We are often asked by prospective purchasers who are looking forward to moving into their new home, how soon can they move? But in Leicester their dreams are being put on hold by the lengthy delays caused by Leicester City Council in providing their local authority search results.

When purchasing a property, a number of searches are carried out by the buyer’s solicitor on their behalf. A local authority search is nearly always carried out and this search reveals any matters affecting the property from the council’s point of view i.e. highways, planning and building regulations.

The average time for most councils to provide local authority search results is approximately 2-3 weeks; however at Leicester City Council they can take as long as 8 weeks.

A spokesman for Leicester City Council has announced that these delays have been caused by a shortage of staff and problems with their IT systems.

According to a recent article, the number of staff members dealing with the search requests is only four. It is therefore not a surprise that there are delays as a team of four simply cannot cope with the large volume of search requests. The council has now acted to employ extra staff to assist with the searches, in an attempt to clear the backlog.

A spokesman for the council has said, “Over the next week we should have another four members of staff working on the backlog. We are now aiming to deal with delayed searches identified to us as an urgent priority. We are confident that, within 3-4 weeks, we will be once again dealing with all local searches within the statutory timescales.”

Many prospective purchasers are involved in a chain and have found themselves in a situation where the sellers or others in the chain were not willing to wait for the delayed local search results. This has caused additional stress for purchasers, adding to the already stressful event of moving house.

At BHW Solicitors, we are aware of how important your house move is and how stressful it can be and we always avoid delays where possible and keep you up-to-date and informed.

Jovana Maksimovic is a Paralegal in the Residential Property Department at BHW Solicitors in Leicester. For any residential property enquiries, please contact us on 0116 289 7000.

For further information on these delays, please click here.

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