But what does it mean?

As part of our Jargon Free approach, here is a simple guide to all the conveyancing Jargon you may come across during your transaction.

Adopted road: A road maintained by a Local Authority.

Agreement: This is another word for Contract.

Attorney: Someone appointed formally to act on behalf of another either generally or for a specific purpose.

Bankruptcy Search: A search made prior to Completion of a Purchase to check whether a buyer or a borrower has been, is, or is about to be declared bankrupt.

Boundaries: These show the extent of the property. They are often shown by fences or hedges.

Caveat Emptor: “Let the Buyer Beware”. A buyer must make sure there are no legal defects before the purchase.

Chancel Repair Liability: A financial obligation imposed on some property owners in England and Wales to pay for certain repairs to a church.

Coal Mining Search: The search’s purpose is to find out if there is any likelihood of mining activity having been carried on beneath the property you are looking at or in the nearby area.

Completion: Completion is the point at which the sale is finalised and the home legally becomes the property of the new owner.

Completion Statement: It is effectively the bill, as it lays out what you need to pay in order to complete the purchase of the property and get your keys.

Conservation Area: A Conservation Area is a place of special interest designated by a Local Authority to protect buildings worthy of preservation.

Contaminated Land: Land affected by contamination which could arise from past use of a property or by things stored on the property in the past.

Contract for Sale: A legal contract between the buyer and seller for the purchase/sale of the property.

Contract Rate: A penalty rate of interest payable by either the seller or the buyer if the Conveyancing transaction does proceed on the Completion Date.

Covenant: A covenant is a promise made in relation to the property. It can either be a promise to do something (a positive covenant) or, not to do something (a restrictive covenant).

Deed of Covenant: Legal obligations which either require a party to refrain from doing something or to advise a party to do something

Deposit: The amount of money (usually 10% of the purchase price) that a buyer is obliged to pay to the seller at the point of exchange of contracts.

Disbursements: A disbursement is an expense your solicitor pays on your behalf and later adds to your final bill for you to reimburse them.

Drainage/Water Search: A search to obtain information about sewer connections and water supply to a property.

Easement: Rights exercised over a piece of land or property for the benefit of another

Environmental Search: An environmental search surveys historical and current records of land to ascertain whether any past use is likely to have led to contamination.

Exchange of Contracts: Exchange of contracts is the point at which the buyer pays a deposit and the sale/purchase contract becomes legally binding.

Flying Freehold: This arises when part of one property is built on top of part of another property and so the upper property owner does not own the building or land underneath the "flying" part.

Freehold: Buying freehold means buying both the building and the land.

Full Title Guarantee: The seller of a property must state the guarantee they are prepared to give.

Ground Rent: Ground rent is the rent paid for the flat by the owner.

Joint Tenants: This means all the owners own 100% of the property together, then if any of the joint owners dies, the surviving joint tenants continue to own the property 100%

Indemnity Insurance: Indemnity insurance is a protection policy sometimes purchased during housing transactions.

Index Map Search (SIMR): A search at the land registry to see if a property is registered or unregistered.

Land Charges Search: A search at the land charges registry to see if a person has any bankruptcy proceedings pending or if the property is unregistered to see if there are any mortgages or interest registered against the property.

Lessee: Where a property is a leasehold the lessee means the current owner of the leasehold property.

Lessor: This means the landlord or freeholder who owns the freehold title.

Lease: Where a property is a leasehold this is the document giving the lessee the rights to possession of the property for the lease term and setting out all rights and obligations.

Leasehold: Where the ownership of property is for a limited period only.

Limited Title Guarantee: This is the title guarantee given by a seller where because of their limited knowledge of the property.

Listed Buildings: A listed property is a building placed on a national register for being of historical and/or architectural importance.

Local Search: It covers items such as, whether the road serving the property should be maintained by the council, whether there have been any planning applications on the property, and a number of other things.

Mortgage Deed: Your mortgage deed is usually a 1 or 2 page document that, once signed, provides confirmation that you’re happy to proceed based on the terms of your mortgage offer.

Official Copies: Official copies are copies of the entries on the registered title of a property, officially produced by the Land Registry

Party Wall: A wall owned jointly with a neighbour and repairable at the shared expense.

Permitted Development: Permitted Development allows homeowners the right to carry out certain work without the need of applying for planning permission.

Rent Charge: Some freehold properties are subject to a rent charge. This may be to ensure income for the original landowner without the existence of a lease or it can be to ensure that estate covenants can be enforced more easily.

Service Charge: A payment required by a lessor or managing agent to cover the costs of maintaining and running a development.

Shared Ownership Property: A shared ownership scheme is when buyers purchase a share of a property, usually from a housing association (HA) or registered social landlord (RSL)

Telegraphic Transfer Fee:  On the day of completion the balance of the purchase price is paid by transfer of funds between solicitors' client accounts by electronic transfer.

Tenants in Common: A form of co-ownership where on the death of the co-owners the remaining owner(s) is (are) not automatically entitled to the deceased's share in the property.

Transfer Deed: A transfer deed is a document used in conveyancing in England and Wales to transfer real property from its legal owner to another party.

Tree Preservation Order: An order made by the local authority designating a tree or group of trees as protected and requiring the local authority's permission to lop or fell them.

Unregistered Land: Where the title to a property has not previously been registered at the Land Registry and ownership is proved by the production of a complete chain of documents showing successive ownership.

Wayleave: A formal agreement entered into with a property owner to give a service provided (e.g. Electricity or Telephone company) a right for their pipe or cable to pass through or over the property.

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