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Local land charge search

Information on doing a local land charge search for people buying a property or piece of land in the borough, or remortgaging.

Searches are usually carried out on behalf of the solicitor, conveyancer or mortgage lender. A local authority search will identify if there are any legal restrictions or financial charges and any proposals for development that could affect your property.  

Local land searches do not reveal ownership for a property or a piece of land. You will need to contact Land Registry or for land that is owned by the Council, our Valuation and Estates Team.  

Types of searches

There are two types of local land charge search available: a local authority search or a personal search.

Local authority search

Local authority searches are covered by the Local Land Charges Act 1975 and guarantee comprehensive replies to the official LLC1 and CON29 enquiries. We are required by law to keep a local land charges register. This is a comprehensive record of properties in the borough from residential houses to commercial buildings. 

The register includes information such as planning permissions, conservation area designation, tree preservation orders, enforcement notices, improvement grants and financial charges. 

Information that is found on the register is used to respond to land charges searches when property changes hands. 

The search certificate will bear our logo and will be signed by a council officer. Please note that a Certificate of Search will only be produced and signed by a local authority. 

We aim to complete official searches within 10 working days.

The search will be in two parts: 

LLC1 - this first part, the 'Official Certificate of Search Form', deals with all the registerable charges, for example financial charges registered against the property by the local authority, improvement grants, tree preservation orders, conditional planning consents and agreements. 

CON29 - the second part, called 'Enquiries of Local Authorities Form', deals with issues such as road schemes, the planning history of the property and various notices which affect the property. 

Please note that searches must include the following when submitted to be accepted for processing:  

  • if a search is submitted by a solicitor, cheques drawn on the solicitor's client account are requested, made out with the correct amount

  • the correct address and an up to date scale plan in duplicate showing the extent and location of the land in question clearly edged in red

  • client's own cheques are not accepted as a method of payment. Please contact us regarding the fees using the contact details below.

The CON 29 enquiries questionnaire, which forms part of the official search, contains many 'warning' questions, the answers to which you will not find on any of the statutory registers.

Examples of the information only to be found by submitting a CON 29 are given below: 

  • compulsory purchase orders
  • many informal notices under planning and highways laws not found on any register
  • road proposals or schemes (including road widening)
  •  proposed enforcement action or breach of conditions notices.

Optional questions

The CON29O contains 19 less requested optional questions. Any number of these can be requested for the set fee. We do not answer question 9 in regard to pipelines. You will need to contact Transco for this enquiry.

A definitive list of the questions is as follows:

  • compulsory purchase orders
  • many informal notices under planning and highways laws not found on any register
  • road proposals or schemes (including road widening)
  •  proposed enforcement action or breach of conditions notices
  • road proposals by private bodies
  • advertisements
  • completion notices
  • parks and countryside
  • pipelines (for an answer to this question please contact Transco)
  • house In multiple occupation (for an answer to this question please contact Environmental Health Residential)
  • noise abatement
  • urban development areas
  • enterprise zones
  • inner urban improvement areas
  • simplified planning zones
  • land maintenance notices
  • mineral consultation and safeguarding areas
  • hazardous substance consents
  • environmental and pollution notices
  • food safety notices
  • hedgerow notices
  • flood defence and land drainage consents
  • common land, town or village

Making a land search request online

You can request a land search online via NLIS Online or Thames Water. These two companies are licensed to perform the online search.

Water Enquiries

It's possible you will have queries relating to a property's water supply. For answers to CON29 water enquiries please contact:

Thames Water Property

Insight Asset Data Services

DX151280 Slough 13

Tel: 0118 923 6656

Personal search 

Personal searches can be made via a third party, an agency or by a member of the public. An appointment can be made to view a copy of the local land charges register for free under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 by calling the Land Charges Team a few days in advance. The third party/agent can make notes from the register copy with a view to producing their own report.

A copy of the register will be supplied to you or your personal search agent in a typed format for you to inspect and return to us. We cannot be held responsible for a report completed by a personal search agent. Queries which arise from a personal search should be investigated through the personal search company in the first instance. 

It is also recommended by the Local Land Charges Institute that a full official local authority search is issued in place of a personal search. 

Read more about the local land charge personal search.

Request a local authority search

To request an official search you need to send details of the property/land being searched and an up to date OS plan at 1:1250 with the site clearly marked. If you are searching for information on a flat that is within a larger property, it is useful to provide the correct flat number/floor number along with the postal address and not just a development plan number. 

Your request can be sent by email or post and you must include your company name, address, email and telephone number. All searches are returned via email therefore it is important that you have a valid and complete email address. Please note – we do not use the dx. Any searches sent via the dx will not be received or processed.

We will contact you if there is a query regarding the search address, if another site plan is required or if there is any other problem. 

Please note that we require a full address to be submitted. Plot numbers cannot be processed and this will cause a delay to your search.

Payment

Lewisham have implemented the VAT on CON29 as of 31 March 2017. The new fees are published below including VAT.

We accept payment for official searches by debit or credit card. You will be contacted by telephone for the payment to be taken once your search has been completed.  

If you are requesting a search by post, please also include a cheque for the appropriate fee. Cheques must be made payable to the ‘London Borough of Lewisham’. 

Please note that refunds cannot be given once the search has been received and accepted by the requestor.  

Scale of fees 

All searches must include VAT.

Fee for a local search on a property/land within Lewisham £152.70
CON29O questions £12.30 each
Extra parcel of land £25.50
Own additional enquiries £25.50
Local land charges register only £43
CON29 £110.70