Residential Property

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1 Residential Property Glossary of terms The conveyancing process is unfortunately full of legal jargon, so we have produced this glossary to help you if you come across something you do not understand. The terms are grouped together under the following headings: Types of documents Types of searches Types of ownership and related terms Terms applicable to non-freehold properties Organisations relevant to the conveyancing process Financial terms Mortgage-related terms General terms Terms used in special circumstances Types of documents Client care letter Completion statement Conditions of sale Consent to contract form Contract Declaration of trust Deed of Transfer Deeds/title deeds Energy Performance Certificate We send this out at the beginning of the transaction. It gives details of the work which will be carried out, who will be doing it, and at what cost. The statement we prepare which shows all income and expenditure involved with your sale or purchase, and what funds are due from you or due back to you. The terms of the contract for sale and purchase including rights and duties of the Buyer and Seller which may be national, statutory or laid down by the Law Society. This is a form signed by an occupier of a property by which the occupier consents to the sale of the property by the Seller and confirms that he or she will move out of the property on completion day. Sometimes this is a separate form and sometimes the consent is incorporated in the contract. A binding agreement (once signed and exchanged) containing all essential details of the transaction and committing the Buyer and Seller to complete the transaction. A document that formally records that you hold the property as tenants in common and sets out your respective shares in the property. This can be a simple percentage share arrangement or something more complicated, so the cost of preparing it will vary accordingly (and will usually be an extra cost to our fee for normal conveyancing work). The Deed of Transfer is a legal deed which is signed by the Seller (and often by the Buyer) and which operates to transfer legal title to the Buyer. The Seller's conveyancer sends this document, together with the Deeds, to the Buyer's conveyancer on completion day. The legal documents that confirm ownership of the property and contain details of rights, benefits and obligations affecting the property. Prepared by a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA), reporting on the energy efficiency of the property. More commonly known by its abbreviation (EPC).

2 Types of documents Fittings and contents form Office copy entries Pre-contract enquiries Property information forms Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) form Title information document Valuation or survey A list of items in the property which are included in the sale (completed by the Seller). A copy of the Land Registry entries relating to the property. These are a set of questions about the contract pack sent by the Buyer's conveyancer to the Seller's to deal with. There may be questions raised which the Seller can answer and some which the Seller's conveyancer can answer. These are usually completed by the Seller and their conveyancer and contain general information known to the Seller regarding the property, e.g. guarantees relating to the property, building works carried out at the property, ownership of boundaries, utility supply details etc. The Seller must complete these forms to the best of his/her knowledge as they may be relied on by the Buyer in any subsequent legal dispute. A minimum 6 page long form, which comes with an even lengthier set of guidance notes. Must be completed for every transaction where the price exceeds 40,000. The official Land Registry document containing important details about the property, such as the owner, mortgage lender, easements, and restrictions. A valuation is a very basic report on a property prepared by a Surveyor, and this is usually prepared for the benefit of the mortgage lender. A survey (sometimes called a structural survey) is a more thorough report regarding the property prepared by a Surveyor, giving details of its condition and any structural problems. This is normally prepared for the benefit of the Buyer. Types of searches Local Authority search Environmental search Drainage/water search Coal mining search Flood report A compulsory (if obtaining a mortgage) search carried out at the Local Authority to check a wide range of matters that may affect the property. The search does not extend to the surrounding area. The result of the search is supplied by the Local Authority and contains certain information held on Council records regarding the property, e.g. whether the road is a public road, whether the building is a listed building, whether any Council grants have been made that may be repayable to the Council, whether there are any outstanding Planning and Building Regulation Approval matters relating to this particular property. It will not give information about planning applications or proposals for adjoining properties or the surrounding area. This search is supplemental to the local search to establish if there are any environmental issues affecting a property. These may include flooding, landfill and previous uses of the land. It does not involve an environmental expert/scientist physically checking the property. It is a search/check by the environmental search company of current and historic land use records up to a radius of 500 metres of the property, with particular emphasis on land use that could result in contamination, or could have resulted in such contamination. A search carried out through the utility company responsible for the water and drainage in the locality to check whether the property is connected to mains water and drainage and whether there are any other issues relating to the property. If the property is in an area designated as a coal mining area this will check to see whether there are any current or historic issues which may affect the property. A report which provides an overview of whether the property lies within an area of potential or previous flood risk. Types of ownership Freehold Freehold ownership is the ownership usually applicable to houses.

