Property Terms Glossary.

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A
Absent freeholder
When the freehold owner (freeholder) of a leasehold property is untraceable or unresponsive, complicating lease extensions, sales, or property modifications for leaseholders.
Adopted road
A road that's maintained by the local authority and considered a public highway. During property purchases in England and Wales, a solicitor conducts searches to reveal the road's status.
Adverse possession
Adverse possession allows occupants to claim ownership by openly and continuously using a property without permission, but recent UK laws have made this harder.
Agreement
An agreement, or contract, is required for a property purchase, formalised as a 'contract of sale' between buyer and seller.
Agreement in principle (AIP)
An agreement in principle is a mortgage lender's initial indication that they will lend you up to a specified amount, based on preliminary financial checks.
Anti-money laundering check (AML)
When buying or selling a property, your solicitor will carry out checks in accordance with the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017.
Anticipated legal completion date (ALCD)
A date that is agreed upon by the buyer and seller of a new-build property as the target date for completing the legal aspects of the purchase.
Application to Change the Register (AP1) Form
The AP1 form informs HMLR of changes in property ownership or title, including adding/removing names or selling part of the property.
Assent
In the event of the owner of a property dying, an assent is a formal document that will need to be prepared in order to transfer title (ownership) of the property to the new owner.
Assured shorthold tenancy (AST)
The most common type of tenancy agreement in England, ASTs typically last 6-12 months, but can be longer or rolling. New tenancies are usually ASTs, except local authority or commercial properties.
B
Bankruptcy check
A check carried out by your solicitor when getting a mortgage or adding someone to it. The check is timed just before completion, and it ensures the lender's priority as a preferrential creditor.
Base rate
The base rate is the Bank of England's benchmark for setting interest rates, influencing mortgages and loans, and varies with the economy.
Beneficial interest
The term 'beneficial interest' is often encountered in relation to buying a property with someone else or entering into a 'Deed of Trust'. Beneficial interest refers to the right to receive benefits or profits from a property, even though the legal title of the property - as recorded at - is in another person's name.
Beneficiary
An individual or entity nominated in a will who will receive an inheritance upon the person's death.
Boundary
The legal boundary of a property, delineated line on a map or plan, registered digitally at HM Land Registry. It can also mean the physical boundary, typically marked by hedges or fences.
Boundary dispute
Property boundary disputes arise from neighbor disagreements about land rights or ownership. Issues include parking, fences, and wall maintenance. Sellers must disclose disputes in the TA6 form.
Breach of contract
When one party fails in contract obligations. In conveyancing, it can lead to legal action, e.g., buyer not completing purchase or leaseholder not meeting obligations.
Bridging loan
Short-term loan bridging the gap between property sale and purchase. Bridging loans offer quick access to funds but high interest rates.
Brine search
An investigation to check for any underground brine deposits on or near a property. This search is conducted in areas where subsurface brine extraction or storage activities may affect the property.
Building Survey (Full Structural Survey)
Now called a Level 3 survey, this is the most detailed RICS survey. It covers condition, defects, future costs, and more. Suitable for all property types, especially older or unconventional ones.
Building regulations
Rules ensuring safety and energy efficiency in construction. They cover structural stability, fire safety, accessibility, and more. Compliance is essential when constructing or renovating buildings.
Building regulations completion certificate
Building regulations ensure safety and energy efficiency for new homes and alterations, requiring a completion certificate from local authority upon work completion.
Buildings insurance
You need buildings insurance to cover structural damage as aporoperty owner. It includes roof, walls, fixtures, but not contents. Separate contents insurance is needed for possessions.
Buy to let
Buy-to-let involves purchasing property for investment purposes, with a view to generating rental income and potential capital growth.
Buyers' market
A buyer's market is when there are more properties for sale than buyers, giving buyers more choices and negotiating power. Sellers may face tougher competition and price reductions.
C
Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is a tax on the profit made from selling assets like properties, shares, business assets, or valuable possessions, with some exemptions and an annual allowance. Consulting a tax expert is always advisable due to its complexity.
Capped rate (mortgage)
Aa type of Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM) where the maximum interest rate is limited to a certain percentage above the initial rate. If the base rate increases, the interest rate on the loan will not exceed the capped rate.
