Absolute ownership of property
Abstract of Title
A summary of all previous dealings in the property including sales, charges and easements.
Low cost housing for sale or rent, often from a housing association, to meet the needs of local people who cannot afford accommodation through the open.
A subsidiary use connected to the main use of a building or piece of land.
Annual percentage rate - APR
The total cost of the loan including all fees etc. and is shown as a percentage rate per year.
A building housing a number of apartments (or flats) and can range from a new purpose built development to a period converted stately home.
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Area designated where the primary purpose is the conservation and enhancement of natural beauty including flora, fauna, geology and landscape.
Legal document transferring a lease of unregistered land. Specialist help from a Solicitor is essential.
Assured Shorthold Tenancy
A form of assured tenancy which gives landlords an absolute right to repossession. New residential tenancies now automatically become ASTs unless otherwise stated.
A process whereby something is boughtafter a process of bidding. In a traditional auction, contracts are deemed to be exchanged on the fall of the gavel and the successful buyer must immediately pay a 10% deposit (often subject subject to a minimum) and usually completion must occur in 28 days. In a conditional auction the buyer must place a non refundable deposit on the fall of the gavel with exchange of contracts due in 28 days and completion in a further 14 days.
Bank of England base rate
This is announced from time to time by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee. They set interest rates that Banks and Building Societies use to set their interest rates.
Is a board fastened to the projecting gables of a roof to give them strength and to mask, hide and protect the otherwise exposed timbers of the roof.
Timbers within the roof construction to which roof slates or tiles are fixed.
The amount by which the value of land is increased by development or by the grant of planning permission.
A temporary loan that enables you to complete the purchase of a new home if you have to do this before completing the sale of your existing house.
Brown Field Site
Land which has been previously developed, such as city centre sites. Many new houses and flats are now being built on such sites.
Buildings insurance is essential in order to protect your property against hazards such as fire, flood and subsidence.
Building Preservation Order
A notice under Section 3 of the Planning ( Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 to protect buildings of special architectural or historic interest from demolition or alterations that would affect their interest
Also known as a Structural Survey, this is a full inspection of a property and gives comprehensive details of the condition of the property including any structural repairs required, defects or work that is required in the near future. It is conducted by a Chartered Surveyor and this type of survey is suitable for any home, particularly older properties and those which have been poorly maintained.
A part of the environment consisting of buildings and structures.
Designed or fitted as a fixed or permanent part. Example: Built in wardrobe.
A type of mortgage specifically designed for investors buying a property with the intention of letting it out.
Capital and interest mortgage
Also known as a repayment mortgage. Your monthly payments gradually pay off the money (capital) you've borrowed, and also cover interest on the amount outstanding.
Growth or gain in the value of a property or asset over time.
Capital Gains Tax
A tax on profits made from the sale of financial assets such as a house, flat or shares.
Let the buyer beware. The buyer is responsible for making sure that a purchase is of reasonable quality - the onus is upon the buyer to discover, not on the seller to disclose.
An external wall of a property that is made up of two leaves of masonry, bricks or blocks separated by a cavity.
Cavity Wall Insulation
Insulation inserted between the leaves of a cavity wall that reduces heat loss from walls.
The situation that occurs when a buyer is reliant upon completion of the sale of his existing property, in order to complete on the purchase of his new property.
Change of Use
A change in the use of land or buildings that is of significance for planning purposes, often requiring planning permission.
A legal restriction on a property (such as a mortgage). It is registered against the property until the loan is repaid and the charge is removed.
An official document issued by the Land Registry to the owner of a registered charge as proof of ownership. It includes a copy of the register and the original charge.
An annual charge on freehold property found in certain parts of Britain. The chief rent is payable by the freeholder in perpetuity although the amount cannot be increased.
Fee paid to your estate agent, usually following exchange of contracts.
The point, after contracts have been exchanged, when the legal ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.
A statement prepared by a conveyancer uplon completion.
Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs)
Notice issued by a local authority or statutory body enabling them to acquire land or property.
Conditions of sale
The details that determine the rights and duties of the buyer and seller. These may be national, statutory, or conditions imposed by the Law Society.
