Conveyancing Terminology

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Conveyancing Terminology

If it’s your first time buying a property or maybe selling then you might not be familiar with the various industry terms used for the process. The team here at Conveyancing Squared have put together this handy brief on the words used and terminology so you can clearly understand at all stages of the process.

Chain:
A sequence of linked sales and purchases which potentially rely on each other.

Apportionments:
If buying a flat the seller might have paid ground rent or service charges up front. If you are a new buyer you may be required to pay the seller these fees they have paid.

Caveat Emptor:
This is Latin and it means to “let the buyer beware”. It is the buyers responsibility to check that they are happy with the physical condition of the property they are buying before they commit to exchanging contracts.

Completion:
This is the big day, the day when the final transaction goes through and property keys are handed over to the new owner. Don’t confuse with exchange of contracts which happens a few days before.

Conveyancing:
This is the collective name for the brand of law which deals with the sale and purchase of all properties.

Covenant:
An obligation affecting a property owner which is found within the title to the property. A Covenant can restrict the owner of a property from doing something (e.g. using the property for business/trade purposes) or oblige the owner of a property to do something, for example maintain a boundary.

Deeds:
This is the collective term for all the documents associated with the ownership of a property. The deeds prove someone owns the property and usually they contact important details such as rights and covenants.

Easement:
This means the right one property has over another, usually related to pathways etc.

EPC:
Short for “Energy Performance Certificates” and is a document that shows how energy efficient the property you are buying is. It can also include details of where improvements can be made.

Freehold:
This means you own the property outright.

Indemnity Policy:
This is a specialist insurance plan usually taken out to offer protection to a property buyer or their mortgage lender. Indemnity policies cover a wide range of issues/problems that may arise, for example, a property not having necessary rights of way contained within the deeds you were given, or where works have been carried out on the property without the required planning permission or building regulations approval meaning the changes are not valid or legal and could be requested to be reversed at your cost.

Land Transaction Tax:
This is the Welsh equivalent of Stamp Duty Tax.

Registered Land:
Most land is registered with the H M Land Registry and this means the land you are buying is too.

Searches:
This is a major part of the house buying process and is it the enquiries your solicitor makes to different organisations and authorities to require certain information. This is the stage where things might appear you weren’t informed about by the sellers and may cause issues. It will also show things like planning permission nearby so you can see if there are any new builds to be concerned about.

Stamp Duty:
This is the tax which is paid to HM Revenue and Customs when you purchase a new property. The amount you pay depends on the value of the property you are buying.

Survey:
This is the report that details the condition of the property you want to buy. This can highlight any issues that you may need to address with the seller.

Transfer Deed:
The legal document which states the change of legal ownership from a seller to a buyer.

Vendor:
The person or people who are selling the property.

Purchaser:
The person buying the property.

Fittings And Content Form:
This is a documents which clearly outlines what is and isn’t included in the sale to the new owner.

Protocol Forms
The collective name for the Property Information Form, Fittings and Contents Form, Leasehold Information Form, and other standard forms completed by the seller at the outset of a sale.

Contract:
This is the document where the buyer agrees to buy and the seller agrees to sell a property. The terms of the sale will be set out in this document.