Caveat emptor
Caveat emptor' means 'let the buyer beware,' requiring home buyers to conduct due diligence on property purchases. Recent legislation mandates disclosure of information that may affect the property's value, but sellers are not liable for undisclosed information they were unaware of.
Certificate of Identity for a Private Individual Form (ID1)
The ID1 form is an identity verificatiobn form required for various HM Land Registry (HMLR) applications, including property transfers, new leases, registered charges, and the discharge of charges.
Certificate of title
Buying with a mortgage requires a Certificate of Title from the solicitor, confirming property ownership and compliance with lender's conditions and UK Finance Mortgage lenders' Handbook.
Chancel repair search
A Chancel Repair Search determines if a property is liable for contributions towards the repair of a church's chancel, a legal obligation that can affect certain UK properties.
Charge
A 'charge' is a legal protection for mortgages. If the mortgage terms aren't met, the lender can enforce their rights, even repossessing the property. Conveyancing solicitors investigate and remove existing charges when buying property, while registering a new lender's charge for new mortgages. Charges are registered at HMLR.
Chattels
Chattels are movable items taken by the owner when they move, unlike fixtures and fittings that are fixed. Chattels include furniture, lamps, and portable items, while fixtures are built-in elements like kitchens, and fittings are items like carpets or curtains. Sellers may choose to leave specific chattels in the contract of sale.
Client care letter
A client care letter is the contract between a solicitor and a client, outlining terms, work details, and payment terms. On conveyancing matters, the letter is sent with property forms, and the solicitor can't proceed until it's signed.
Coal mining search
Conveyancing solicitors check for coal mining activity when handling property purchases. A coal mining search is done to assess subsidence risk, including mine entrances, gas emissions, hazards, and future mining plans. Mortgage lenders typically require this search.
Collective enfranchisement
Collective enfranchisement allows a group of leaseholders to purchase their building's freehold. Leaseholders make an offer to the landlord, including a proposed price and terms. If accepted, they must complete the purchase per the offer. Leaseholders must meet requirements to qualify.
Commonhold
Commonhold, introduced in 2004, offers flat owners ownership without a freeholder or lease. You jointly own and manage the building with other flat owners through a commonhold association. Unlike leasehold, commonhold has no finite lease term, providing long-term ownership.
Commons registration search
A 'Commons Registration Search' checks if land is registered as common land and if property access is through it. Vehicular access isn't possible over common land. Tne search results are reported to both buyer and seller.
Communal or common parts (leasehold)
If you live in a flat, the lease grants you access to communal parts like hallways, gardens, and facilities. Maintenance of common parts is funded through service charges paid by leaseholders.
Completion
Completion is the final step in conveyancing before the buyer get's the keys. The buyer's solicitor sends funds, the seller's solicitor sends deeds, the seller vacates the property, and legal fees are paid.
Completion date
The date the seller moves out and the buyer moves in. The buyer's solicitor sends funds, the seller's solicitor sends deed, the mortgage is paid off, the sale proceeds are sent to the seller, and the legal fees are paid.
Completion on notice
Completion on notice refers to the process of completing the purchase of a new-build property after it has been built and has received the necessary approvals from building control. The developer will serve written notice on the buyer, typically giving them 10 working days, to complete the purchase.
Completion statement
Isued by the buyer's solicitor, this statement details financial transactions for a property purchase, including deposits, remaining balance, and disbursements, sent a week before completion.
Compulsory purchase
When the government acquires private property for public use with compensation. It's used for projects like infrastructure, housing, or urban renewal. Property owners can object, negotiate compensation, or go to a tribunal. Compensation includes market value and related expenses.
Conservation area
A conservation area is a designated area of historic or architectural interest. These areas have rules to preserve its character. Conveyancing solicitors check if a property is in one during local authority searches.
Consideration
Consideration in a transfer of equity is the money paid to add or remove someone from a property's title deeds. For instance, if a family member buys out your 50% share in a 250,000 property for 125,000, the consideration is 125,000. Stamp Duty is based on this consideration, not the property's full market value.
