Couple are compensated after their conveyancer fails to find wind farm plans in searches

According to a recent report, a couple purchasing a property in Cumbria successfully sued their conveyancer due to development plans to build a wind farm were not picked up in conveyancing searches.

It is essential that solicitors purchase all searches necessary to ensure a client has accurate and up to date information before purchasing a property. This was recently highlighted when conveyancing solicitors were found to be negligent after an investigation concluded they had failed to inform the couple about impending construction plans.

The solicitor carried out what they considered to be ‘normal searches’ on the property; however these searches did not reveal to the purchasers that a wind farm was about to be constructed less than a mile away, and the turbines would be visible from the property.

An investigation found that these development plans were well-known within the local community. Local residents had led a campaign to block the plans, but were unsuccessful. Yet the buyers were not informed of this information by the conveyancer or the seller. Should the couple have been notified they would have re-considered their offer for the property, and therefore decided to pursue a negligence claim against their conveyancing solicitor. A court ruled in the couples’ favour, confirming the proposed wind farm clearly had the possibility of impacting on both the future value and the buyers’ enjoyment of their new home. The solicitors were found to be negligent in failing to inform their clients about these plans and as a result the buyers received a substantial compensation settlement.

Considering what searches are ‘essential’ for a property can be a grey area when this decision is at the discretion of the conveyancing solicitor. To protect yourself and your clients, Searches UK recommends purchasing a package of searches as a standard requirement, which include a Local Authority Search, Drainage & Water Search, Environmental Search, Chancel Report and Energy & Infrastructure Report. Purchasing a bundle of conveyancing searches is simple, efficient and cost effective, receiving these searches at a reduced price.

Sales & Marketing Director Lisa Summerton says, “In addition to this, Searches UK’s ordering platform provides recommended searches based on the property address, which flags up searches you may wish to purchase. Therefore, with Searches UK, you can be sure your clients are being provided with all the vital information needed for purchasing a property.”

For more information on products and services offered by Searches UK, visit www.searchesuk.co.uk, call them on for free on 0800 043 1815 or email at [email protected]. Opening an account is quick and easy – please ask one of their conveyancing specialists to set this up for you today to start placing orders with Searches UK.

Today's Conveyancer
X