Jargon Explained


During your property transaction, you are likely to come across a number of technical terms which relate to the conveyancing process.

For your reference, below is a list of common terms and their meanings:

Contract

A legally binding agreement to the sale or purchase of a property.

Completion Date

The date that legal ownership is transferred from seller to buyer and the transaction is completed. If purchasing, this is the date that you pick up the keys to your home and become the new owner.

Disbursement

A fee or expense paid by us on your behalf to another person or body.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

A report which contains information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs, as well as recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money.

Environmental Search

A search which will check whether the property is built upon or located within an area of historical or present contamination. The search will also provide details of whether the land is at known risk of subsidence, flooding or toxic emissions.

Exchange of Contracts

The point that both seller and buyer are legally committed and bound to the transaction. Until this stage, all matters are subject to contract.

Fittings & Contents Form

A list of items which are either included or excluded from the agreed sale price.

Freehold

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

Indemnity Insurance

A policy taken out to protect the buyer against problems caused by a defect in the legal title or lack of appropriate consent.

Land Registry

A central body which retains records of ownership of land and property in England and Wales. For further information, please refer to https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/land-registry.

Land Registry Fee

A fee which is charged by the Land Registry for registering your property and mortgage following completion. The fee scale depends on the value of the property. Please refer to a member of the team who can provide further information.

Leasehold

Ownership of a property over a fixed term of years in accordance with the terms of a lease.

Local Authority Search

A search of the Local Authority’s register. The search gathers information and reveals entries relating to planning and building control, adoption and maintenance of roads and other matters which may affect your decision to buy the property.

Property Information Form

A questionnaire about the property which is completed by the seller. The form gives further details including the responsibility and maintenance of boundaries, additions and alterations carried out to the property, the availability of guarantees, neighbour disputes and property insurance, to name a few.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

A tax charged by the Government, payable by the buyer based on the value of the property which is purchased. Current SDLT rates can be found at:- https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rates-and-allowances-stamp-duty-land-tax.

Title Deeds

Legal title documents which provide evidence of ownership and historical information about the property. Since 1990, land has been subject to compulsory registration. Therefore, any pre-registration deeds are no longer required as evidence of title but may of interest to buyers and sellers alike.

Transfer Deed

Also referred to as a Form TR1, this document legally transfers ownership from the transferor to the transferee i.e. seller to buyer.

Water & Drainage Search

A search of the local water authority which serves the area where the property is located. The search will reveal whether the property is connected to a public or private water supply and sewer system, confirm how water and drainage charges are calculation and the location of public sewers.

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