What is an Environmental Search and why do I need one?

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What is an Environmental Search?

As indicated in the name, a residential Environmental Search investigates the surrounding environment in which your property is located and whether this may impact the use or value of your property. In most cases it is a compulsory requirement of your mortgage lender that the search is carried out.

What information does an environmental search provide?

Environmental Searches provide information on the following:

1. Contaminated land

The search offers a professional assessment on potentially contaminative uses of land near to the property. It will indicate whether there are industrial sites, landfill and waste sites or petrol or fuel sites in the vicinity of the property which may lead to contamination of the property itself in the future.

2. Flooding

An Environmental Search will indicate whether the area is at risk of surface water flooding, groundwater flooding or river or coastal flooding. It will also indicate whether there have been any historical floods and whether there are any flood defences in place. The Environmental Search offers an insight into the potential flooding of the area and if the property is at risk of flooding, it is recommended that a full flood report is done on the property.

3. Subsidence

The search will indicate whether the property is in an area which has a potential for ground subsidence. This is important as the structure of your property, and therefore its value, will be affected should there be any subsidence and works could be required.

4. Energy

Another important issue the Environmental Search will investigate is whether the property is located nearby any energy infrastructures such as proposed wind farms, solar farms or power stations. A separate and more detailed report can be obtained for this; however, the environmental search gives a general overview for mortgage lenders and the purchaser to consider.

The Environmental Search considers a wide range of factors which may influence your decision of whether to purchase a property. Importantly, your mortgage lender will also be concerned with its contents and whether the value of the property is affected by its environment.

For more information about the searches or conveyancing in general, why not contact one of Alexander JLO’s expert property team?

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