Consumer code for home builders
A UK code of conduct for new-build home builders. It safeguards consumer rights by establishing conduct standards, ensuring accurate property information, and offering dispute resolution. Builders belonging to organisations like the Home Builders Federation (HBF) or National Federation of Builders (NFB), must adhere to this code.
Contents insurance
Contents insurance is essential for protecting your personal possessions within a property. It typically covers items like appliances, electronics, and furniture. However, coverage specifics depend on the policy terms. Fixed property elements, such as kitchens and doors, are usually excluded and would be covered by building insurance.
Contract
In a property sale, the contract outlines the terms agreed between buyer and seller, including price and deposit, and is sent from the seller's to the buyer's solicitor.
Conveyancer
A term for specialist property lawyer, solicitor or licensed conveyancer, who carries out the legal work for property sales or purchases.
Conveyancing
Conveyancing is the legal proccess of transferring property ownership from the seller to the buyer, with solicitors or conveyancers managing the legal work post-offer acceptance.
Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC)
The CLC is the regulator for licensed conveyancers in England and Wales. Unlike Solicitors licensed conveyancers specialise in conveyancing activity, rather than a multitude of legal disciplines.
Covenant (restrictive and positive)
A legal provision or promise that impacts or limits a property's use. Covenant details are documented in legal papers like a deed of covenant. Restrictive covenants limit property usage (e.g. no alterations or pets). Positive covenants involve a party committing to specific actions (e.g., maintaining a boundary fence or private road).
D
Deceased joint proprietor (DJP) form
The DJP form notifies HM Land Registry of a joint owner's death, removing their name from the title if there's a surviving owner. An official death certificate must accompany the form.
Decision in Principle (DIP)
A DIP is a mortgage lender's preliminary approval of a borrower's loan, signaling the buyer's readiness and accelerating the mortgage process.
Deducing title
A conveyancing term for the seller proving their ownership of a property to the buyer. If the property is registered at HM Land Registry, it's straightforward as the solicitor can obtain 'Official Copies' and deduce the title. For unregistered properties, an epitome of title is provided by the seller's solicitor.
Deed of covenant
A legal document where a nominated party agrees to specific obligations, adhere to clauses, or make payments. It's common in leasehold property transactions when assigning the lease to a new owner. It may involve agreeing not to keep pets, use the property for business, contribute to maintenance, or pay the ground rent specified in the lease.
Deed of gift
A legal document used to transfer property ownership as a gift, rather than for money. It's commonly used when gifting a property, partially or wholly, to another person. Solicitors will prepare and execute this document, detailing the gift's specifics, the parties involved, and any agreed-upon terms.
Deed of guarantee
Used when a guarantor agrees to be responsible for a borrower's mortgage obligations if the borrower fails to repay the mortgage. Typically required by lenders for borrowers with poor credit history or insufficient deposits.
Deed of postponement
A legal agreement between two mortgage lenders, typically when a second mortgage is taken out with a different lender. The first lender (senior creditor) ensures priority over the new lender (junior creditor) in case of property sale or missed repayments.
Deed of variation
A legal document that modifies the terms of an existing deed or document. Often used in property matters, such as extending a lease, altering rights of way, or changing lease restrictions. This document is drafted by a solicitor and signed by the relevant parties involved, including the leaseholder, freeholder, and mortgage lender.
Deeds
Property deeds are legal documents that establish ownership and rights related to a property. In England and Wales, electronic registration via HM Land Registry has replaced paper deeds. HMLR maintains a digital record of property ownership, including the owner's name, mortgages, and restrictions.
Demised premises
The specific parts of a building that have been transferred by to a tenant, as opposed to the parts that are retained by the freeholder. They typically include everything within the walls of the leased space, including internal walls, but excludeing external walls, common areas and shared facilities such as staircases, elevators, and hallways.
Deposit
Buyers typically pay 5-10% of the property price to the seller before exchanging contracts. On the day of completion, the remaining balance is paid. If the buyer fails to complete the transaction after exchange, they risk losing their deposit.
Diminution of value
Diminution in value measures property loss due to defects. In conveyancing, due diligence identifies defects that may affect future value. For instance, lacking planning consent for an extension may lead to demolition.
