Why choose CON29DW?
Jonny Davey, Product Manager – Conveyancing at Geodesys – part of the Anglian Water Group and a leading provider of conveyancing searches and services for residential and commercial properties throughout England and Wales.
Why is a drainage and water report so important for home buyers?
A drainage and water report is an essential part of the conveyancing process. It’s a legal requirement that provides fundamentally important information for the home buyer. There are a variety of reports available, including the CON29DW, which provides conveyancers and homebuyers with all the details they need concerning the water and sewerage connections for the property, compiled in an easy to understand, and affordable format.
Can you explain what the CON29DW includes?
The CON29DW Drainage and Water Enquiry equips conveyancers with a full picture of the most up-to-date information available to advise their clients on the impact of water and waste-water networks in relation to property purchases. It comes in an interactive format, making it easier to retrieve relevant information
Launched by The Law Society in 2002, the CON29DW is the only drainage and water search to contain 23 standard questions (copyrighted by the Law Society) and two accurate Ordnance Survey maps showing assets and pipes. This nationwide standardisation helps reveal essential information a homebuyer needs regarding water and sewerage connections and protects them from unnecessary risks and potential costs in the future.
The benefit of the small investment in a CON29DW? is that it allows the buyer to get transparency of all pertinent information, including whether the property is connected to the public water supply, the location of its pipes, and over 20 other pieces of vital information.
What differentiates the CON29DW from other, similar searches?
The CON29DW provides explicit answers to all questions posed by the Law Society and
complements the recent Government consultation on improving the home buying process by providing key, upfront information on drainage and water connections and assets. By having details of any issues that might affect their intended property purchase, the homebuyer is empowered to either proceed or negotiate with confidence and can deal upfront with anything that may otherwise emerge later on.
Other searches tend to be less thorough and can infer or ignore answers, using insurance to cover the risk, and/ or causing solicitors to spend time searching for important information from other sources. Having access to all relevant information before a purchase made is of vital importance to the lender, the buyer and the legal professional serving all, and ensures that buyers don’t commit to the property before they are aware of all potential issues.
Who is it for?
The CON29DW can be beneficial for virtually all parties involved in the purchase of a property. For legal professionals it is a comprehensive source of high-quality data on the property. It uses factual information directly from the water company and is backed up by a strict level of quality from the Law Society. Additionally, all information is endorsed by membership of The Property Ombudsman (TPO) arbitration service and comes with comprehensive £10m PI coverage.
For lenders, who need to know that their money is in safe hands, it ensures that any drainage and water risk related to the property is identified early in the conveyancing process. It is also extremely useful for purchasers, as it allows them to ensure that their new property contains no hidden surprises that could prove very costly to put right.
What risks could homebuyers find themselves exposed to if they don’t opt for a CON29DW?
Any homebuyer who doesn’t opt for the CON29DW potentially puts themselves at risk for not obtaining vital information on their new property, which would otherwise have impacted their decision to purchase. Apart from the obvious information regarding being connected to the public water supply and to the public waste network, information missing from other drainage and water searches include the following:
- Does the property have some other method of waste collection and disposal such as a cess pit or septic tank?
- Does the property suffer from low water pressure?
- Is it susceptible to internal flooding, based on previous instances?
- What method is used to charge for water and waste? It is metered or is rateable value or some other calculation method used instead?
- If it is via a meter, where is that meter (and can they change the existing charging method?)
- Who is responsible for supplying and billing for the services and is it the same company?
- What is the property’s water hardness? (This can impact the settings of white goods.)
- Adoption and build over information (vital for future extension building etc.)
How could this impact conveyancers and lenders?
The uncertainty of less thorough searches means homeowners risk expense, disruption and dissatisfaction with the property they have purchased. Earlier this year, Geodesys launched a ‘Good Luck’ campaign aimed at conveyancers who are not obtaining a true picture for their clients. I find it really baffling as to why many legal experts are still resorting for the cheaper (and we are talking a few pounds difference) alternative.
If you are using any other Drainage and Water search report than a CON29DW, then good luck!
What (other) advantages are there for conveyancers to using the CON29DW?
The CON29DW has a whole range of advantages that really make it stand out from its competitors. It is particularly time saving and user friendly, providing two clear maps – one for water and one for waste – as well as an easy to understand front page summary “traffic light” system. It also comes in the form of an interactive PDF, which users can click to go directly to their chosen area of the report.
Other advantages include the fact that it has the direct backing of the water company involved, contains Law Society copyrighted questions and next day turnaround in 97% of cases. The report is overseen by the Drainage and Water Searches Network (DWSN), giving an additional guarantee of quality.
Overall the CON29DW makes the job of the conveyancer much easier.
This article was submitted to be published by Geodesys Land and Property Information as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Conveyancer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Conveyancer.