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The importance of pre-completion searches

The importance of pre-completion searchesThis article explains the process to be undertaken at the pre-completion stage. It explains about people who are responsible for these searches, the reasons to do so, when to make them etc.

Who makes the searches?

It is the responsibility of the buyer’s conveyancing solicitor to ensure that all pre-completion searches are carried out without fail, and that the searches are to the satisfaction of the client. Such a search is not only in the best interest of the buyer, but also in the interest of the lender. The conveyancing solicitor also has to made enquiries about the solvency of the buyer.

Reasons for making searches

These searches are made to ensure that the information obtained about the property before exchange is correct.

When to make searches

The search should be made within a sufficient time so that all results are obtained before the date of completion. Ideally, these searches are made a week before the date of contract completion, but may sometimes be left until little time is left for completion date, especially if a telephone or fax search is to be made.

Which searches to make

The following are the searches to be made;

a)      In the case of registered land, a search against the title number is to be made.

b)      In the case of unregistered land, including an unregistered reversion of lease, a search at the Land Charges Department should be made against the name of estate owners of the land.

c)      When acting for the lender, the conveyancing solicitor should make a bankruptcy search on the name of the borrower.

Other enquiries relevant to the transaction.

Photo courtesy: Pip R. Lagenta

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