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Guide to the Jargon in the UK Property Market - Sales and Rentals
Navigating the UK property market for sales or rentals can feel like learning a new language. To help you on this journey, we've created a glossary of terms.
Glossary of Key Terminologies in the UK Property Market
Absent Landlord: A landlord who is difficult or impossible to contact.
Acceptance: Agreement by the seller to sell to a specific buyer under certain terms.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): A yearly rate charged for borrowing or earned through an investment.
Arrangement Fees: Fees charged by a lender to organise a loan.
Assign: Transfer of a lease or other legal rights from one person to another.
Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST): Most common type of tenancy in the UK, granting the tenant a period of 'security of tenure'.
Base Rate: The Bank of England's officially recognised interest rate.
Break Clause: A provision in a contract allowing either party to end the agreement early.
Bridging Loan: Short-term financing used until a person secures permanent financing.
Building Inspection/Structural Survey: In-depth property inspection for potential structural issues.
Capital: Wealth in the form of money or property.
Chain: Sequence of linked house purchases, each dependent on the preceding and succeeding purchase.
Closing Date (Scotland only): The final date for submission of offers on a property.
Completion Statement: Final breakdown of the financials of a property transaction.
Completion: The point at which property ownership transfers to the buyer.
Conditions of Sale: The specific terms by which the buyer agrees to purchase the property.
Contract Race: When two or more potential buyers are given draft contracts, and the first one to return them gets to buy the property.
Contract: The legally-binding agreement detailing the terms of a property sale.
Conveyancer: A legal professional specialising in property transactions.
Conveyancing: The legal process of transferring property ownership.
Covenants: Rules governing the use of a property, outlined in the title deeds or lease.
Credit Search References: Credit checks are carried out by landlords or agents to assess if a tenant can afford the rent.
Date of Entry (Scotland only): The date a buyer can move into a property.
Deeds: Legal documents proving ownership of a property.
Deposit: Money paid upfront as security and to confirm a transaction.
Dilapidations: Any damage to a rented property that goes beyond reasonable wear and tear.
Disbursements: Additional costs in the conveyancing process, such as Land Registry fees.
Disposition (Scotland only): The legal document transferring ownership of a property.
Draft Contract: Preliminary version of the sale contract before it's agreed and signed.
EPC: Energy Performance Certificate, rating a property's energy efficiency.
Easement: The right to use another person's land for a specific purpose.
Enquiries: Questions asked by the buyer's solicitor to the seller's solicitor.
Equity: The amount of property the homeowner truly owns outright.
Exchange of Contracts: The point at which the property sale becomes legally binding.
Fixed Price (Scotland only): The price at which a property is available to be purchased, not subject to negotiation.
Fixtures and Fittings: Items included in the sale of the property, such as curtains, carpets, etc.
Freehold: The outright ownership of a property and the land it stands on.
Gas Safety Record: A certificate that states gas appliances and fittings meet legal safety standards.
Gazumping: When a seller accepts a higher offer from a different buyer after accepting a preliminary offer.
Gazundering: When a buyer lowers their offer for a property shortly before the exchange of contracts.
Ground Rent: Annual charge leaseholders pay to freeholders.
Home Report (Scotland only): A pack of documents about a property for sale in Scotland.
HomeBuyer Survey/Report: A survey giving information about the property's condition and value.
Inventory: A list of the contents of a rental property, usually including the condition of each item.
Land Registry Fee: A fee paid to the Land Registry to register ownership of a property.
Land Registry: The government office that records who owns land and property in England and Wales.
Lease: Legal contract granting the use of a property for a specified period in exchange for rent.
Leasehold: The right to use and live in a property for an extended period, but not own the land it stands on.
Listed Building: A building of special architectural or historic interest.
Local Authority Search: A search to discover planning consents affecting a property.
Maintenance Charge or Service Charge: Costs for repairing and maintaining common parts of a building.
Maisonette: An apartment on two levels with its own entrance.
Missives (Scotland only): Formal letters exchanged between buyer's and seller's solicitors agreeing on the terms of a property sale.
Mortgage Valuation: Assessment of a property's value for the purpose of providing a mortgage.
Multiple Agent Instructions: When several estate agents are instructed to sell a property.
NAEA Propertymark: The National Association of Estate Agents, a professional body for estate agents in the UK.
Negative Equity: When the outstanding mortgage is higher than the property's market value.
Note of Interest (Scotland only): A note submitted by a potential buyer indicating their interest in a property.
Open House (or Open Viewing): A set time when potential buyers can view a property for sale.
Open Market Value: The likely selling price of a property if sold on the open market.
Peppercorn Rent: A nominal rent, often just a token sum.
Preliminary Enquiries: The initial questions asked about a property being sold.
Property Auctions: A public sale where properties are sold to the highest bidder.
Purchaser: The person buying the property.
Repossession: When the lender takes back a property due to the borrower's failure to meet mortgage payments.
Searches: Checks to identify anything that might negatively affect the property's value.
Share of Freehold: When the freehold of the property is owned by a number of people, usually flat owners.
Sole Agent: One estate agent is appointed to sell a property.
Sole Selling Rights: One agent is appointed and will receive commission, even if the owner sells the property privately.
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT): A tax paid by the buyer when purchasing a property or land over a certain value.
Subject to Contract: The agreement is not legally binding until the contract is signed.
Survey: A check on a property's condition carried out by a surveyor.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS): A scheme where a tenant's deposit is held to ensure it's returned, providing the terms of the tenancy agreement are met.
Tenancy Agreement: A contract between a landlord and tenant outlining the terms of the rental agreement.
Tenancy: The temporary possession of a property by a tenant.
Tenant: The person who has the right to occupy a property under agreed terms and conditions.
Tenure: The conditions under which property or land is held or occupied.
The Deposit Protection Service: A scheme authorised to protect tenants' deposits.
The Property Ombudsman: An agency providing free, impartial service for resolving disputes between consumers and property agents.
Title Burdens (Scotland only): Obligations or restrictions tied to the ownership of a property.
Title Deeds: Legal document showing the chain of ownership for land and property.
Transfer Document: Legal document which transfers the ownership from seller to buyer.
Under Offer: A term used when a seller has accepted an offer on the property but contracts have not yet been exchanged.
Valuation (or Market Appraisal): An estimate of a property's worth.
Vendor: The person selling the property.
This is just a glimpse of the vast jargon used in the UK property market. Although it may seem daunting at first, with a little time and patience, it's possible to get to grips with it all. Now, with this guide at your disposal, you're ready to dive into the world of property!
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