Disbursement
A disbursement is a 3rd party cost incurred by a conveyancing solicitor on behalf of their clients, like property searches and Stamp Duty.
Domestic energy assessor (DEA)
Accredited professional who assess property energy efficiency and issues Energy Performace Certificates (EPC) in the UK, required for marketing properties.
Down valuation
When a property's assessed value by a lender's valuer is lower than the agreed purchase price.
Drainage and water search (CON29DW)
A standard search conducted by a solicitor during the property purchase process. It verifies whether the property is connected to the mains water supply, the public sewage system, and how water and wastewater charges are structured.
E
Early repayment charge (ERC)
A fee that a mortgage borrower may have to pay if they pay off their mortgage before the agreed loan term ends. This charge compensates the lender for lost interest.
Easement
A legal right to cross another's land or waterway, established through a 'Deed of Grant'.
Electrical installation certificate
Electrical alterations or additions in your property must meet 'Part P of the Building Regulations'. Non-compliant work can be enforced by local authorities. Sellers must provide certificate to buyers.
Encumbrance
An encumbrance is anything which could negatively impact the value of the property or which adversely affects the use of the property.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
An EPC details a property's energy use, costs, and efficiency improvement tips. It's required before selling or renting homes, with fines for non-compliance, and is issued after a DEA's assessment.
Environmental search
An Environmental Search assesses potential environmental risks to a property, such as flooding, land contamination, and subsidence, providing home buyers with information on environmental factors.
Epitome of title
Sellers must prove ownership through "deducing title." For registered properties, the title is deduced by downloading documents from HM Land Registry. For unregistered properties, an "epitome of title" is created, which is a bundle of deeds and documents proving ownership.
Equity
The 'equity' in a property is the difference between a property's value and the amount of money required to redeem (pay off) the mortgage.
Exchange of contracts
When the sale agreement becomes legally binding. Before this point, either party can withdraw without penalties. After exchange, a deposit is paid, and a completion date is set. If the buyer withdraws, they lose the deposit and may face legal action. If the seller withdraws, the buyer can seek compensation.
F
Fenestration Self Assessment Scheme (FENSA)
A government scheme that ensures replacement windows and doors comply with building regulations. When selling a property, the buyer's solicitor will request this certificate.
Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
The FATF is the international money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.
Fittings and Contents Form (TA10)
A document used in property sales listing fixtures and fittings included in the sale. The TA10 is a legally binding document that forms part of the sales contract.
Flying freehold
A unique property ownership situation where a part of a property extends over another property or a public area. This can complicate property transactions as the ownership of the overhanging part is not straightforward.
Freehold
Owning a freehold means that you own the property and land on which the property sits. Freeholds do not expire meaning that the freehold owns the freehold in perpetuity.
Freeholder
The owner of the property and the land it stands on. In leasehold arrangements, the leaseholder has the right to occupy and use the property for a specified period, while the freeholder retains ownership of the land.
Full title guarantee
This ensures that the seller is the rightful owner of the property, legally capable of selling it, and that the property is free from any legal complications that could affect the buyer's ownership.
G
Gazanging
Seller withdrawal after accepting an offer due to circumstances or inability to find a new property, common in sellers' markets.
Gazumping
When a seller accepts a higher offer after agreeing previousley to a lower one. Disruptive, yet legal in England and Wales, it's more common in seller's markets.
Gazundering
When a a buyer, who has already agreed to purchase a property at a certain price, lowers their offer just before the exchange of contracts. This practice is legal in England and Wales as there's no legally binding contract until the exchange of contracts.
Gifted deposit
When a friend or family member provides money to assist with the deposit required for a property purchase.
Good and marketable title
Your solicitor will need to confirm that the seller can transfer ownership of a property to a buyer without the risk of any dispute or legal challenge. This is known as 'good and marketable title'.
Ground rent
Annual payments made by leaseholders to freeholders, as specified in the lease agreement. They are essentially rent payments for the land on which the leasehold property is located.
Guide price
An indicative property price used in marketing to set buyer expectations, often seen in auctions. It is not a binding valuation.
H
HM Land Registry (HMLR)
The official authority responsible for registering property and land ownership in England and Wales.
HS2 search
An HS2 Search checks if a property is affected by the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail network, including potential impacts on value and environmental concerns.