An area given statutory protection under the Planning Acts, in order to preserve and enhance its character and townscape.
Conservation Area Consent
Consent required from the local planning authority before demolishing an unlisted property in a conservation area.
This is essential to provide protection for items in your home, including furniture and personal possessions, in case they're stolen, lost or damaged.
The legal and binding agreement containing all the essential details of the sale. Once exchanged, the contract commits both buyer and seller to the sale/purchase of the property.
Occurs when two parties have made an offer on the same house. The vendor will sell to whoever exchanges contracts first.
A solicitor or a licensed conveyancer who is a specialist in dealing with all legal aspects of buying and selling a property.
Traditional term used for the legal work involved in the purchase and sale of a property.
Council of Mortgage Lenders - CML
The CML is the trade association for mortgage lenders in the UK.
Rules and regulations governing the property and contained in its title deeds or lease.
Also known as Title Deeds. They are the legal title documents that prove ownership of a property. They are transferred to the new owner on the sale of a property and are held by the mortgage lender.
The sum of money (usually 10%) that is paid to the vendor on exchange of contracts.
Term used to describe a property that stands alone and is separated from all others.
The carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or land.
A priority area for environmental, social or economic regeneration or a combination of these.
Document providing detailed information to guide developers on the type of development, design and layout constraints and other requirements for a particular, usually substantial, site.
The process whereby a local planning authority decides whether a planning application meets the requirements of planning policy, particularly as set out in development plans.
Document (a structure or local plan) that sets out in writing and/or in maps and diagrams a local planning authority's policies and proposals for the development and use of land and buildings in the authority's area.
Any disrepair or damage to a rented property.
The fees paid by the conveyancer on the buyer's behalf, such as stamp duty, land registry and search fees..
The preliminary, unconfirmed version of the contract that is drawn up when the sale is first agreed. It will set out the conditions of sale.
A legal document issued by the vendor's solicitor to the purchaser's solicitor setting out the terms and conditions of sale.
A right given to the owner of one property over an adjoining property, such as a right of way.
Property built between approximately 1901 -1910.
When the draft deeds to a property are approved they are engrossed for the vendor and purchaser to sign.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Under the Town and Country Planning (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1988, proposers of certain scheduled developments are required to submit a planning application with an accompanying environmental statement, evaluating the likely environmental impacts of the development, together with an assessment of how the severity of the impacts could be reduced.
The difference between the amount you owe on your mortgage and the current value of your property. For example if your house was valued at £80,000 and you have a £60,000 mortgage, your equity would be £20,000.
The initial sum paid on an insurance claim.
Exchange of contracts
When the sale contracts that have been agreed between a buyer's conveyancer and a vendor's conveyancer are exchanged. Once you have exchanged contracts you are both legally bound to the transaction.
A use which does not conform to a plan but against which enforcement proceedings cannot be taken, often because of the length of time a use has been in operation.
Established Use Certificate
These were issued by a planning authority before July 1992 where it could be shown that a use of land or buildings had existed since before 1964. It gave immunity from enforcement action. Since July 1992 these have been replaced by Lawful Development Certificates
Financial Services Authority - FSA
The Financial Services Authority is an independent body that regulates the financial services industry in the UK.
Fixtures and fittings
Items that are to be included in the sale of the house and will be detailed in the contracts.
The term used to indicate ownership of a property and more importantly land on which it stands. This means that once you have purchased the property you are the absolute owner of the property and the land it's on.
This occurs when another potential buyer puts in a higher offer for the property after your offer on the same property has been accepted. This can happen as there is no legal obligation for the vendor to sell their property to you until contracts have been exchanged.
When a buyer lowers their offer after a sale has been agreed. This is usually just before the contracts are due to be exchanged, making it difficult for the vendor to pull out.
Property built between approximately 1714-1800.
Specially designated area of countryside protected from most forms of development in order to stop urban sprawl.
An area not previously used for built development.
Rent paid to the owner of freehold land by a person who has a Lease.
Someone who guarantees an obligation of another.