3 Types of ownership Leasehold Commonhold Ownership of property for a fixed period in return for a rental payment and subject to terms and conditions for occupation. This is usually applicable to flats where the ownership is only for a specified period, e.g. 99 years, 125 years, 999 years. A rare way of owning Freehold land, intended to overcome difficulties associated with Leasehold ownership e.g. relating to shared facilities and obligations. Creating a Commonhold initially involves registration of the Freehold title as Commonhold, together with the formation of a Commonhold Association and a Commonhold Community Statement, setting out the rights and obligations of the unit holders. Types of ownership - related terms Flying freehold Joint tenants Tenants in common Where a property owner owns an area of property at first floor level or above but does not own the ground floor area underneath it. Where two or more persons buy a property they will either be joint tenants or tenants in common (whether the property is Freehold, Leasehold or Commonhold). Where property is held on a joint tenancy, if one owner dies the property passes to the other owner(s) automatically, regardless of the terms of any Will. See Joint Tenants above. If the property is held as Tenants in Common, each Buyer owns their own share of the property, which can only be passed on by assignment, under their Will, or the intestacy rules if they have not made a Will. Terms applicable to non-freehold properties Ground rent Landlord Lease Management company The rent paid to a Landlord on a Leasehold property. The owner of the freehold interest of a leasehold property. Rent on a leasehold property is paid to the Landlord who has the right to enforce the terms in the Lease. The document entered into between a Landlord and Tenant when a property is Leasehold. It sets outs details of the duration and the rent and contains various Covenants and Easements. Most frequently associated with Leasehold properties. A management company is set up to deal with the day-to-day running of the property and repairs and maintenance. The management company collects a service charge from the property owners to pay for their services and for the upkeep of the building and/or some facilities. Organisations relevant to the conveyancing process Land Registry National House Building Council (NHBC) Regulatory body responsible for recording the ownership of land. One of the building warranty providers for new homes and conversions to dwellings, which issues a 10 year structural guarantee after inspection of the property. There is an increasing number of other warranty providers. Financial terms Deposit The deposit is a sum of money paid by the Buyer to the Seller through their conveyancers on Exchange of Contracts. The deposit is part payment of the purchase price and is up to 10% of this. Very often, however, a lower deposit is paid, for example where the Buyer is obtaining a 95% mortgage, in which case the deposit would be 5%. Where there is a chain of transactions, it is often the case that if the Buyer is selling a property at the same time as he/she is buying a property he/she will use the deposit received on the sale as the deposit payment on the purchase. All these matters are arranged at the point of Exchange of Contracts.

4 Financial terms Disbursements Equity Land Registry fees Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) Telegraphic transfer/chaps Fees payable to third parties during the conveyancing transaction, including Stamp Duty Land Tax, Land Registry fees and search fees. The owner s financial interest in the property, i.e. its sale proceeds/estimated value less the amount owed on any mortgages. The fees payable to the Land Registry to register ownership of property and mortgages and carry out certain searches. This is a tax payable by the Buyer in connection with the property transfer. The tax is paid to HM Revenue & Customs. As a general rule it applies only if the purchase price of the property exceeds the current level set by HM Revenue & Customs. Same day electronic transfer of funds from one bank account to another, for which most banks make a charge. Mortgage-related terms Advance Arrangement fee Bankruptcy search Borrower Bridging Loan Charge Consent to mortgage form by Occupier Lender Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee (MIG) Mortgage Deed Mortgage Offer Mortgage valuation The mortgage funds sent by the lender. A fee payable to a lender/broker for setting up a mortgage. It can sometimes be added to the mortgage debt. A search made to check whether a Buyer or Borrower has been, is, or is about to be, declared bankrupt. The person taking out a loan or mortgage on a property, sometimes also known as the mortgagor. A bank loan to enable a property to be purchased before another property is sold, and then repaid out of the proceeds of sale. A substantially higher interest rate than that of ordinary loans is normally charged. It is called a bridging loan because it bridges the gap between buying one property and receiving the proceeds of sale of the other property (or the receipt of a mortgage). Another term for a mortgage over the property. This is a form used when a Buyer is buying a property in his/her own name but where, on completion, there will be a non-owning occupier also living at the property. It is only required where the Buyer is having a mortgage. The effect of the form is that the occupier is agreeing and accepting that, if the Buyer breaches the terms of the mortgage and, as a result, is evicted from the property by the lender, then the occupier also must leave the property. Separate legal advice by an independent lawyer who is not acting for either the Buyer or the Seller is advisable. Any person, including a bank or building society, who is lending money to you, sometimes also known as the mortgagee. In high percentage mortgages this may be required to guarantee repayment to the Lender (see Mortgages page). This is the document the Borrower signs to agree to the terms set out in the Mortgage Offer. This document is sent to the Land Registry, which registers the mortgage as a financial charge on the property, which is then shown in the charges register for the property. A written offer to lend money on a property. The mortgage offer will contain all the terms of the loan and the conditions upon which the money is loaned. The Borrower generally pays a fee to the Lender to have the property valued for mortgage purposes. This enables the Lender to decide whether the property is worth enough to lend what the Borrower is asking for and whether it is suitable security for the mortgage. The mortgage valuer will not necessarily inspect the physical condition of the property.