Help to Buy Agent
Help to Buy agents manage the equity loan scheme in England, guiding on eligibility, assisting with paperwork, and offering advice for application issues.
Help to buy (ISA)
A government-backed savings scheme for first-time homebuyers. Contributions are tax-free, and the government provides a 25% bonus on savings, up to a maximum of 3,000. New accounts closed on November 30, 2019, but existing accounts can continue until November 2029.
Help to buy (equity loan)
A government-backed scheme helping first-time buyers and existing homeowners in England purchase new build homes with a minimum 5% deposit.
Homebuyers Report
Now called a Level 2 survey, this is a RICS survey suitable for conventional properties built of standard (brick and tile) construction, after 1900.
Housing association
Non-profit organisations in the UK that provide affordable housing. They own and manage around 3 million properties, known as 'social housing', which is distinct from council-owned housing.
I
ID check (verification of Identity)
Under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, your solicitor must confirm your identity and address before proceeding.
Indemnity insurance
An insurance policy often recommended during the conveyancing process to address issues or defects, such as alterations without planning permission, unapproved electrical work, missing building regulations, and restrictive covenants.
Index map search (SIM)
An Index Map Search (SIM) checks HM Land Registry's maps to confirm whether a property is registered and if there are any issues affecting it or adjacent land, like access rights.
Inheritance Tax (Iht)
A tax poayable on the property, money, and possessions (estate) of a deceased individual. This tax is paid by the executor responsible for managing the estate, typically a family member or solicitor.
Interest rates
The percentage charged by the lender on the mortgage loan amount.
J
Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica)
An invasive and fast-spreading plant that resembles bamboo. It spreads rapidly underground through a rhizome system. Mortgage lenders can be cautious about properties with this plant due to its ability to damage structures. However, lenders may still lend if there's an indemnity backed control program in place.
L
Land Registry search
A Land Registry Search is an official inquiry into the Land Registry's database to confirm a property's legal title, ownership details, and any charges or restrictions against it.
Landlord
The owner of a property who grants a lease to a tenant. The landlord retains ownership but allows the tenant to occupy and use the property for rent. The landlord is responsible for maintenance, may impose rules, and collects rent.
Law Society
The Law Society represents solicitors in England and Wales, providing support during training and after qualification.
Lease
A long-term rental agreement, typically lasting from 99 to 999 years. It's issued by a landlord for a fixed term, and when it expires, ownership reverts to the landlord.
Lease extension
When a leaseholder extends the initial lease term on their property in return for a premium paid to the freeholder.
Leasehold
A long-term rental agreement (the lease), typically lasting between 99 and 999 years. If the lease is not extended, it will ultimately expire.
Leasehold Information Form (TA7)
A document filled out by the seller to provide information about the property's leasehold status. It covers aspects such as the remaining lease term, service charges, ground rent, management details, consents, complaints, restrictionse, disputes, and planned major works.
Leasehold management information pack
Sellers of leasehold properties must provide information about the management of the leasehold. Seller's must apply to their freeholder for information on the last 3 years accounts, service charge and ground rent accounts, buildings insurance details, information about planned works etc.
Leaseholder
A leaseholder has rights to occupy a property for a specified period (typically 99 to 999 years) without owning the land, and with ownership reverting to the freeholder upon lease expiry.
Lessee
An individual or entity that holds a lease on a property, allowing them to use it for a specified period but not own the land it's built on.
Lessor
A person or entity that grants a lease or rental agreement to another party, known as the lessee. The lessor retains ownership of the property and allows the lessee to use it in exchange for rent.
Licence to alter
When a tenant wants to make changes to a leasehold property, they may first need written consent (licence to alter) from the freeholder.
Licence to assign
A legal document that allows a tenant to transfer their leasehold interest in a property to another party.
Listed building
A building of special historical and/or architectural importance. If a property is listed then it is subject to strict planning regulations that seek to preserve notable, important and historical buildings in their original state.
Live/work property
A live/work property, or live/work unit, is a property that is designed to be used for both residential and business purposes.
