Official and personal local land charge searches

We provide solicitors, conveyancers and their clients with information specific to the land or property which they are interested in acquiring. This information is obtained by them submitting local search forms to us together and the relevant fee. Once searches are officially validated they are usually handled within a six to eight day timescale. Please do not call us to check progress on your search within this timeframe.

A local search consists of two parts:

  1. Restrictions on the property which are binding on successive owners, for example Financial Charges, Tree Preservation Orders and Enforcement Notices.
  2. Replies to enquiries on a nationally agreed form giving information of a more general nature. These include highway proposals, planning history and other planning related matters and outstanding notices.

Much of this information is supplied to the Local Land Charges Service by other council departments, the Government and outside bodies.

Official searches

Official local land charges are carried out and certified by us on behalf of the person buying land or property.

We carry out all official searches covered by the Local Land Charges Act 1975. This guarantees complete and comprehensive replies by the council to the Official Certificate of Search (LLC1) and CON 29 enquiries

The Law Society, which regulates solicitors, encourages the use of official searches. It advises that alternative personal searches of the legal register should be undertaken only with the approval of the purchases when time does not permit official searches; especially as personal searches only disclose limited information.

Members of the public are advised to confirm with their solicitors that an official search has been undertaken and to inspect the Official Certificate of Search (LLC1) and CON 29 enquiries to ensure that they have both been carried out to their satisfaction.

Personal searches

A personal search is a search of the Local Land Charges Register only and does not reveal the full information provided by an official search. There is no charge for a personal search. A personal search can be undertaken only by submitting a email request to the Local Land Charges Section.

Other legal registers held by the council are open for public inspection.

To arrange for a personal search please email your request to

We ask you to put the full address in the subject line and attach a plan only if it covers more than the address boundary.

Personal search agents carrying out searches on behalf of third parties are expected to possess sufficient knowledge of the search process. They should be able to carry out their personal searches without guidance from our staff.

Completed personal search reports are returned via email on the date which you are allocated after making the request.

We aim to return all Personal search requests within 5 to 10 working days

Update: Due to COVID-19, you may encounter some delays to the service and our turnaround times. Please update your customers of potential delays.

Drainage searches

For your drainage searches on properties in the borough you will need to apply directly to Thames Water:

Thames Water Utilities Limited
Clearwater Court
Vastern Road

You can also call them on 0845 970 9148.