Homebuyers survey & valuation
A property survey that includes a valuation and should reveal any major faults in the property. It is not as detailed as a Structural or Building Survey but will give you a valuation of the property you intend to purchase and outline any major structural repairs that may be required.
A list which describes the condition of furnishings and contents of a leased property at the start and end of a tenancy in order that any dilapidation during the tenancy can be identified.
Independent savings account
ISA Tax efficient shelter for investments in stocks and shares, life assurance and cash.
Land document issued by the Land Registry to the owner of registered land as proof of ownership. It includes a copy of the register and the plan showing the extent of the land.
The official body responsible for recording the ownership of land.
Land registry fees
Are paid to the Land Registry to register ownership of a property.
A formal application for an inspection of the Land Registry register. A certificate is issued showing the current situation of the land in question.
A legal document by which the freehold or leasehold owner of a property lets the premises (or a part of it) to another party for a specific length of time, after which point ownership may revert to the freeholder or superior leaseholder.
Denotes that ownership of a property is by way of a lease.
Fees that will be charged by your solicitor or conveyancer in relation to the purchase or sale of your property. Disbursements are payable in addition to the fees.
Building or other structure of special architectural or historic interest.
Listed Building Consent
Permission required for the alteration or demolition of a listed building.
A questionnaire sent to a local Authority by a purchaser's conveyancer to verify whether a property is affected by planning proposals, tree preservation orders, etc.
The charge (usually levied in flats) to cover the cost of repairing and maintaining the external or internal or communal parts of a building.
A property arranged over more than one floor (ie: a portion of the house), acessed via a private entrance.
Intermediate floor usually in a multi-story building, which does not extend to the full floor area of the whole building.
A sum of money advanced by a lender (such as a bank or building society) on the security of a property and repayable over a long period.
A legal document establishing a mortgage on a property. It contains the terms of the mortgage and the interest the mortgage lender has in the property.
A formal offer of mortgage issued by a building society, bank or other lender once the usual formalities such as references and valuation have been carried out.
The period of time that your mortgage runs. At the end of this term you will own the property in the case of a repayment mortgage or you have to repay the capital in full if you have an interest only mortgage. It is usually 25 years but it can be longer or shorter depending on your requirements.
A building society or bank that lends money against the security of the property purchased, i.e. the lender.
A person who borrows money, to buy a property i.e. the borrower.
National House Building Council - NHBC
A type of building guarantee available on some newly-built homes under which defects occurring within a specified time, post construction, are remedied.
When the amount you owe on your mortgage is greater than the value of your property.
The sum of money that a buyer offers to buy a property for. The offer can be accepted or declined by the vendor.
Office Copies Entries
A Land Registry term for copies of registers and plans, they are officially marked 'office copy' and are legally recognised.
Independent professional bodies that investigate complaints on behalf of customers against estate agents, solicitors and insurance companies.
Open market value
The price a property should achieve when there is a willing buyer and willing seller.
An out-of-centre development on a green-field site or on land not clearly within the current urban boundary.
The term used when a property is being sold, where a tenant has legal right of occupation to part of the building.
Peppercorn ground rent
A nominal rent that is charged on leasehold properties. It should be noted in the conditions of sale but it is rarely collected.
Planning Obligations and Agreements
Legal agreements between a planning authority and a developer, or offered unilaterally by a developer, ensuring that certain extra works related to a development are undertaken, usually under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Enquiries made by the purchaser's solicitor to the vendor's solicitor requiring information relating to the property being purchased prior to exchange of contracts.
The initial enquiries about a property put forward to a seller which the seller must answer before the exchange of contracts.
The amount you pay on a regular basis, usually for an insurance policy.
Formal name given to the method by which most estate agents will undertake the sale of residential property. This term covers the whole range of services normally associated with the sale process, culminating in 'exchange of contracts' and 'completion' between vendor and purchaser.
Legal term applied to the process of proving that a will is valid.
Public liability insurance
Insurance which covers injury to or death of anyone on or around a property.
Public Open Space (POS)
Land provided in urban or rural areas for public recreation, though not necessarily publicly owned.
