Chain – A term used to describe the parties linked together through the sale and purchase of their prospective homes.
Completion – The point in the legal process when you become the owner of your new home.
Completion Statement – A statement which your solicitor prepares showing where all the money goes on your purchase and any balance required from you.
Contract – A legal agreement to buy or sell a property.
Conveyance – A document which transfers ownership of a property from one person to another.
Conveyancing – The legal process undertaken to buy and sell properties.
Covenants – Legal obligations.
Deposit – A deposit of 10% of the purchase is usually required. The deposit will normally be requested from you when the contract is ready to sign.
Disbursements – Legal costs such as Local Searches, Land Searches, Land Registry Search and Land Registration Fee.
Early Repayment Fee – A fee on early repayment of your mortgage. Some mortgages offer you a discount, fixed rate or cashback but if you repay the mortgage within a certain period you have to pay extra to compensate the lender for not keeping the mortgage for the agreed period.
Exchange of Contracts – This is the point when the contract you have signed is dated and passed to the seller’s solicitor and they pass to us the contract signed by the seller. The contract is then legally binding.
Freehold – If you are buying a freehold property you own it absolutely with no landlord.
Ground Rent – The rent is paid by a leaseholder or tenant to a landlord when a property is leasehold. This generally applies to flats but can also apply to leasehold houses.
Land Registry – This is a Government organisation maintaining a register of properties in England and Wales. There are a number of District Land Registries around the country where on completion your solicitor will register you as the new owner.
Leasehold – If you own a leasehold property the lease gives you rights of ownership for a stated number of years. Almost all flats and some houses are leasehold. Leases contain the necessary arrangements to make sure the common parts of the building such as the roof not contained in individual leases are properly maintained and insured by the landlord or the managing agent.
Legal Charge – See Mortgage.
Landlord – Another name for lessor – somebody who grants a lease and who receives payment of ground rent under the terms of a lease.
Mortgage – Your loan will help you buy your home. This loan is secured by a mortgage (sometimes called a Legal Charge) on your home.
Mortgagee – The Lender who provides the funding to purchase your home.
Mortgagor – Somebody who takes out a mortgage (i.e. you the borrower).
Redemption – Repayment of a mortgage.
Registered Land – Land which has been registered at the District Land Registry.
Service Charge – A payment made to a landlord or management company to cover the costs of maintenance and insurance of a leasehold property.
Stamp Duty – A tax paid on the purchase of a property over a certain price.
Title – A title is checked to ensure that the seller owns the property without any problems.
Title Deeds – The documents which your solicitor looks at to check that the property you are buying has good title.
Transfer – A document which transfers ownership of a property from the seller to you the buyer.
Unregistered Land – Land which has not yet been registered at the District Land Registry. This doesn’t mean that there is a problem with that land; it is usually the case that the land concerned has not been sold since it became necessary to register the land in that area. In that case, the solicitor will register it following completion.
Witnessing of Documents – Certain documents will require an independent witness to your signature. This should be done by the witness (not a relation) signing his/her signature opposite your signature and then printing their name and address.
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