How long does a local authority search take?

Local Authority searches are a fundamental part of a buying or selling a property – perhaps even the fundamental part. When purchasing a property it’s vital to know certain information before proceeding: Is it a listed building? Are there any developments planned? Is the property in a conservation area?

Not knowing this information could seriously hamper any future plans you might have for the property.

About Local Authority searches

The Local Authority search consists of a standard LLC1 result and a CON29 result.

The LLC1 form contains information relating to:

The CON 29 document consists of two separate parts, CON 29R (Required):

And CON 29O (Optional), which deals with a number of optional extra enquiries, depending on the property circumstances.

There are a total of 348 local authorities in the UK with a further 24 county councils and, although some will offer additional information upon request, the majority will simply provide LLC1 and Con29 results.

How long does a Local Authority search take?
Between 48 hours and 42 days, based on 2015 performance.

Much is made of the notion of searches delaying property transactions but, in reality, the average length of a property transaction is 88 days and the slowest Local Authorities are currently operating on a 42 day turnaround, based on performance so far in 2015.

Conversely, we work with some Local Authorities who can return search results within just 48 hours. Much depends on an individual Local Authority’s method for the receipt of search requests and the return of search results – through our online portal, via email or post.

Many Local Authorities face increasing pressure to further reduce spending, therefore it is inevitable that staffing levels are reduced in many departments, one of those being Land Charges. We work with many local authorities who have a Land Charges department that consists of just 1 person.

How could they be quicker?
The obvious answer is additional staffing, however, there are ways in which TM assist in the receipt and delivery of LA searches.  The use of the TM portal as an alternative to postal or emailed requests reduces considerably a Local Authority’s turnaround time, postal costs, and administration resource.

How much do they cost?
The price varies according to each Local Authority and there is no standard pricing.

What is a local authority search and what's the delay?

Q&A: Why does your client need a Highways Search?