At Sheltons, we understand that you may come across terms during your transaction that you may not have seen or heard before that relate specifically to a property transaction, Whilst we will endeavour to communicate with you in plain English, we have created a glossary below to help you get to grips with some of the terms that may arise during your transaction.
Abstract of title
Summarises details of the title deeds and other documents that prove the seller’s right to sell a property and any mortgages or claims that relate to the property.
The sum of money provided by the mortgage provider to purchase the property.
Often used as a word for contract
The fee charged by the solicitor for their time and skills.
Boundaries define the extent of the property and are often although not always shown on the deeds (usually marked by fencing, walls or hedging).
A search to establish if a property might have a chance of structural damage from brine as a result of disused workings near the property.
Buildings / home insurance
Insurance to cover the cost of repairing damage to the structure of your property usually including garages, sheds, fences, pipes, cables and drains.
Building regulation approval
Approval by the local authority on the minimum standards for design, construction, materials and alteration which apply to virtually all buildings.
Certifying a document
Certify a document as a true copy of the original by getting it signed and dated by a professional person, like a solicitor. When you apply for something like a bank account or mortgage, you may be asked to provide documents that are certified as true copies of the original.
Where a seller is buying another property there is a sequence of linked purchases known as a chain.
On completion the balance of the purchase price is paid by a same day transfer of funds between solicitors’ client accounts by electronic transfer. CHAPS means Clearing House Automated Payment System.
A debt secured against a property which usually prevents the transfer of the property to another party without being settled at completion.
Items of personal property left over at a house and included in the purchase price, such as furniture. These are described on the Fixtures, Fittings and Contents form.
The process to finalise the sale or purchase of a property and usually the point at which the balance of any purchase funds become due under the terms of the contract. Completion will generally occur shortly following receipt of the funds due by the seller’s representative. Following confirmation of completion the buyer becomes the new owner of the seller’s house and ownership changes legally.
A written document that shows all of the receipts and payments due in relation to the purchase / sale
The set of documents sent by the sellers conveyancing solicitor to the buyer’s representative so the legal title for the property can be checked
The legal work which includes the preparation of documents needed to buy and sell properties.
Legal obligations contained in a Deed to do or not do something.
The official documents confirming who owns a property, these are held by the lender if the property is mortgaged until all outstanding amounts are paid.
The sum due under the terms for a contract of sale at exchange and is usually between 5%-10% of the sale price.
These are the charges made to third parties that include Local authority, water and drainage, environmental and mining searches as well as stamp duty and Land Registry fees.
Most people appoint a solicitor or conveyancer when buying or selling a property but some choose to undertake the process themselves. This can be very risky in some cases, such as when dealing with leasehold properties, and cannot be done where mortgages are involved
A check carried out during the conveyancing process that ensures a property is connected to both fresh and foul water sewers.
Aright granted to a third party enabling access to, or use of something on, a property or land, for example a right of way or a right to use drains etc.
Usually referred to as the difference between the value of a property and the amount owed to the mortgage lender or the amount of beneficial interest one party has compared to another.
Exchange of contracts
The formal exchanging of the two parts of the contract between the seller and buyer where they become legally bound to complete on an agreed date.
Fixtures, fittings and contents form (Form TA10)
A standard form completed by the seller which details all items in the property which they have agreed to leave as part of the sale price. This is attached to the contract.
A class of Title to Land, usually indicating an absolute entitlement to the land and guaranteed by the Land Registry for properties registered with this title class.
When a seller accepts a verbal offer on their property from one buyer, but then accepts a higher offer from another potential buyer.
An insurance policy taken out to protect the buyer against any issues incurred by a defect in the legal title.
An official certificate issued by the Land Registry where a property is registered detailing the ownership where there is no mortgage on it.
Land charges search
A search at the Land Charges Registry to establish if the seller has any bankruptcy proceedings due or if the property is unregistered to find out if there are any mortgages or interests registered against the property.
Where a property is leasehold, the lease is the document giving the lessee the rights to possession of the property for the lease term and setting out all rights and obligations.
