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Environmental Searches

On a small island with a long industrial history, it is inevitable that more and more of our buildings will be on land, which has been used for other purposes in the past. Many such uses will have been benign, but there are increasing difficulties with properties being built on land which has formerly been used for waste management, and for varieties of industry.

After a very long delay, a system is now in place for proper searches to be carried out as to the environmental history of land. Alterations have been made to the enquiries made of the local authorities, and there are also now more extensive enquiries which can be made through commercial search agents. So far as the local authorities are concerned, our enquiries will include these new questions automatically.

More importantly we now advise that, on every new building, and on buildings which are relatively new, a full environmental search should be undertaken. Sadly, there are many houses built on land, which will be the source of difficulties in future years.

A search for domestic property costs approximately 35.00 and we recommend this in respect of domestic property where the house is less than 15 years old.

In all new build cases, we will request that the developer provide a more extensive report. Not all developers will agree to the provision of this and in appropriate circumstances it may be proper for us to carry out on your behalf a fuller environmental check for which the cost is 149.00.

As always with searches, they provide specific answers to specific and limited questions. They do not operate as a guarantee that the property will be free of environmental problems, but only that a certain number of minimum and appropriate enquiries have been answered. If you have any questions yourself, or if you have any particular knowledge about the land or area in question, please let us know.

We will discuss with you in each case whether a search is appropriate and if so in what nature.

Please note also that on many occasions, your lender may insist on a search evenm though we might not quite think it necessary.

Important: Please note that our law-bytes are retained for archival purposes only. The law changes, and these notes are often, now, out of date. You must take direct advice on your own personal situation and the law as it currently stands.
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18 October 2013 299 18 October 2013