Jargon Busting with Harrisons Residential

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  • APR
    Stands for ’Annual Percentage Rate’ which helps you compare the cost of different mortgage deals. It takes into account the amount of interest you will pay, the length of the term of the mortgage, and certain other charges such as any arrangement fee.
  • Bank of England Base Rate
    This is also known as the Bank of England’s rep rate. This is announced from time to time by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee.
  • Bankers Draft
    A guaranteed payment of funds.
  • Bankruptcy Search
    An investigation carried out by the Land Charges Registry to check if a purchaser is or has ever been bankrupt. Most mortgage lenders will insist on this search being carried out.
  • Buildings Insurance
    What you must have to protect your property against hazards such as fire, flood and subsidence.
  • Buildings Survey
    This is a technical report following an inspection of the property. It will give you a comprehensive account of the condition of the property, describing any structural or other defects.
  • Chain
    The parties involved in a transaction i.e. Mr A buying from Mr B buying from Mr C (here there are 3 in the chain).
  • Completion date
    The date when the transaction relating to the sale/purchase of a house are completed. The date you move/become the owner.
  • Completion statement
    A financial statement from the Conveyancer, Property Lawyer or solicitor detailing all financial transactions. The statement includes all costs.
  • Conditions of sale
    The terms by which the buyer and seller agree to buy/sell the property. The Law Society sets standard conditions. The lawyer sets special conditions.
  • Contract
    The legally binding agreement specifying all of the detail of the house sale or house purchase. The contract legally commits both the buyer and the seller to the transaction. The house seller’s Conveyancing Property Lawyer draws up two copies of the same contract, and each party signs their own copy. When both parties are ready to legally commit, the two contracts are exchanged.
  • Conveyance or transfer
    The legally binding document that transfers the rights and burdens and the benefit of the land.
  • Covenants
    Rules and conditions affecting a property contained in the Title Deeds or Lease.
  • Deeds
    Legal title document which provides historical information about the property. Since October 2003 the Land registry have "dematerialised" deeds, This means that instead of the old style Land Registry Certificates or Deeds that the record of your ownership merely consists of a copy of the Land Registry computer record which condenses all the relevant information.
  • Deed of Variation
    This is a document which is sometimes required in leasehold transactions correcting the legal defects in the lease and is signed by both the occupier of the property and the freeholder.
  • Disbursements
    Out of pocket expenses paid by the Licensed Conveyancer or solicitor on the buyers behalf such as stamp duty, land registry charges and search fees.
  • Draft Contract
    A contract drawn up for both parties to consider amendments of.
  • Early Redemption Charge
    A charge on borrowers from lenders for paying off a mortgage before the agreed time.
  • Easement
    A right given to the house owner over an adjoining property (e.g. right of way)
  • Encroachment
    An object, such as a fence, which belongs to one property and which extends onto another illegally.
  • Engrossment
    The actual deed or document that is executed (signed), as opposed to a mere draft of it.
  • Equity
    The owners’ equity in a property refers to the value of the money invested in the property that is not owed as a loan.
  • Equity Release
    Enables the owner of a property to generate either a lump sum or a regular income in return for allowing a lender to take ownership of a portion of the property.
  • Exchange Contracts
    Once both parties have agreed upon contracts, they are exchanged. The transaction between the seller and the buyer becomes legally binding, and a date for completion is set. A deposit is required to be paid at this stage.
  • Fixtures & Fittings
    A list of the items at the property, which are either included or excluded from the agreed price.
  • FSA
    The Financial Services Authority is an independent government body concerned with consumer protection in the financial market.
  • Gazumping
    When a seller accepts a higher offer on a property having previously accepted a lower offer from another potential buyer. Common in a market with rising property prices.
  • Gazundering
    When a buyer withdraws an offer and replaces it with a lower offer after the first offer had been accepted and acted upon by the seller. Common in a market with falling property prices.
  • Greenbelt
    Land protected by the government, on which new developments cannot be built.
  • Ground Rent
    Commonly charged on properties such as flats - particularly leasehold ones. It is charged by either the landlord or leaseholder.
