Councils criticised for delaying property searches and poor service

The Property Codes Compliance Board (PCCB), the regulator for the Search Code of Practice, has said that certain councils are delaying housing sales due to the “very poor service” they provide.

Local authorities and private sector search companies routinely use the LLC1 and CON29 search documents to provide conveyancers with the necessary information about properties during property transactions.

However, the PCCB has warned that while the majority provide a good service, a growing number of local authorities are “performing woefully”.

Kate Davis, Chairman of the PCCB, said:

“We’re very concerned that the home buying and selling public are being adversely affected by very poor performance by some local authorities and in some cases transactions are breaking down due to the delays.

“If you live in Wiltshire for example, it is an accident of geography if a lawyer can expect to receive searches back in six days or six weeks, and this is totally unacceptable”.

Kate Faulkner, a PCCB board member who also runs the online service, Propertychecklists, is reported as saying that “the last thing that prospective homebuyers and sellers need is unnecessary delays for which there is absolutely no excuse”, especially when the housing market is in a volatile condition.

Faulkner claims that some local authorities are taking far longer to provide data than others and as such personal search companies are less able to provide a good service to their lawyer clients.

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