A Smart Approach to Searches

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Changes to the CON 29 and CON 290 Forms

I was delighted to read the long awaited announcement on the Law Society’s website that the introduction of the revised CON 29 and CON 29O forms is now finally in sight. There’s an official timetable that will see their introduction on 4th July 2016.

Whilst the forms are not yet published on the Law Society’s website – we’re told that specimen forms will be on there, ‘shortly’. However we’ve managed to secure copies and you can download them here: Specimen CON 29 form – front sheet and information sheet, Specimen CON 29O form – front sheet and information sheet. We expect them to match the forms as drafted and distributed some time back and which we still have many copies of in our office (happy to share on request). What we do know is that the new forms will enable conveyancers to ask about ‘Community Infrastructure Levy’ and assets of ‘Community Value’. This  is a welcome development as both the introduction of CIL and the associated rates vary across the country and there is no central register as such. We also see that whilst the forms may not officially ‘go live’ until 4th July 2016, a number of conveyancers may choose to start raising some of these questions in advance of this and in their article, the Law Society suggests that if they do so, then they should, ‘follow the format of the enquiry on the form’. However they do add that if conveyancers do wish to ask about CIL related information then they should firstly check for a published charging schedule of CIL rates on the website of the local authority concerned.

So although the details are not yet fully clear, there does seem to be good reason to be hopeful that these revisions will improve the consistency and clarity of the information that conveyancers receive from local authorities and with it being such a long awaited development I think a I might join our american friends and set off a few celebratory fireworks of my own to mark the day. The full Law Society article can be viewed here.


Isle of Wight HW Conveyancing Seminar

HW Conveyancing Searches Isle of Wight

The last seminar in the current series of events was held at the prestigious Hotel Ryde Castle in September. The seminar was well attended by leading solicitors on the Island and included updates on Local Searches, fracking, Japanese knotweed and was also a very popular networking opportunity for all present.


Another great training session in Portsmouth

What a great training day we had recently with some of our Portsmouth based conveyancing colleagues from a number of local law firms. We managed to make our way through the celebrating graduates at the Guildhall on a sunny summer’s morning to the training room. Thanks to the Guildhall staff – the coffee was spot on.

As well as being joined by some of our legal colleagues, we were delighted to welcome Mike Ockenden from COPSO. For those who don’t know, COPSO is the organisation that regulates the private search sector and it is COPSP that created the Search Code. This is the, for want of a better description, the ‘rule book’ of standards for private search companies and is something that we, together with all reputable search companies welcomed. All of the major lenders are signed up to it – recognising the status of its members.

Mike provided with a fascinating insight into the birth of this organisation and how it was able to set itself up so quickly and yet with such a robust structure to ensure independence, good governance and enforcement.

Andy Crawshaw also joined us and shared his experiences and perspectives from this well-known and respected land and property related data company. Andy gave us his thoughts on the growth of the dreaded knotweed, the development of fracking and the relevance of planning to property transactions.

All very helpful and it made for a really interesting morning for myself and hopefully the delegates as well.

If you’re a legal conveyancer and would be interested in Local Land Register Charges search related training – from the only SRA accredited trainer to provide this in the UK -then please do get in touch.

It’s all about the cricket


We had a lovely evening last friday at the Ageas Stadium. The sun shone on our party from HW Conveyancing Searches and our guests – from various conveyancing and law firms across the south east. In fact it didn’t just shine on us but on Hampshire too as, with the home advantage, they defeated Surrey fairly comfortably in the end. There was quality cricket though in abundance from both sides – which is exactly what the crowd was looking for.

There was a slightly less united Hampshire in another cricket match over the weekend – this time between the Portsmouth Property Association and the Southampton Property Association. The match report is brought to you by Robert Marchant, MNAVA Auctioneer| Clive Emson Auctioneers.

‘Sadly handicapped by the non appearance of one of the team, the 10 men of the PPA cricket team put up a brave fight last evening in the annual challenge fixture with the SPA, eventually losing by just 9 runs.

The fixture was held as ever at Fareham & Crofton CC at Bath Lane, Fareham and the weather was very kind this year, presenting a lovely sunny summers evening for the cricket and barbeque that followed.

The SPA won the toss and batted first and made 153-3 in their allotted 20 overs. PPA skipper Mike Marchant with 2-26 and the very economical David Greetham 1-9 were the wicket takers, but all of the bowlers performed with great credit, backed up by some enthusiastic and at times brave fielding. The ultra keen Paul Collins and Ed Baker certainly wore a few for the team and will doubtless be nursing bruises this morning!

Paul Woolf got the PPA reply off to a great start with a rapid 25 and with Man of the Match Greetham making 33 in double quick time a PPA victory looked a possibility. Matthew Sedgeley had made a rapid 15 and looked likely to reinforce the PPA’s position until disaster struck and he was involved in an “unfortunate” run out, when his partner Ron Wain mistook him for Usain Bolt and the PPA innings looked doomed.

However Cliff Moore and Mike Marchant weren’t finished and added a rapid 30 for the 6th wicket but with both dismissed in the penultimate over, the finishing line proved to be just out of reach as the PPA closed on 144-8.

Some photo’s are attached of what was a very enjoyable evening. A big thank you to our hosts at Fareham & Crofton, especially scorer Sue Tucker and umpire Jeff Wylde. A big thank you also to both of the PPA supporters who came along, Ian Sedgeley and Neil Hawkins, for cheering the team on. Their Mexican wave really was something to behold!

Sadly the cup has been relinquished to the SPA. The team are already away at a secret training camp, preparing to win it back in 2016 – hopefully with a full team of 11.’

A great week’s training

HWConveyancingWhat a week it’s been, with the heatwave and the dramas in the Women’s Football World Cup in Canada and also on the courts at Wimbledon. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend much of the week meeting with and delivering training sessions to clients and colleagues in the legal profession in Southampton and Fareham. It’s always good to catch up in person – email and telephone just isn’t the same.

I certainly enjoyed it and got a lot from the sessions and I hope they did too. We covered local land charges conveyancing searches – the background, development and what we know of the future. It was great to be joined by Andy Crawshaw from Groundsure who delivered sessions on Energy Reports and Japanese Knotweed. His presentation covered fracking – which was in the news as we heard the latest Council reject proposals for fracking. However, the map that Andy showed identifying the potential fracking development sites across the southern region was a real eye opener and showed that whilst it may not have been an everyday issue to date for conveyancers – it soon could be.

The discussion about Japanese Knotweed was also of interest, not least the shocking fact that it can grow up to twenty centimetres per day at it’s peak growth season. Frightening. What is of particular interest to property buyers and conveyancers during the conveyancing process – are the potential costs of remedial works required in the event of discovering the plant on your property. As with many of these things it’s always better to know prior to purchase.

Thanks again to all those that attended and hope to see you again soon.