5 Mortgage-related terms Redeeming your mortgage Redemption figure When a property owner pays back the mortgage on the property it is called redeeming the mortgage. You will first need to get a statement of what is owed, which is called a redemption statement. If you are paying the loan back early you may be charged an early repayment penalty. The amount needed to repay a mortgage, including redemption fees and any early repayment penalty. General terms Agreement Boundaries Building Insurance Buy-to-let Caveat emptor Chain Completion Compulsory purchase Conservation area Covenants Defective Title Defective Title Insurance Easement Another word for contract. These indicate the extent of the property and are usually marked on the ground by fencing or hedging. Boundary ownership is sometimes, but not always, shown on Deeds and plans. Insurance taken out by the owner of the property to insure it against risks such as fire, flood, storm damage etc. The responsibility to insure the property usually passes to the Buyer on Exchange of Contracts. Where a property is bought with the intention of letting it out to a rent-paying tenant. There are mortgages specific to this type of purchase known as buy-to-let mortgages. Literally means buyer beware. The Buyer is responsible for finding out the condition of the property by survey and other enquiries and any matters affecting the legal title to the property by having their conveyancer check the title and carry out searches. A situation in which successive buyers and sellers are reliant on other transactions being completed to make a sale or purchase effective. This is when the Seller moves out and Buyer moves in (once the purchase funds have been transferred from the Buyer s conveyancer to the Seller s). The acquisition by a Local Authority or other Government body of a property, perhaps against the owner s wishes. An area protected by the Local Authority. Properties in a conservation area may be subject to greater planning restrictions. Obligations to do or not to do certain things. They are often contained in a Lease or referred to in the Title Information Document. A Covenant is a legal rule that is binding on the property and the property owners. Sometimes such covenants are broken, and in that case there is a possibility that the current or future owners of the property may be held liable and incur a penalty as a result of such breach of covenant. For example, sometimes there is a covenant in the title deeds that states that no extension works may be carried out at the property unless the previous written consent of the original developer of the property has been obtained. Sometimes owners build extensions in breach of such covenants and this would be an example of a breach of covenant. A defective title means there is a problem with the legal title to the property, usually caused by missing, destroyed, lost or simply inadequate documentation. Buyers will not usually proceed if the title is defective unless the seller provides an insurance policy to protect them and the lender against any financial loss which could result from it. This is an insurance policy which insures the owner and future owners against loss that may be suffered by them as a result of a defect of some sort in the legal title. Right given to the owner of a property over an adjoining property.

6 General terms Exchange of Contracts Gazumping Gazundering Listed buildings Overriding interests Registered land Surveyor Unregistered land The point where both Buyer and Seller become legally bound to proceed with the transaction. It usually takes place by telephone between the respective conveyancers, who each confirm they are holding a signed contract and that all the terms of it are agreed. Where a Seller has agreed a sale price but then sells to another Buyer for a higher price. This can only happen before Exchange of Contracts. Where a Buyer reduces his or her offer for a property after agreeing a price with the Seller. This can only happen before Exchange of Contracts. Listed buildings are protected by law. Properties that are listed are subject to rigorous planning restrictions. Not all matters affecting property are registered or capable of being registered at the Land Registry. Nonetheless the property is still subject to such matters. Registration of properties is now compulsory when they are sold, mortgaged etc. This was not always the case (see Unregistered Land below). Land registered at the Land Registry provides a guarantee of ownership and does not depend on the safekeeping of a collection of old Deeds and documents. The person who is responsible for surveying a property (usually a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - RICS). When ownership of a property is not registered at the Land Registry, proof of ownership depends on production of a collection of old Deeds and documents. There are rules concerning exactly what documents have to be produced to prove ownership and if this cannot be done, the title is said to be defective (see Defective Title Insurance above). Terms used in special circumstances Affordable housing Intermediate rent Key Worker Part-buy, part-rent Right to Buy/Acquire Registered Social Landlord (RSL) Shared Ownership Social Housing Staircasing The generic term used to describe the Government s various schemes commonly aimed at helping first time buyers onto the housing ladder, either on a Shared Ownership or equity loan basis. This option offers you the chance to rent a brand new or refurbished apartment at a subsidised rent. The rent charge is normally 20-30% lower than what you would expect to pay for a similar apartment in the same area. The precise definition of Key Worker has changed over the years, but broadly speaking a Key Worker is someone employed in a key public sector role such as nurses, teachers and the police. A term often used to describe a Shared Ownership scheme. A scheme whereby Social Housing tenants can buy the home they currently live in with a discount from the Council or Housing Association. Another term used to describe a Housing Association. This is the part-buy, part-rent of a property on the basis of a Shared Ownership lease. Rental housing (at a below market rent) provided by a Council or Housing Association to tenants who cannot afford to buy or rent in the open market. The process of buying a further share, or the final share, of your Shared Ownership home. Porter Dodson, Porter Dodson Solicitors & Advisors and Porter Dodson Fertility & Parenting Law are trading names of Porter Dodson LLP, a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales, with registered no. OC Porter Dodson LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This content is provided for general information only and can be changed at any time. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. Although we make reasonable efforts to update the information regularly, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content is accurate, complete or up-to-date. Please contact us for professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content. Porter Dodson LLP 2016.

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