We would be lying if we said the legal landscape was not complex, in fact it can be rather daunting. Our aim is to make the process straightforward as our priority is to offer you the best possible service.

With this in mind we have created this list of key conveyancing terms you may come across with both residential and commercial property. We hope that these help you navigate future property enquiries.

The payment of your mortgage monies from a lender.

The transfer of a lease.

A slip produced by your bank similar to a cheque, however, the payment is guaranteed by the bank. A bankers draft.

This is a charge for transferring money between bank accounts on the day of completion. This ensures that the money moves between solicitors accounts on the same day.

This is a check carried out by us on behalf of your mortgage lender (and will be a strict requirement of your mortgage lender) to check no bankruptcy order has been made or any petition pending.

Chancel repair liability is an ancient right held by some churches to recover from properties within their parish the cost of repairing the chancel end of the church (i.e. the end where the alter is).

The Chancel Search is a search to establish whether the property is at risk of having to contribute to the upkeep of a local parish church. This is a hangover from a ancient rules which unfortunately can still be enforced today.

The electronic payment of funds in cleared funds from by one bank to another - also refered to as a telegraphic transfer (TT).

A debt or mortgage secured on the property. Money borrowed from a bank for the purchase of a house is secured against the property by a charge.

In some areas of the country this is required by banks to check whether the property is likely to be affected by mining activity. When something is revealed by this search, further enquires may be necessary.

The day on which the purchase or sale of a property or remortgage occurs. When you are buying or selling this is often when you swap keys and move house.

A provision which is contained within of the contract governing the purchase.

The legally binding agreement between buyer and seller.

A term used to describe the legal process of buying and selling land.

Rules and conditions contained either in the deeds to the property or in your contract that setting out things you must do or refrain from doing.

Someone who is owed money.

Documents showing historical information relating to a property which may be used to evidence ownership of Unregistered Land.

A document stating that someone will comply with the rules and conditions affecting a property.

Part of the purchase price which is paid on exchange of contracts to confirm commitment to the purchase. This is often 10% of the purchase price but in some circumstances can be negotiable.

A search which ascertains, amongst other things, whether or not the property is connected to the mains water supply and mains sewers.

A cost which is payable by your solicitor as part of your transaction. These are not solicitors fees but amounts due to third parties.

A right granted over property (such as a right of way).

An obligation or burden affecting a property.

An EPC gives home sellers an "A to G" rating for their home's energy efficiency to help cut carbon emissions and fuel bills, (a similar rating to labels found on new domestic appliances).

A document in its final form to be signed by all relevant parties.

The Enviromental Search checks for potential contamination at the property and whether there are any issues affecting the property that would be revealed by public records. It also provides a limited amount of information on flood risk.

The stage at which the transaction between the seller and the buyer becomes legally binding.

Outright ownership of a property and the land on which it stands.

Annual payments made to a landlord. This applies only to leasehold properties. Payment of ground rent could be a nominal figure which is never in practice charged (often called a peppercorn rent) but could also be large sums of money.

A lease that is granted out of the freehold estate. The Headlease may be subject to subleases.

This report is less detailed than a full building survey but it will give a valuation and some basic information as to the state of repair and condition of the property. Most Lenders will accept this sort of report but it will not fully investigate the likelihood of repair at the property.

Dying without having made a will.

This is one of two ways in which people can jointly own a piece of land. When property is owned by two people as joint tenants, if either owner dies the property will automatically pass to the other owner regardless of what is contained in any will. See also Tenants in Common.

Somebody who owns property and rents it to others.

A government department which maintains the national property register in England and Wales.

This is a charge by the Land Registry for registering a new owner.

This is a check at the Land Registry to check the property belongs to the Seller and what mortgages or other charges need to be paid off. It should also reveal whether there are any legal restrictions on the use of the property.

A document made between a landlord and a tenant, setting out the terms of occupation of a property.

The occupier owns the right to reside in a property for the term of a lease (which could extend up to 999 years!)  but does not own the land on which it stands.

A formal permission sometimes required from a landlord to enable a buyer to purchase a leasehold property.

These are standard forms of questions sent to the local authority, they are designed to reveal information relating to highways or whether the property has the benefit of planning permission etc. 

A company set up to manage the building and common parts of a property in which a leasehold property is situated.

A loan secured against a property. In the event of non-payment, there is usually a right to of repossession.

An insurance policy taken out by a lender to cover any loss in the event of a forced sale. Usually, the company providing the policy has the legal right to recover the loss from the borrower.

An insurance policy which guarantees mortgage payments in certain circumstances such as unemployment.

A money lender, such as a building society or bank, who secures the loan against a property.

The borrower who uses their property as security for lending.

National House Builders Council. The NHBC provide a ten year warranty against major structural defects for new properties.

A copy of the title to a property showing the information registered at the Land Registry, this document should also confirm who owns the property.

The person appointed to deal with the estate of a deceased person.

A form completed by the Seller setting out information about the property, its use and condition.

25 March - Lady Day, 24 June - Midsummer Day, 29 September - Michaelmas, 25 December - Christmas.

Paying off a mortage or other borrowing.

Land which has its ownership details recorded at the Land Registry.

A mortgage where the borrower makes interest and capital payments to the lender.

Queries raised as to how the transfer will take place and the procedures the solicitors will use to deal with the transfer on the day of Completion.

Monies held back from a mortgage advance or from a purchase price pending certain conditions being met.

Money requested by a landlord or management company for repairs and maintenance to a Leasehold property and communal areas.

A government tax currently charged to buyers purchasing properties for more than £125,000.00.

Negotiations which do not become binding until contracts are exchanged.

An assessment of the essential framework of a build.

A person who pays rent to another for the use of a property or land.

A way in which two people can own land together. Where people own a property jointly as "tenants in common" their shares can be equal or unequal. Further when one of those people dies, the deceased's share of the property will pass according to what has been stated in the deceased's Will (or according to the rules of intestacy, in the event of no will having been made).See also Joint Tenants above.

The type of property: Freehold, Leasehold or Commonhold.

A period of time, such as the length of a mortgage.

The document issued by the Land Registry on completion of the registration of a change of ownership or mortgage.

An insurance taken out usually by way of a one off payment to cover a 'defect' found in the title to a property, such as a lack of rights or a breach of planning permission or building regulation approval. It usually covers the owner and their lender against financial risks associated with the defect.

The document transferring ownership from seller to buyer.

A leasehold term which is granted from a longer leasehold term.

Land which is not showing on the register at the Land Registry. For this type of property ownership is evidenced by producing ‘deeds’.

An assessment of a property’s value.

The property seller.

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