A local authority search forms part of the standard conveyancing process and should be made in every transaction.
About local land charges
Local land charges are restrictions on a particular piece of land that councils impose under the terms of various Government acts in order either to secure the payment of money, or to limit the use to which the land may be put.
The common types of local land charges include:
- Conditions imposed in a planning permission
- Conservation areas
- Improvement and renovation grants
- Light obstruction notices
- Listed buildings
- Smoke control orders
Anyone who wants to buy a property can find all the local land charges for that property on the local land charges register.
Searching the local land charges register
If you are buying a property, there are two options available to find details of entries on the local land charges register:
- Request an official search by submitting form LLC1. Usually, a conveyancer will carry this out on your behalf
- Carry out a personal search. You can do this yourself or you can use a personal search company. To guarantee accuracy, the Local Land Charges Institute always recommends you use an official local authority search
Before you start, find your local council to check that your search area belongs to us.
Carrying out an official search
Alternatively, you can email your application to us (including forms LLC1, CON29, and/or CON29O).
The Law Society has published guidance notes which are available on its website.
You will need to pay a fee for an official search. See our local search fees guide below for further information.
Carrying out a personal search
You can send a request by emailing the full address and location plan to us. You will receive raw data without additional features of the official search.
The difference between official and personal searches
For an official search (£26.15) or a personal search (free), you get:
- The description of the local land charge
- The registration date
- Details of the authority that can answer questions about the local land charge
For an official search (£26.15), you also get:
- An official search certificate, which is tamper-proof, digitally signed, and guaranteed by Bedford Borough Council, ensuring its authenticity
- A PDF sent by email
- Refined data
- Assistance from our staff
- 5-day turnaround time
A lender may not accept a personal search. See an independent guide to property searches for further information.
Information under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 give you the right to access environmental information held by the council.
You can access all the environmental information needed to compile a property search by:
- Carrying out a personal search of the local land charges register (see above)
- Contacting the relevant departments that hold all other data
The regulations allow up to 20 working days for a response.
Land charges fees
We accept credit or debit cards. As work starts immediately on receipt, fees are non-refundable.
Our turnaround time is on average 5 days, even during the peak season. If you have an urgent search, contact us to see how we can help.
If you have a question about local land charges applications and services, please contact us on: Email: Local.LandCharges@bedford.gov.uk
We have created a guide on understanding your local search results and obtaining copies of documents which is available here.