I'm a cash buyer - what are the most important searches?

I am buying a new-build house and plan to pay with cash. What are the most important searches that are needed?
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Question: I am buying a house and plan to pay by cash. It is a new-build. Could you let me know which are the most important searches that I ought to get done?
Answer: In your case, with no mortgage, there are no lender’s requirements to satisfy so you can just have the searches you want. Indeed, as a cash buyer, you could decide not to have any searches at all.

But that’s a bad idea. It is prudent to get your solicitor to undertake all those searches and enquiries that are appropriate for the property you are buying. You need to find out as much as possible, remember caveat emptor — buyer beware.
The developer’s/seller’s solicitor may include searches in the contract package, but these may be out of date and you cannot rely on the results as they were not carried out for your benefit or in your name.
As a minimum it would be advisable to carry out a search of the local land charges register, including enquiries of the local authority and a drainage and water search. Generally a chancel repair liability check and environmental search are also carried out.
Depending on the locality other searches may be useful — mining, underground railways, proposed new tunnels or lines, and so on. Be guided by your solicitor, who should also obtain details of any relevant planning consents.
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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email legalsolutions@standard.co.uk or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here. Fiona is legal director in the real estate group of Foot Anstey LLP in Exeter (fiona.mcnulty@footanstey.com)
These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

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