  • Indemnity Insurance
    An insurance taken out by Conveyancing firms to cover losses to clients arising from errors or fraud in dealing with their matters.
  • Land Registry
    A government department that registers all the details of any land transactions and issues of ownership in both England and Wales.
  • Land Registry Fees
    Registering the title of a property under the name of an individual incurs a charge. This is usually dealt with by the solicitor/conveyancer.
  • Lease
    A legal document containing the rights and covenants on behalf of both the Landlord and the Tenant that regulate the use of the property.
  • Leasehold
    The owner does not own the title to the property outright, but for a fixed period of time.
  • Legal Charge
    A document securing the debt on the property, for example, the monies the buyer borrows from the Bank of Building Society to purchase a property.
  • Local Searches
    An investigation of the records held by the Local Authority to find out any important information that may affect the property. These are usually carried out by the solicitor/conveyancer and are valid for approximately 3 months.
  • Mortgage
    A loan issued by lenders to purchase a property.
  • Mortgage Advance
    The money loaned to the buyer, by the lender.
  • Mortgage Deed
    This document explains the conditions of the mortgage and is signed by all parties to the loan.
  • Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee
    An insurance policy designed to protect the lender against any loss in the event of the borrower defaulting or ceasing to repay the mortgage. Common on first time buyer mortgages where the loan required is a high percentage of the total value of the property.
  • Mortgagee
    The lender
  • Mortgagor
    The borrower
  • Negative Equity
    When the value of a property falls to less than the mortgage taken out to buy it.
  • NHBC
    A governing body for developers who issue a 10 year structural guarantee on all new properties. Their inspectors will ensure that a new home is built properly and is safe.
  • Office Copy Entries
    Certified copies of the Land or Charge Certificate from the Land Registry.
  • Off-Plan
    When an individual buys a new home before it has been built based on the plans and artist’s impressions.
  • Redemption Fee
    Even when a mortgage is paid-off early in accordance with its rules and outside the redemption period, a charge can be levied by the mortgage provider, even if the new mortgage is taken out with that same lender.
  • Redemption Penalty
    An additional charge made by the lender if the mortgage is repaid within a pre-agreed period of time.
  • Redemption Statement
    The amount to be repaid on the existing mortgage.
  • Registered Land
    The database of land/property on the register held at HM Land Registry.
  • Remortgage
    When an existing mortgage on a property is paid off in full and another mortgage is taken on the same property.
  • Retention
    Monies withheld by lenders until certain mortgage conditions are met, i.e. the completion of repairs or improvements to the property that the lender has insisted on.
  • Seller’s Leasehold Information Form
    A form used by some solicitors/conveyancers which is filled in by the property’s current owners to outline the terms and conditions of the leasehold agreement.
  • Seller’s Pack
    A new government proposal aimed at speeding up the home buying process and thereby reducing the length of time in which gazumping is possible. This information dossier will become a mandatory requirement of anyone putting their home on the market. It will include a basic surveyor’s report and the results of local authority searches - both of which are currently the buyer’s responsibility. It is not proposed that Seller’s Packs will be compulsory until June 2007.
  • Seller’s Property Information Form
    A form which is used by some solicitors/conveyancers which is filled in by the property’s current owners outlining issues such as boundaries and guarantees of works carried out (e.g. dry rot).
  • Service Charge
    A charge levied on a property’s owner for the maintenance and insurance of communal areas. Usually only applicable to flats and maisonettes.
  • Stamp Duty
    A duty paid to the government upon purchase of a property. The current charges are as follows:-
    Up to £125,000 £125,001 to £250,000 £250,001 to £500,000 £500,001 +
    No charge 1% of the property price 3% of the property price 4% of the property price
  • Subject to Contract
    An agreement upon which contracts have not exchanged yet, and therefore not legally binding.
  • Telegraphic Transfer
    The electronic transfer of money between two parties on the sale / purchase of a property. Will often incur a fee from your solicitor and monies sent from a lender are usually in this form.
  • Unregistered Land
    Land / property not yet held on the database at HM Land Registry.
  • Vacant Possession
    The previous occupants must vacate the property before the new occupants move in. This includes any tenants.
  • Vendor
    The seller
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