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Conveyancing Glossary

Straight forward and stress free

At Lambert Taylor & Gregory, we aim to make seeing a solicitor as straight forward and stress free as possible. With this in mind we have prepared a conveyancing glossary which explains some of the words and phrases commonly used or associated with the process of buying or selling a house.

Certificate of Title
A written certificate we must complete and send to your bank or building society before your mortgage advance will be released.
Chain
A series of clients buying / selling properties to one another
Completion
Moving day! This is the day when the balance of the purchase / sale price is transferred from solicitor to solicitor and keys to the property released to the buyer
Contract
A written contract for the sale / purchase of land, usually drawn up by the seller's solicitor and approved by the buyer's solicitor once the title to a property has been checked and approved
Conveyance
A legal document transferring the title to a property from the seller to the buyer
Covenant
A legal promise to do or refrain from doing something in or on land / property. Covenants are usually positive, ie an obligation to do something in or on a property, or "negative" or "restrictive", ie an obligation not to do or refrain from doing something in or on a property
Deed of Gift
A legal document transferring or gifting the title to a property from one person to another
Disbursement
These are expenses incurred by your solicitor in connection with either the sale or purchase of property. Disbursements usually consist of search fees, Land Registry fees and, possibly stamp duty.
Deposit
A sum of money paid by the buyer's solicitor to the seller's solicitor on exchange of contracts, usually 10% of the purchase price but can be lower by negotiation
Easement
Rights granted over one property to benefit another. Typical easement examples would be rights of way over private or shared access ways, rights of drainage or rights of passage of services in or under another person's property.
Enquiries
Questions raised by the buyer's solicitor in relation to the seller's title to a property
Epitome of Title
A list of documents prepared by the seller's solicitor to prove the seller's title to an unregistered property
Exchange of contracts
The date on which the buyer and seller enter into a legally binding commitment to purchase or sell the property.
Fixtures and fittings list
A standard form completed by the seller of a property which confirms what is and what is not to be included in the purchase price.
Flood search
A search designed to predict the likelihood of a property being adversely affected by coastal, river or surface water flooding and the possible impact such flooding might have on the insurability of the property.
Freehold
A way of owning land / property indefinitely
Ground rent
A charge (usually annual) payable by the owner of a leasehold property to the owner of the freehold interest in it.
Joint tenants
A method whereby two or more persons own a freehold or leasehold interest in a property. Joints tenants own the property together and if one joint tenant dies his or her interest in the property is automatically passed to the surviving joint tenant(s).
Land Registry
A Government organisation responsible for maintaining records about registered land.
Land Registry fee
A fee paid to the Land Registry to register the change of ownership of a property, usually dependent on the value of the property concerned.
Lease
A deed in which the owner of a freehold property lets out that property to someone else for a specified time in return for a ground rent.
Leasehold
Land / property which is held under a lease
Legal charge
Another phrase for a mortgage
Local search
A search carried out at the Local Authority to learn more about the property and the Local Authority's records in relation to it.
Mining search
A search carried out at the Coal Authority to see whether the property might be affected by past or present coal mining activity
Mortgage
A long term loan (usually from a bank or building society) which is secured against land or property via a charge (see also Legal Charge)
Mortgage Deed
A document signed by the borrower and used to register the mortgage against the title to the property being purchased.
Mortgagee
A lender who lends money to the buyer pursuant to a mortgage, usually a bank or building society
Mortgagor
The borrower of money pursuant to a mortgage, usually the buyer of the property
Positive covenant
A promise to do something in relation to land / property. Common examples include obligations to repair or maintain a property or its boundaries or contribute towards the repair or maintenance of something used in common by more than one property.
Property information form (PIF)
A standard form completed by the seller designed to supply the buyer with limited information about the seller's ownership of a property
Redemption statement
A statement obtained from the seller's mortgagee to confirm the amount required to discharge the mortgage.
Registered land / property
Land / property which is registered at the Land Registry
Restrictive covenant
A promise not to do something in relation to land/property. Common examples include restrictions on the future development of a property or the use it can be put to (i.e. a property to be used for residential purposes only).
Stamp duty land tax (SDLT)
A tax charged by the Government on the purchase of a property. Stamp Duty is usually assessed as a percentage of the purchase price.
Telegraphic transfer
An electronic transfer of money through the banking system.
Transfer (TR1 / TP1)
A legal document which transfer the title to a property from the seller/transferor to the buyer/transferee.
Title
Proof that someone owns a property (for registered land see Title Information Document, for unregistered land see Conveyance(s) or Epitome of Title)
Title information document / Office Copies (OCE's)
A register of title held by the Land Registry which confirms details about the property, the owners of it and any mortgages or charges secured against it.
Unregistered land/property
Land or property which has not yet been registered at the Land Registry (see also Conveyance(s) and Epitome of Title)
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