Loan to value (LTV)
When buying a property with a mortgage, LTV is the ratio between the loan amount and the value of the property. For example, a mortgage of 150,000 on a property with a value of 200,000 has an LTV of 75%.
Local Authority Building Control (LABC)
LABC is the representative body for local authority building control teams in England and Wales.
Local Planning Authority (LPA)
The LPA oversees local planning and development. You'll need their approval for building or modifying properties. It's typically your local council or local authority.
Local authority
The official local government body responsible for the provision of public services and facilities in the defined local area. Local authorities can be comprised of a county council together with a borough or city council. Local authorities could also be a unitary council, a London borough, or a metropolitan borough.
Local authority search
Enquiries made of the local authority about the property you intend to purchase. The search will be carried out at the beginning of the purchase conveyancing process, usually as part of a bundle of searches that also includes an environmental search and water search.
Lock out agreement
A special arrangement where a seller gives a buyer a period of pre-contract exclusivity to proceed with the purchase. During the lock out period, the buyer can carry out their due diligence on the property before committing to the purchase. In the same period, the seller is not able to accept an offer from another party.
M
Managing agent
A company or person appointed by a freeholder to manage the freehold of a property in accordance with the lease.
Memorandum of sale (sales memo)
A document is prepared by the estate agent and sent to the buyer's solicitor, outlining the terms of the sale including the price, completion date, and any special conditions that apply.
Money laundering regulations
Regulations that prevent the proceeds of criminal activity from being used to purchase or invest in property.
Mortgage
A mortgage is a loan from a bank or building society that helps or enables someone to buy a property.
Mortgage broker
A person or company that offers advice on obtaining a mortgage. They can help buyers decide which type of mortgage best suits your needs and help identify which mortgage product and lender best meets those needs.
Mortgage lender
A mortgage lender is a financial institution (bank or building society) that provides loans to help people buy a property. UK mortgage lenders are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Mortgage valuation survey
A survey carried on on bvehalf of the lender to assess the value of a property, to determine if it provides sufficient security for the loan.
Mortgagee
A mortgagee is the lender in a mortgage arrangement - usually a bank, building society or other financial institution.
Mortgagor
A mortgagor is a borrower in a mortgage arrangement. The mortgagor will usually be the homeowner. There can be multiple joint mortgagors on a mortgage.
N
National House Building Council (NHBC)
The NHBC is the most common warranty provider for new homes built in the UK. Its' initiatives help the house building industry increase the quality and standards of new homes.
Negative equity
When the value of a property is less than the amount outstanding on the mortgage.
New build
A property that has been recently constructed and never been lived in before. In the UK, new-build properties are typically sold by the developer or builder, rather than by individual homeowners. New-build properties are often sold "off-plan", meaning the property is purchased before it has been constructed.
O
Occupier
An adult who is not an owner or part-owner, who lives (or will be living) at your property.
Occupier's consent forn
When buying a home with a non-owner adult resident (occupier), they must sign an occupiers consent form, agreeing to leave if the property is repossessed.
Off-plan
When a buyer commits to buying a property from a developer before the building work has started or completed.
Official Copy of Register of Title (Office Copies)
Documents held by HM Land Registry that evidence the ownership of properties in England and Wales.
Online case tracking
Online software offered by conveyancing solicitors that allows buyers and sellers to keep a track of how their transaction is going.
Os1 Priority Search
A search carried out just before exchange of contracts that ensures that no changes can be made to the title of the property that you intend to buy, for a period of 30 days.
P
Peppercorn rent
A peppercorn rent, in the context of property and leases, refers to a symbolic or nominal rent amount that is so low it is considered almost negligible.
Permitted development rights (PD)
Certain types of work can be completed under Permitted Development Rights (PD) - meaning you will not need to apply for planning permission.
Personal searches
Searches carried out by private company search agents obtaining information from local authorities about a property, covering planning, building control, and other local issues, without an official local authority search.
Planning permission
The formal consent granted by your local authority for a proposed building project, property alteration or development.
Power of attorney
A power of attorney is when a person gives another person the right to make medical, legal, financial or any other decisions on their behalf.
Pre-completion searches
Conveyancing searches carried out by the solicitor between and completion to ensure that there has not been any change in circumstances that affect the property or your ability to purchase it.
