveyancing searches?
Property searches are paid for, and then owned by, the buyer of the property.
Can I buy a house without getting searches?
Buying a house with a mortgage
Conveyancing searches are compulsory when using a mortgage to purchase a property. Lenders will insist that searches are conducted, as they have a large stake in your property and will want to be sure that the money they are lending you will not be invested into a property that has a higher chance of being worth less in future. Your lender will tell your conveyancer what searches to run, and these will be checked before they release your funds.
Cash buyers are free to go without most searches, or to cherry-pick a few to run based on their needs. Though the majority of conveyancing searches are not compulsory, it’s still a good idea to get them anyway to avoid the risk of:
A devalued property (for example, because the loft conversion cannot legally be used as a habitable space).
Living on land that may be contaminated (for example, from past industrial works).
Finding out that the house isn’t connected to mains water, and only has access to a very limited natural water supply.
It’s important to note that certain searches, such as Land Registry searches, are required for all purchases.
How long are property searches valid for?
Conveyancing searches generally expire after six months. If you’re buying with a mortgage, your lender will only allow completion of the mortgage to take place if the searches are still in date.