Jargon Buster

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Advance
When the payment of mortgage monies is made by the lender.

Anti Money Laundering Search (AML Search)
This search checks your identity against electronic databases to confirm you are who you say.

APR
Annual Percentage Rate. Describes the annual interest rate on a mortgage, it also takes into account any extra costs or fees.

Assignment
When a lease is transferred

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Bank Draft
When a bank guarantees the payment of the funds.

Bank Transfer Fee
This is used to ensure the seller gets the money on the day of completion, it is a charge for transferring money via the banking system. If payments are made from funds that are received before they have cleared an extra charge may be made called Cheque Special Clearance.

Bankruptcy Search
A search which is carried out by us on behalf of your lender to check whether you are, have been or are about to be declared bankrupt.

Bridging Loan
A type of short term loan, used whilst waiting for the sale of a property, or confirmation or a long term loan.

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Chancel Repair Liability/Chancel Search
Some properties may be liable to contribute money to the local church for upkeep or repairs. This search will check if the property is in such an area.

CHAPS payment
A transfer of funds same day from one bank account to another.

Charge
A legal charge is taken by a lender to secure the loan that they have made to a borrower. If the borrower fails to repay the loan the lender can use the charge to repossess the property.

Client Information Form
The form required to be completed by the client with all their necessary details in, such as mortgage details, estate agent details and bank details.

Coal Mining Search
If the property is in an area where there has been mining activity a Coal Mining Search is required. This is a search to check whether there are any mining related problems which may affect the property.

Collateral
A deposit usually in cash form that is given to a lender by a borrower to secure a debt owed to the lender.

Completion
The day the sale or purchase is finalised. The money changes hands on the day of completion and keys are exchanged. The day you move in or out the property, usually the day you most look forward to in the conveyancing process.

Condition of sale
The contract which governs the purchase. This is prepared by the seller's conveyancer and sent to the buyer's conveyancer.

Contract
The legally binding agreement between buyer and seller that confirms the sale and/or purchase of the property. It is prepared as a draft and once all queries are answered it is approved and signed.

Conveyancing
The term to describe the work carried out during the process of buying or selling a property.

Covenants
Conditions which are in the deeds specifying the rules related to the property. Covenants describe any obligations or restrictions required.

Creditor
A person who is owed money.

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Declaration of Trust
A legal agreement which is drawn up to state the specific terms of ownership of a property between the owners.

Deeds
A legal document which has been signed in the presence of a witness. The deeds contain all the important information related to the property, such as registration of the property and the original lease. Nowadays the majority of this information is accessible from the Land Registry.

Deposit
The amount paid on exchange of contracts to confirm commitment for the purchase. This is the money which the buyer funds themselves and is the difference between the property price and the mortgage amount.

Drainage Searches
This search is carried out to check if the property is connected to mains water and drainage. It also checks whether there are any related drainage issues that may affect the property.

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Easement
A right given to the owner of the property over another property for example, right of way or access to drains.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
An EPC is usually obtained before a property is put up for sale. It is a certificate which rates the property on its energy efficiency on a rating of A to G. The document is produced by an energy inspector and shows how the property performs in relation to energy.

Environmental Search
This search checks if there are any environmental issues that will affect the property. This will search for things such as landfill sites, flooding and contamination.

Equity
Equity in a property is the amount of value in the property at its current worth, which isn't covered by an outstanding mortgage.

Equity Loan(In relation to Help to Buy)
This is a loan for up to 20% of the property price, provided by the government. It is interest free for the first 5 years and is repaid on the sale of the property.

Exchange of Contracts
Once the contracts are exchanged the property transaction is legally binding between the buyer and the seller. At this point both the buyer and seller are legally bound to continue.

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Fixtures and Fittings Form
This is a form which is filled out by the seller and provides a list to show which items will be left or taken from the property.

Freehold
If the property is freehold the owner owns the property outright along with the land it stands on. This means there is no outstanding lease on the property.

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Ground rent
This is required on leasehold properties and is the amount paid to the landlord.

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Headlease
The original Lease made between Landlord and Tenant over a property or block of properties. Any subsequent Leases issued are called sub-leases.

Help to Buy Scheme
A government scheme available on new build properties where the buyer only needs to raise a 5% deposit and the government provide a 5 year interest free 20% equity loan. Allowing the buyer to obtain a 75% mortgage. Available to first time buyers and existing homeowners on properties up to the value of £600,000, with no household income limit.

HomeBuy Scheme
This is a scheme introduced by the government where someone can purchase a per cent of the property and rents the remainder. There is the opportunity to purchase further shares in the future. Also known as Shared Ownership.

Homebuyer survey
This is a less detailed report than a building survey. It provides information about the age, valuation and any repairs.

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Intestate
Dying without having made a will

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Joint tenants
This is when two or more people jointly own the property. If one owner dies the property is automatically passed to the other owner, without a Will.

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Landlord
Someone who owns the lease of a property and rents the property to others.

Land Registry
The Land Registry retains the records of who owns land. It is a government department and maintains the national property register for England and Wales.

