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August 1, 2010    

Local council search fees to be abolished

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by Gill Montia

Home buyers should soon be able to access vital information about their new homes without having to pay for it.

The Government has announced that it will abolish the £22 fixed fee for personal searches of councils’ local land charges registers.

The searches tell a home buyer about restrictions or issues that affect a property, such as planning conditions, conservation areas and protected trees.

The move follows the abolition of Home Information Packs, in May, and is aimed at further reducing costs for home buyers.

It will also ensure compliance with European law on environmental issues, and fits with the Government’s strategy of making public sector information more transparent and accessible to the public.

Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, says: “Moving home is difficult and stressful, and the new Government wants to make it easier.”

Local councils are to receive guidance and assistance on the changes and ways of tackling its financial impact.

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