Mining Searches

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Mining Searches are largely something we take for granted in the Yorkshire area, but they’re extremely important for both you, the mortgage lender and indeed the current occupiers of the property.

It’s estimated that around 18% of residential property in Yorkshire is impacted by the mining legacy. That’s a substantial amount of homes so it is very important that you ensure that the home you are buying is not prone to subsidence or other like issues related to mining.

There are several types of search you can have done, but in our opinion, the golden stamp is the CON29M search which is produced by The Coal Authority. However, your dedicated conveyancer will be able to discuss the various options available to you. The information literally comes straight from source and the form of questions answered are approved by The Law Society, meaning that you can rely on the information given.

Mining searches are normally back from our supplier within the day. In fact, at a recent training event I was surprised to learn that the skills and expertise of The Coal Authority are such that average report is put together in just 4 minutes! To put that in perspective, in the time it takes to boil the kettle and make a cup of tea, we can know whether your property is at risk from mining related issues.

Amongst the issues we can discover from a CON29M search are:-

1.    Have there been any coal mining subsidence claims within the vicinity of the property? If the answer is yes, we will ask the seller to provide a Coal Mining Buffer Report, which will reveal the location of the claims, when it was made and the outcome. Was it rejected or is there any issue you should know about?

2.    Are there any shafts within the vicinity of the property? Shafts were mapped since 1872 when mine owners were required to disclose their whereabouts. Older shafts are still being discovered. If the search highlights a shaft, we will ask the seller to provide a Coal Mining Interpretive Report which will tell us the location of the shafts and where they are in relation to your property. They also give an indication as to whether any risk is considered to be present.

3.    Are there any mine gas emissions? If there are, we will take immediate action to inform you but firstly, the seller’s solicitor so that they can inform their client. Mine gas emissions can be deadly and it is important to know.

This list is not exhaustive and so you should always see your report before exchanging Contracts if you have had one carried out.

Subsidence and the presence of mine shafts can affect mortgage offers and insurability of a property and so it is important you proceed with caution and the correct information available.

Furthermore, provided you’ve ordered a CON29M search, if something changes with your property within 60 days of us ordering the report, we will automatically be sent a new report from the Coal Authority informing us of the changes. If you have already completed and are adversely affected, the CON29M is backed by indemnity insurance which may be able to help you.

It’s not just coal in Yorkshire, though. Searches are advised in any areas where tunneling has been undertaken, including Cheshire and London for the London Underground.

We will always do our best to assist in any such queries and our experienced team are used to handling such matters.

Let us take the stress from your conveyancing transaction with our expert knowledge and approach.

For any further information regarding the possible need for mining searches when buying a property, please contact Ashley Mallet.

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