Land Registry Fee
This is a fee paid to register the ownership of the property with the Land Registry.

Land Registry Search
This is a search carried out by the Land Registry to check the ownership of the property and any mortgages or charges which require to be paid. It will also show whether there are any matters affecting the property.

Lease
A lease is a document which details the matters regarding the leasehold property. It is a document between the landlord and a tenant typically including information such as rent, lease, service charges, water, and access.

Lease Extension
Is the process of agreeing an increase in the term of a lease. This is usually agreed between the Landlord and the tenant.

Leasehold
Is a term used to describe a property which is not owned outright by the occupier. A leasehold property will have a lease that will state an amount of years that the owner is granted to occupy the property.

Lender
This is whoever you obtain your mortgage from, typically a Bank or Building Society which will lend money to the owner of the property.

Licence to assign
This is sometimes required from a landlord to give permission to allow the buyer to purchase a leasehold property.

Local Authority search
This is a search carried out against the property to obtain information regarding the property, for example, planning permissions, building regulations, whether the property is connected to mains water and drainage and other matters. It is a standard set of questions obtained from the Local Authority.

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Management company
This is a person or company that is set up to manage the building and common areas. This is for property in which a leasehold property is situated, often a block of flats or a development. This can be owned jointly by the occupiers, the Management Company also own the freehold.

Mortgage
A loan and legal document, which the lender provides to the buyer that is secured over the property.

Mortgage Deed
The official document the borrower is required to sign to agree to the terms of the mortgage offer.

Mortgage indemnity policy
This is an insurance policy taken out by the lender to cover them for any loss in case there is a forced sale.

Mortgage protection policy
This is an insurance policy taken out by the borrower to cover them in even of unemployment or illness and guarantees mortgage payments on their behalf.

Mortgagee
Simply describes the money lender which secures the loan.

Mortgagor
This is the person who borrows the money from the Lender and enters into the Mortgage.

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NHBC
Stands for National House Builders Council. They will provide a 10 year warranty on new properties covering any major structural defects.

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Official Copies
This is a copy document from the Land Registry which states the title registered and confirms ownership of the property.

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Personal representative
The individual chosen by a will or when a person dies to act on behalf of the deceased.

Property Information Form
This is a standard form filled out by the seller and includes detailed information regarding the property.

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Redemption Fee
This is an early repayment charge which can be incurred by your mortgage lender due to early repayment of if you move to a different mortgage.

Registered land
The Land Registry keeps details of the ownership of all the registered land in England and Wales.

Repayment mortgage
A type of mortgage where the borrower makes capital payments as well as interest back to the lender.

Requisition on title
An enquiry raised by Land Registry in connection with an application made to change the title to a property.

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Service charge
A charge payable to the landlord for general maintenance and repairs on a Leasehold property.

Shared Ownership
This is a scheme where a buyer purchases a per cent of the property and a housing association or council own the other per cent. The buyer pays mortgage on their per cent and rent to the housing association on the remaining per cent.

Stamp Duty
This is tax on a property charged by the government to buyers on properties more than £120,000.

SDLT Return Fee
Stamp Duty Land Tax which is a tax payable by the purchasers of a property on completion. Fee is scale based.

Subject to contract
An agreement between the property buyers and seller which are not binding until contracts exchange.

Structural survey
This is an assessment carried out by a surveyor and details the framework of a build and physical state of the property. This is not essential, it is up to you as the buyer to arrange and carry out this survey.

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Tenant
An individual who pays rent to the landlord for the use of their property.

Tenants in common
Similar to Joint Tenants (see above) but rather than equally owning the property 'tenants in common' can specify percentages of ownership. If one owner dies the ownership then refers to the will rather than 'Joint tenants' where it is automatically passed to the other tenant.

Tenure
The tenure specifies the type of property, whether it is Freehold, Leasehold or Commonhold.

Title Information Document
On the completion of the registration of a mortgage or change of ownership there is a Title Information Document issued by the Land Registry.

Title Insurance Policy
This is an insurance policy to cover the owner and the lender of the property in event of lack of rights or breach of planning permission.

Transfer Deed
This is the legal document that transfers to ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer, and is sent to the Land Registry after completion.

Transfer of Equity
The process of changing the ownership of a property where at least one party remains as an owner.

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Underlease
A lease that is taken out between tenant and sub-tenant. It remains subject to the Headlease that was made between the tenant and the landlord.

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Valuation Survey
This is a survey carried out to assess the value of a property, usually required by the mortgage lender.

Vendor
The seller of the property.

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Water & Drainage Searches
This search provides information regarding whether the property is connected to mains water and drainage system and the system is maintained at public expense. This search is carried out at the water authority.

Will
The legal document instructing what you want to happen to your possessions, assets and property after your death.

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Conveyancing Jargon

We aim to explain everything to our clients in plain and simple English. However if you do come across some Conveyancing Jargon during your transaction then we have provided our Jargon Buster on the right to help you.

Select a letter to find an explanation for the word you are looking for.

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