OneSearch Direct, the largest local authority data search company in the UK, has today welcomed the decision by Lloyds Banking Group to recommend legal conveyancing professionals use firms subscribed to the Search Code, regulated by the Property Codes Compliance Board (PCCB), when undertaking personal searches relating to property purchases.
“The property search market is a crowded space, and those registered with the PCCB are committed to operating in accordance with the Search Industry Code of Practice, which monitors their compliance with the Code,” explains Ronnie Park, managing director, OneSearch Direct. “By selecting only organisations that have agreed to provide the best standard of customer service and who abide with The Property Ombudsman scheme (TPOs), a level of protection is provided.
“While the majority of lenders already accept personal searches, four of the biggest lenders have amended Part 2 of their CML Lenders Handbook to make specific reference to the Search Code and the PCCB, including Santander, Barclays, HSBC and now Lloyds,” confirms Park. “This is good news for anyone involved in property transactions as the Search Code aims to protect people buying homes, vendors, conveyancers and lenders who require accurate property search reports to be undertaken as part of the transaction process.
“OneSearch Direct is focused on providing the most accurate data possible in the search industry,” continues Park. “Over the years we have invested around £10 million in the integrity of our data set, with more than 30 people employed at our data Governance Centre in Glasgow to update information on a daily basis. We mine data from every council department, obtaining minutes, reports and agendas of meetings, interrogating their various registers and systems, and extracting records directly from source. We don’t have to wait for a search request to instruct a visit to the council to inspect all records–instead, we actively collect public data on all properties in advance, and within days of new items first being proposed, they are digitised, mapped, triple quality assured, and available for searching on our database.
“We welcome any positive steps by the industry to provide more accurate and reliable searches on behalf of consumers and conveyancers.”