Where the property is held under a Lease generally granted form a Freehold Title by a Landlord for a fixed number of years
This is the document which actually transfers the legal title to the property from one person to another and is signed shortly before completion.
the lessee is the current owner of the leasehold title under the terms of a Lease, also sometimes referred to as a tenant.
This is the landlord or freeholder who owns the freehold title and is entitled to the ground rent under the lease until the end of the lease term at which point they are entitled to absolute possession of the property
Local authority search
Specific information about a property that is sent by the local authority in the format of a search report. It includes whether the road serving the property should be maintained by the council and whether there have been any planning applications on the property.
A search to check whether the property may be affected by past coal mining activity beneath it that could result in subsidence.
A money lender, such as a building society or bank, who secures the loan against a property.
The borrower who gives security to the lender.
The official legal document that the buyer signs to formalise the mortgage agreement.
Also known as, an ‘offer of advance’ is given by the mortgage lender to a borrower to confirm that they will lend an amount of money.
National House Builders Council. NHBC provide a ten-year warranty for new properties where the builder is part of the NHBC Scheme.
Any person who lives at the property but will not be a part owner will be asked to consent to the mortgage being taken out and agree to move out if the lender takes possession.
Office copy entries
Official copies of the Title, obtained from the land registry, confirming ownership of the property.
Power of attorney
This document appointing a party to act as a allows a person to act as a legal representative of somebody else. These are often used to protect the financial interests of the ill or the elderly.
These are searches undertaken by your conveyancing provider before contracts are exchanged. They check to see if you have been bankrupt and that the property in question is legally owned by the seller. Also known as priority searches.
Property information form (Form TA6)
Standard Law Society Form completed by a seller to provide standard information about a property
The full repayment of an existing mortgage.
Property which is registered at the HM Land Registry.
A mortgage where the borrower makes interest and capital payments to the lender.
Requisition on title
Queries raised about the ownership of the property and how that ownership will be transferred.
Some freehold properties are subject to a rent charge payable to the rent charge owner. This is usually an annual sum paid by the owner of the freehold land.
Formal enquiries made to various authorities to provide the buyer with more information about the property they wish to buy including Local Councils, the Environment Agency and Coal and Water Authorities
A payment levied by landlords or management companies for the costs of maintaining and running a development or building.
You must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to the Government if you buy a property or land over a certain price in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If you’ve bought into a Shared Ownership home, you’ll own a percentage share of that property lease. Afterwards, you can buy further shares and own more of that property, or even buy outright ownership. This process is known as staircasing.
An assessment of the essential framework of a building.
A person who pays rent to another for the use of a property or land.
Usually used to refer to the grade of Title an owner has, such as Freehold or Leasehold
A search to establish whether the property may have been adversely affected by tin mining activity.
Third party rights
When someone other than the legal owner of a property has the right to use or control the land of which they have no ownership.
These documents are evidence that the seller actually owns the property, and details any rights or obligations that affect the property.
A document that legally transfers your property into the name of the buyer. It must be signed by you in the presence of a witness.
Transfer of equity
When someone is added or removed from the title deeds of a property perhaps due to a couple separating or a parent adding a child.
Where land has not been registered at the HM Land Registry and ownership has to be proved by the production of a complete chain of documents showing successive ownership; usually via production of the original title deeds.
Valuation Assessment of a property’s value.
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Sheltons Solicitors is a trading name of Edward Hands & Lewis Limited, a company registered in England & Wales with company number 07001422 having its registered office at City Gate House, 11 St Margaret’s Street, Leicester, LE1 3EA. The directors are Jason Hathaway, Leanne Hathaway, Andrew Robinson, Paul Stubbs and Emma Fuller. We use the word “Partner” to refer to the most senior individuals at Edward Hands & Lewis Limited and its use in connection with the business of Edward Hands & Lewis Limited should not be construed as an indication that any individual carries on business in Partnership with any other individual within the meaning of the Partnership Act 1980, or that they are personally liable to you or any other party for any acts or omissions. Individuals named as Partners owe no personal obligations to you in either contract or tort, nor does the title “Partner” mean that they have any authority to bind the firm. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and our registered practice number is 533589. Our VAT No. is 114080418.