Priority search
Conducted by the buyer's solicitor after exchange of contracts, a priority search secures the buyer's interests in a property at HMLR, ensuring no changes can occur on the title for 30 days.
Private Residence Relief
Private Residence Relief exempts you from Capital Gains Tax when selling your home if certain criteria are met, potentially allowing for partial relief even if not all conditions are satisfied.
Property Chain
A series of three or more interdependent property transactions; each person in the chain is dependent on all other buyers and sellers for their property transaction to go through.
Property Information Form (TA6)
A standard form completed by the seller at the start of the conveyancing process. The form provides buyers with detailed information about the property and how it has been used.
Q
Quiet enjoyment
The right to use and enjoy property without interference or disturbance from others. It is usually a clause in a lease agreement and serves to protect the a leaseholder's right to have exclusive use and enjoyment of the property.
R
Redemption Statement
A financial statement that shows the total amount needed to pay off a mortgage, including any early settlement fees, obtained by your solicitor during the sale or remortgage process.
Registered Title Part Transfer (TP1) Form
The form used to transfer part ownership in a property from one person(s) to another.
Release of Part of the Land for Lenders (DS3) Form
The form used by lenders to authorise the release of part of a property's title, such as selling a section of a garden, requiring a lender's completion before transfer.
Remortgage
When you repay the balance of your existing mortgage and take out a new mortgage on the same property, with the same or a different lender.
Repossession
A repossession is when a mortgagee (the lender) takes ownership of a mortgaged property if the mortgagor (the borrower) fails to make repayments.
Reservation fee
A fee that may need to be paid to a property developer to reserve a plot for a specific period. In exchange for this fee the potential buyer as priority over the plot for the agreed period (typically between one and two months).
Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA)
The RPSA is a representative body for independent specialist residential surveyors.
Restrictive covenant
A legally binding condition setting out what a homeowner can, cannot, or must do in a given set of circumstances. They are detailed in the propertiy's official entries held at HM Land Registry. Typical covenants include restrictions over the development, extension or modification of the property, or how the property may be used.
Retained parts
Those parts of a property that are not transferred to the tenant as part of the lease, but are instead retained by the freeholder, such as external walls, common areas like staircases, elevators, hallways, and shared facilities such as laundry rooms or gyms.
Right to buy
A scheme that allows tenants to purchase their council-owned properties at a discounted rate.
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics)
The UK regulator of Chartered Surveyors. There are other surveyor regulatory bodies, including Sava.
S
Sava
A professional surveying body offering education, technology, and compliance services to surveyors and the wider property industry.
Section 21 notice to evict shorthold tenant
A formal notice used (under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988) to evict a tenant.
Section 42 notice
Under the Leasehold Reform, Housing, and Urban Development Act of 1993, a Section 42 Notice allows leaseholders to formally request a lease extension, adding 90 years and reducing ground rent to zero.
Sellers' market
When there are more buyers than there are properties for sale, exerting inflationary pressure on house prices.
Service charge
The annual amounts paid by leaseholders to freeholders to cover the costs incurred by the freeholder for maintaining the building and grounds.
Share certificate
A leaseholder owning a share in the freehold must transfer their management company share (where applicable) upon sale, requiring a signed share certificate and Stock Transfer Form.
Share of freehold
Leaseholder ownership of part of (a share) the property's freehold, either through company shares or direct freehold shares.
Shared ownership
Shared Ownership (aka 'part-buy part-rent') is a housing association scheme that offers homebuyers an opportunity to buy a part share in a property, and rent the remaining share.
Sitting tenant
An tenant who occupies a property under the protection of UK tenancy laws. The tenaant has the right to continue living in the property, even if it changes ownership.
Smoke control areas (SCA)
Legally defined areas that prohibit the burning of anything other than approved solid fuels in buildings in the UK.
Sole agent
Exclusive estate agent with the sole right to market and sell a property, prohibiting other agents from involvement, usually for a specified contract period.
Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
The body responsible for regulating the professional conduct of solicitors in England and Wales. The SRA is technically a part of the Law Society., but acts independently.
Staircasing
Staircasing allows a shared owner of a property to buy more shares from their housing association, usually in minimum 10% blocks, leading to full ownership and ending rent payments once 100% is owned.