Public Right of Way
A way where the public has a right to walk, and in some cases ride horses, bicycles, motorcycles or drive motor vehicles, which will be designated either as a footpath, a bridleway, a road used as a public path (RUPP) or a byway.
The person who is buying a property.
Occurs when a mortgage is fully repaid.
Property built between approximately 1800 -1837.
Occurs when the mortgage lender takes possession of a property due to non-payment of the mortgage.
Properties for sale by auction are normally offered subject to a 'reserve 'in which case the property is withdrawn if the highest bid does not reach the reserve price.
The holding back of part of a mortgage loan until repairs or specified works to the property are satisfactorily completed.
A narrow band of development extending along one or both sides of a road.
Rural Development Area
Priority area for economic and social development.
Some solicitors or conveyancers charge a scale fee. This is a fee based on the price being paid for a property or the amount being borrowed, rather than the amount of legal work being carried out.
Procedure undertaken by a conveyancer during the conveyancing process to establish whether any issues exist which may adversely affect the property which is to be purchased.
Semi detached property
A property which is joined to one other house.
The choice of a single estate agent to act on the seller's behalf, usually incurring a lower fee than multi-agency.
Sole Selling Rights
Legal term that means an agent is entitled to a fee no matter who buys the property
Special Needs Housing
Housing to meet need arising from homelessness or overcrowding, and purpose-built or supported housing for the elderly or disabled people or those requiring care.
This is a charge levied by the government if you wish to own your own home. Once the price being paid is over the current threshold, the amount of tax is calculated on the whole purchase price and rises as the price of your home increases. Your solicitor will let you know the stamp duty that will be due on the purchase of your new home and will arrange for this to be paid.
See Building Survey.
A flat consisting of one main room or open-plan living area incorporating cooking and sleeping facilities and a separate bathroom/shower room.
Subject to contract
Words used to indicate that an agreement is not yet legally binding.
Uses of land or buildings which do not fall into any of the use classes identified by the Use Classes Order, for example theatres.
The three main types are: Basic Valuation, Homebuyers Report and Full Building (Structural) Survey.
A member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors who undertakes valuations, homebuyer and structural or building surveys on the property you wish to purchase on behalf of both you and the lender. Chartered Surveyors abide by a strict code of conduct and are the most highly qualified property professionals.
Temporary possession of a property by a tenant.
A legal agreement designed to protect the rights of the tenant and landlord setting out all the terms and conditions of the rental arrangements.
The person who has temporary possession of a property.
Tenants in common
This is when more than one person buys a property. You become tenants in common and it ensures that if one of you dies their share of the property forms part of their estate and does not automatically pass onto the other party.
In the process known as 'For Sale By Tender' the asking price will not be stated. Instead, written offers will be invited and a closing date for such offers published. All offers are normally opened at the same time, usually with the vendor's solicitor present. Generally, the vendor is not committed to accepting the highest or any offer.
The conditions on which a property is held (i.e.freehold or leasehold).
A property which forms part of a connected row of houses.
The ultimate record of ownership of a property, the evidence of which is found in the title deeds
The deeds that transfer the property into your name when you purchase a property. They are issued by the Land Registry.
The final document transferring the property from the vendor to the buyer.
Tree Preservation Order (TPO)
Direction made by a local planning authority that makes it an offence to cut, top, lop, uproot or wilfully damage or destroy a tree without that authority's permission.
When the vendor has accepted an offer to buy the property from a prospective purchaser it is said to be 'under offer'.
Where ownership of land is established by a bundle of deeds but is not registered on the registered land system with the Land Registry.
Predominantly open land on the edge of an existing urban area.
The re-use or redevelopment of decaying or run-down parts of older urban areas to bring them new life and economic vitality.
A well used estate agency phrase which means that the property being offered will be vacant upon completion of the sale. The property is therefore offered free from any such encumbrances such as a sitting tenant or service tenancy.
A basic survey of a property to estimate its value for mortgage purposes. Mortgage lenders will insist on this before lending.
The person who is selling their property.
Property built between approximately 1837 -1901.
Boundaries defined on a map beyond which the local planning authority proposes that a village should not be allowed to extend.
The income from a property calculated as a percentage of its value