About local authority searches

When you buy a property or piece of land your solicitor will order searches to find out if there are any issues or restrictions you need to be aware of. They may approach a variety of different organisations for different pieces of information. The local authority searches provide important information from council departments.

Track the progress of your search

You can check progress online.

We normally complete searches within 5 working days. If your solicitor asks questions that we need to pass to other Cheshire East Council teams then it may take longer.

Types of search

There are two types of local authority search - a local land charges search and a form Con29 search.  

We do not hold records about land ownership - you can check who owns land and property at the Land Registry.

To find out if land is owned by Cheshire East Council email property@cheshireeast.gov.uk.

Local land charges search

A local land charges search finds any relevant information in the Local Land Charges Register. Information includes:

  • outstanding financial charges, such as if money is owed to the council for work carried out on the property or land
  • planning applications for the property/land or for any property/land that shares a boundary - whether applications been approved, approved with conditions, rejected, or are  still pending
  • tree preservation orders
  • renovation grants
  • conservation area and listed building status
  • enforcement notices

For copies of documents, contact the department shown on the search for the relevant entry. For copies of section 106 and section 52 agreements, contact bsuadmin@cheshireeast.gov.uk.

Form Con29

This is a Law Society questionnaire that asks for information from various council departments.

Standard questions cover issues such as:

  • road proposals or schemes
  • compulsory purchase orders
  • contaminated land
  • enforcement actions
  • building regulations approvals
  • formal/informal notices

Optional questions your solicitor may also ask include:

  • public paths
  • noise abatement orders
  • pollution notices
  • hedgerow notices

Check what searches your solicitor is ordering

Solicitors can order searches either through personal search companies or direct through the local authority.

A personal search company will typically only look for information they have access to under Freedom of Information laws. This means you will only get the local land charge details available in the Local Land Charges Register. The search may also take longer.

A local authority will provide both the information available in the Register and the Form Con 29 answers. This gives you extra valuable information that may affect your decision to buy the property or land.


Page last reviewed: 11 July 2023