Conveyancing - Glossary of Terms

Charge
A debt secured on the property, e.g. the monies borrowed from a Lender to purchase a house. (See Mortgage)

Charge Certificate
Formerly the principal ownership document of a property where the title is registered and a mortgage is involved. Now no longer of legal effect. (See also Land Certificate).

Completion
The day on which you move.

Contract
A legally binding agreement between Buyer & Seller.

Covenants
Rules and conditions contained in the Deeds or Lease that relate to the upkeep of the property or place restrictions on its use.

Deposit
Part of purchase money paid on exchange by the Buyer to confirm the commitment to purchase.

Drainage Search
Enquiries of the Drainage Company as to mains sewers and water pipes.

Environmental Search
Enquiries relating to past and current land uses of the property and its surroundings that may indicate the likelihood of contamination or pollution.

Exchange of Contracts
Stage at which the transaction between the Seller and the Buyer becomes legally binding.

Freehold
Outright ownership of the property and land on which it stands.

Ground Rent
Annual payment to Landlord in the case of Leasehold properties only.

Joint Tenants
On the death of one of you the property will pass to the survivor of you in exactly the same way as if that person had purchased the property on their own (see also Tenants in Common).

Landlord
One who owns property and rents it to others whether on long or short leases or tenancies.

Land Registry
Government Department holding the National Property Register.

Lease
Document setting out the terms of occupation of leasehold property between Landlord and Tenant.

Leasehold
Method of owning property (usually a flat) for a fixed term but not the land on which it stands.

Local Search
Enquiries of Local Authority concerning planning and services.

Management Company
Company formed to comply with certain obligations under a Lease, e.g. insurance, repairs, maintenance of main structure.

Managing Agents
Firm employed by the Landlord or Management Company to arrange practical maintenance and general management of a building

Mortgage
Loan secured against the property by Deed, e.g. monies borrowed from a Lender to purchase a home. (See Charge)

Official Copies
Certified copies from the Land Registry of the entries on a registered title.

Registered Land
Details of the property held by the Land Registry.

Service Charge
Money charged to owners of leasehold property and used by the Landlord or Managing Agents for maintenance, insurance and repairs to the property.

Stamp Duty Land Tax
A tax on property transactions valued at over £125,000.00 at various rates calculated on the total price with additional tax payable on the rent under a new lease.

Subject to Contract
Negotiations prior to exchange of contracts between Buyer and Seller and not binding on the parties until contracts have been exchanged.

Tenants in Common
On death of one of you the share of that person will pass in accordance with any Will that has been made. (See also Joint Tenants).

Tenure
Freehold or Leasehold.

Title
Documentary history of the property.