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What Are Conveyancing Searches?

Written by John Neville on .

When you have instructed your solicitor to act on your behalf in the conveyancing process for purchasing your property there are certain legal searches that have to be completed. As your property law solicitors we engage the services of a fixed fee law searching agency so as to ensure the lowest cost search fees in the market are made available to our clients from a fully insured law searchers with indemnity insurance of €6.5 million


Law Searches are enquiries that should be made by a purchaser in the course of purchasing property. The following are details of the various types of searches:

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(a) Planning search: This can be made in the planning office. This will let the purchaser know how the property is zoned, be it residential, commercial or otherwise; whether there any proposals for road widening in the area; and whether or not any applications for planning permission in respect of the property have been granted or indeed rejected. When seeking a planning search you will need a land registry map of the property being purchased. It should be noted that all of the information that is obtained by a planning search is information that is available to any potential purchaser if they attend their local authority planning office. 


(b) A Licensing Search: this will arise when the property is a pub or a hotel. It will establish the nature of the licence and the extent to which the premises are licensed. A licensing search will also highlight any convictions for breaches of the licensing laws by the licensee.

(c) A Compulsory Purchase Order Search: This can be made with local authority. If a CPO has been made the vendor can no longer give good title as the title no longer vests in him strictly speaking.

(d) A Judgment Search: This should be completed as against the names of the individuals purchasing the property and more importantly as against the vendors of the property. The judgment search will give results of any judgments registered against persons with the same names where the creditor had the judgment registered in the Central Office of the High Court.

(e) Land Registry search: This is a search in the land Registry section of the Property Registration Authority ( to inspect the register or folio to find what the up to date position is. Such a search will establish the current legal ownership of the property, the title whether absolute or possessory, whether it is leasehold or freehold, whether or not there are mortgages
, rights of residence, Judgment Mortgages, lis pendens (litigation pending), dealings pending, rights of way, or other rights capable of being registered appearing on the land registry folio.

(f) A Company Office Search: This is a search made in the Companies Registration Office, which will confirm that the company exists and is still on the register and also will disclose any charges, which exist against it. It will also disclose the existence of a winding up order or petition. It is normal on closing to get a certificate from the Company Secretary certifying that no resolution has been passed.

(g) Bankruptcy and Foreign Bankruptcy Search: This search generally will follow on from a judgment search. If it appears that a person attempting to sell a property has been adjudicated a Bankrupt then their property would no longer be theirs to sell as their interest in the property would be after adjudication vested in the official assignee of the bankruptcy office in the High a Court.

(f) Sheriff and Revenue Sheriff Searches: these are searches with the local sheriff’s offices to see if there has been a judgment decree lodged for execution and recovery of monies due on foot of a judgment. 

(g) Registry of Deeds Searches: This is a search as against the title to unregistered title. The Registry of Deeds office is based in Dublin. A search in this office is carried out by way of a physical search against the names of individuals within an exact time period.

In dealing with any conveyancing transaction for the purchase of a property you need to where possible know what the costs are going to be. If you engage us as you property law solicitor not only do you get the benefit of our cheap low cost fixed fee conveyancing services, but you also get the benefit of our having negotiated a low cost fixed fee law searchers service also. The result is that we ensure you get a highly professional conveyancing service for a competitive low cost fee. If you have any queries in relation to the above information or any aspect of our conveyancing services please do not hesitate in contacting us directly. 

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