The Practical Lawyer


Third party searches – reliance?

To what extent can you rely on searches done by a third party (eg the seller, or another prospective buyer)?

Summarised, the position is:


  • LA searches: you can rely on an LA local search done by someone else. There will be a claim for negligence by anyone who has knowledge (personally or through an agent) of the replies to enquiries before the time they exchange. Thus, the LA’s duty of care when replying to the search enquiries will extend to you, even though you did not commission the search.
  • Land charges: once again, you will be able to rely on the result of a local land charges search.
  • Drainage and water: here, the position is different. This is because the various water services companies have different terms and conditions, so you need to check the provisions imposed by the particular company. Note there will often be a cap on compensation (which can be as low as £5,000).
  • NLIS/search provider: there can be complications if the third party searched via NLIS or some other search provider, since that organisation will almost certainly have its own terms and conditions. makes the point that there are ‘potential issues with liability for NLIS searches’. So, check the position when relying on a third party search via NLIS or any other search provider.


A way to get around these problems is, of course, to take out indemnity insurance.


Most-read articles

Brexit – ‘no deal’
Monday, 22 October 2018
If there is a no deal Brexit, then the VAT rules on domestic transactions will not change. But, the rules for EU transactions will change: Read more...
Cohabitation – widowed parent’s allowance
Monday, 22 October 2018
The Supreme Court made a declaration that s39A Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) 1992 Act, by which a widowed parent can only claim widowed parent’s allowance (WPA) if... Read more...
HMO – licence fees
Monday, 22 October 2018
Many LA licence fees for HMOs are unlawfully high. Read more...
Insurance – ‘premises’ or ‘building’?
Monday, 22 October 2018
The general rule is that if there is a fire, then L’s insurance will be for the benefit of both L and T. Read more...
Litigation privilege – wider
Monday, 22 October 2018
The CA has clarified the scope of litigation privilege. This follows widespread concern about a High Court decision which had taken a narrower view. Read more...
MIB – exclusions
Monday, 22 October 2018
The High Court has recently held that the Motor Insurers Bureau is an ‘emanation of the state’ under the EU Insurance Directives. Read more...
Proportionality – broad-brush approach?
Monday, 22 October 2018
When looking at ‘proportionality’ of costs, should the judge adopt a rigid mathematical approach to each item, or is a broad-brush approach to be preferred? Read more...
Rates – avoidance ploys
Monday, 22 October 2018
There are three main ploys (or ‘mitigation products’) for avoiding business rates. Read more...
Sentencing – careless driving
Monday, 22 October 2018
A lost his appeal against sentence following his conviction for causing death by careless driving. He had been sentenced to two years in prison, and disqualified from driving for five years (and... Read more...
Shared parental leave – take-up
Monday, 22 October 2018
Shared parental leave (SPL) was introduced in 2015. It allows parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave, with up to 37 weeks paid (subject to eligibility criteria), and they can choose to take the... Read more...

Could you write for The Practical Lawyer?

We are looking for help! If you can write in a practical, easy style, about a range of legal topics then please email a short CV to


IAG International
In House Lawyer
Join the IBA now!
MSI Global Alliance