Conveyancing search delays in 2021

....and how to speed things up! 

It's probably fair to say that Local Authority searches have been the cause of most delays during the recent 2021 lockdown. There are, however, a few things you can do to help search providers to speed up the return of your conveyancing searches across the board. Here are our suggestions for a more streamlined ordering experience:

Provide a clean address 
A recognised clean address makes a lot of difference. House numbers or names enable a bit of precision and postcodes are obviously recognised across the board, but even areas of a town or city would help – the more accurate and detailed the address, the quicker searches will tend to be processed. 

Requesting a water/sewerage bill 
When compiling the CON29DW, a water company’s billing systems are usually separate to the mapping systems, so we are sometimes unable to locate a particular address to confirm connection and billing details. On these occasions we may need you to request a copy of the bill from the seller. Obtaining this upfront can help speed things up.

Land classification 
Please ensure that you are choosing the correct category of land when ordering your conveyancing searches as choosing the wrong category can sometimes lead to delays. Our system will always default to the categorisation that the address has been allocated by Land Registry and Ordnance Survey, so only change this if you know something that they don’t!  

Plan of the property 
Using our mapping tools, which are free-of-charge, is the quickest, simplest and most accurate way of providing us with a map – it also means we have an accurate ‘polygon’ of the property or land area to take to providers of other searches such as the Local Authority. If you put in a clean address and our system finds it, you are good to go – we will show you the boundary that we will use to create your searches before you proceed. However, if you prefer to upload your own plan – that’s also fine and easy to do.

And a couple of extra points with regard to the CON29DW search: 

1. Please note that for the CON29DW, the sewerage and water information may be provided by different Water Companies and this adds to the turnaround time of the search. 

2. When querying answers in the CON29DW, we are unable to merely change data based on your feedback. The search provider needs to jointly investigate with the Water Company which provided the data to achieve all-round agreement and secure documented proof (of connection, for example). 

Please don’t forget that, with the exception of Local Authority searches, most conveyancing searches in 2021 are still adhering to efficient turnaround times. This is particularly true of the CON29DW, which meets the standards set by the Drainage and Water Searches Network, and even in this uncertain year has still managed to achieve an average turnaround time of less than two working days.