Standard conditions of sale
The standard set of terms that set out how the sale of a property actually happens. The Standard Conditions of Sale will usually form the basis of the contract signed by buyers and sellers.
Subject to Contract (STC)
STC indicates an accepted offer without a legal contract, allowing further inquiries or offers until exchange of contracts, usually about eight weeks post-offer acceptance.
Subject to Planning Permission (STPP)
STPP means a property sale is contingent on the buyer obtaining planning permission for development. If denied, the buyer can withdraw without penalty, and their deposit is returned.
T
TR1 - Transfer of Whole Registered Title(s) Form
A form completed when either the whole title of a property is transferred, or a property is registered for the first time e.g. a new build property.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS or TDP)
When renting a property, the tenants deposit must be registered with a governemt-backed TDP scheme. The scheme ensures that if the tenant adheres to the tenancy agreement, pays their rent and bills in full, and does not cause any damage, their deposit will be returned in full.
Tenant
An individual or entity that leases the property from the freeholder or landlord.
Tenure
A term that refers to the different forms of ownership of a property. The different forms of tenure are freehold, leasehold, and leasehold with a share in the freehold.
The Legal Ombudsman
An independent organisation in the UK that handles complaints and disputes between individuals and their legal service providers, including solicitors.
The Property Ombudsman
The Ombudsnman mediates consumer and Estate Agent disputes. Its voluntary members follow the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS), stepping in when internal complaint resolutions fail.
The Rent Act 1977
Legislation that protects residential property tenants from landlords charging unfair rents, and provides the right to tenants to remain in the property after the tenancy agreement has expired.
Title deeds
Legal documents, including contracts, conveyances, and leases, detailing the ownership history and rights of a property. Deeds were used to prove ownership before digital registration at HMLR.
Title plan
A document that sets out the approximate boundaries of a property. Title plan documents are held at HM Land Registry.
Tracker mortgage
A type of home loan where the interesty is pegged at a specified percentage above the Bank of England base rate. The interest rate on a tracker mortgage will fluctuate in line with changes to the base rate.
Transfer of equity
The legal process of transferring the ownership of a property from one or more individuals, to one or more new individuals.
Tree preservation order (TPO)
An order made by the to protect certain trees, woodlands or groups of trees that have been identified as having significant ecological, amenity or historical value. A TPO makes it an offense to cut down, lop, top, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree without the consent of the respective local planning authority.
U
UK Finance (Prev. Council for Mortgage Lenders)
Formerly the Council for Mortgage Lenders. (CML), UK Finance is an organisation that represents the vast majority of UK banks, building societies and specialist lenders.
UK Finance Mortgage Lenders' Handbook
The official publication relied on by conveyancers when acting for lenders on conveyancing transactions in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. The handbook contains detailed instructions including the specific lending criteria of individual mortgage lenders.
Unadopted (private) road
A road that has not owned or mainntained by the local authority. Unadopted roads are not public highways and are not open to the general public. The maintenance and repair of an unadopted road is the responsibility of the adjacent property owners.
Unexpired lease term
The number of years left on a lease before it expires. The 'Term' section can usually be found at the beginning of the lease. To calculate how long the lease has run so far, deduct the date the lease was granted from today's date. To calculate the unexpired lease term, deduct this from the lease term.
Unilateral notice
A legal notice placed on the title of a property by the buyer of a property, after exchange, but before the completion of the transaction. The notice serves as a warning to any potential buyers or lenders that the buyer has an interest in the property and that they are in the process of completing the purchase.
Unregistered property (or land)
A property or plot of land is referred to as 'unregistered' when it is not officially recorded at HM Land Registry.
V
Vacant possession
The condition in which a property is empty and available for immediate occupation, without any tenants or occupants remaining in the property. Vacant possession means that the property is free of any encumbrances or obligations and is ready for the new owner to move in.
Vendor
A vendor is a term used by estate agents and conveyancing solicitors for the person, company or entity selling a home (i.e. the seller).

Article by Completely Moved authors

The Completely Moved team have years of experience helping home buyers, sellers and owners, answering questions and providing property advice.

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