Land Charges - Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Local Authority search?

A Local Land Charge Search contains numerous enquiries into the status of land and property.  The Register of Local Land Charges contains details of all Local Land Charges registered against a property situated within Stafford Borough.

Information for the register comes from various sources including Staffordshire County Council - road and highway information, Planning - permission for development, enforcement and building regulations, Environmental Health - noise, smoke, pollution and enforcement.

What is the difference between an official search and a personal search?

An official search is certified by the Council and the Local Land Charges Act 1975 makes provision for statutory compensation if anything goes wrong.  If a personal search is carried out this will not apply and you will not be able to rely on Section 10(3) of the above Act, which relates to compensation for loss.

Personal search information can be obtained via an email request sent to  The relevant information will be emailed within 48 hours if not before.  This search result of the register is not certified.

How do I know what type of search has been requested?

Ask your solicitor to confirm that an official search has been undertaken and to inspect the Certificate of Official Search.  The Law Society, which regulates solicitors, encourages the use of official searches and considers that alternative personal search of the statutory register, disclosing only limited information should only be undertaken with the approval of the client.

How long does it take?

Most residential property searches are processed and returned in substantially less time than the guidance of 10 days.

What information will it tell me?

A standard local search will give you a full planning history on your property / land plus any legally binding charges.  It will also give you information on:-

  • Any trees in your garden that are covered by a Tree Preservation Order.
  • Any Enforcement Notices that have been applied to your property.
  • Any proposals for new roads.
  • If your property is a Listed Building.
  • If your property lies within a Conservation Area.
  • If your property has been subject to a Housing Grant.

Do you answer brine enquiries?

No.  Brine pumping in Stafford ceased in 1978.

Do you answer drainage enquiries?

No.  Please contact Severn Trent Water Authority on Tel: 0115 962 7269.

Do you answer landfill enquiries?

No.  Please contact the Environment Agency on Tel: 01543 444141.

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