(Commonly used words and phrases)
Alterations to the main structure of the property will need to comply with the approved building standards applicable at the time of the works.
If there are a number of property sales which are dependant on each other i.e. a seller will only proceed if he can buy a replacement property or a purchaser has a property to sell then the linked transactions are referred to as a 'Chain'.
The document that sets out what property is being sold, the price, who the buyers and sellers are, together with the detailed legal obligations that are being entered into.
When contracts are exchanged a date will be agreed when the Buyer is to pay the rest of the money and the Seller is to move out, i.e. a date by which time the terms of the contract are completed.
The detailed financial statement prepared after Contracts have been exchanged showing any monies that are due to or from you.
These are restrictions or obligations which will continue to affect the property. For example it is common for a developer to place a restriction on a property so that any alterations to it will require his written consent.
The cost of this such as Search fees, Land Registry fees and Stamp Duty that will need to be paid on your behalf.
This is the technical name for the rights that a property may have or be subject to, such as a right of way.
EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS
When everyone is ready to enter into a legally binding agreement the Conveyancer's acting for each party will be holding a copy of the contract signed by their client. These copies are then dated and exchanged. There is now a binding agreement and if the terms of the agreement are broken the person at fault may have to pay a substantial amount of compensation.
If a property is built, extended or its use is changed, this amounts to development for which the Council will need to give its consent under the current Planning legislation.
Until contracts are exchanged the Buyer's Conveyancer will be asking a variety of questions about the history of the property, any changes made to it, any disputes that may have occurred with the neighbours and anything else that the Buyer may wish to know.
There are numerous organisations such as the local Council, the Coal Board and the Land Registry, who may have important information about such things as planned road widening, the locality of mine shafts, disputed boundaries etc. Depending on the area that the property is in, your Conveyancer will carry out a 'Search' of the organisations records to see if there is anything that affects the house in question. The 'Local' search is required in almost every case. This is the search carried out at the Local Council and will provide information about road maintenance, Planning Permissions, Building Regulations, Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas and similar matters. Most Local Councils take about two weeks to answer all of the questions, unfortunately some take a lot longer. It is important, for this reason, to pay your Conveyancer the amount requested on account of disbursements promptly so that the application can be made early. Until the result is received it is not safe to proceed.
SUBJECT TO CONTRACT
For there to be a legally binding agreement for the sale of land the agreement must be in writing and signed by both sides. Until this situation is reached either side can change their mind without being responsible for any expenses incurred by the other side.
TITLE DOCUMENTS (Deeds)
Historically this was a series of Conveyances (Transfer Documents) between previous owners proving that the person selling was the owner. Today the Owner is more likely to have a Land Certificate (or Charge Certificate, if there is an existing Mortgage). The Land Certificate is a Government Guaranteed document confirming the current owner's ownership. It also sets out some of the rights that affect the property. These paper certificates are in the process of being phased out in favour of being stored electronically by the Government Land Registry.
This is the document that, after contracts have been exchanged, is used to transfer the legal ownership into the name of the buyer.
This is a fund that is contributed to by all the flat owners in the block so that there are monies available to deal with routine maintenance. Regular contributions should be made in advance so that necessary repairs are not delayed due to a lack of money being available.
AN A-Z OF INVESTMENT PROPERTY
APR - ANNUAL PERCENTILE RATE
A rough guide to the annual interest payments due on a mortgage. It is a 'rough guide' because different lenders calculate their APRs in different ways.
Insurance covering the costs of damage to a property. Most lenders will only issue mortgages for homes enjoying full insurance cover.
CGT - CAPITAL GAINS TAX
Tax paid on profits gained from selling a property. Most countries enforce CGT at rates which vary significantly from location to location; in some countries CGT can be avoided by reinvesting in the local property market or by holding onto the property for a set period.
The proportion of a home's value that is not covered by a mortgage. For example, if a home is worth £200,000 and the owner has a £100,000 mortgage, there is £100,000 of equity in the property.
The process of taking a further loan out against a property that is valued at more than any mortgage attached to it.
Items that are attached to a home - such as work surfaces, baths etc - which therefore count legally as part of that property.
A form of title giving full ownership of a property and, usually, the land on which it stands. It is also possible to buy apartments freehold but they are more commonly sold leasehold (see below).
The infamous process whereby a seller accepts an offer from one buyer but then accepts a higher offer from another buyer before contracts of sale are exchanged.
The opposite of gazumping, whereby a putative buyer drops his or her offer just before contracts are signed.
A form of title giving ownership for a set period only, following which title reverts to the property's freeholder. Most apartment-type properties are sold leasehold. Mortgage lenders usually require long-term (50 years or more) leases to be in place before lending on a leasehold property.
LTV - LOAN TO VALUE
The size of a mortgage as a proportion of the value of the property. A lender offering a 70% LTV mortgage on a property worth £100,000 would lend £70,000.
When a property is worth less than the sum of the mortgages taken out against it, it is said to possess negative equity.
A tax levied on the purchasing of property, payable by the buyer at a rate proportional to the value of the home being purchased.
SVR - STANDARD VARIABLE RATE
A rate of interest that varies, usually according to changes in the national interest rate.
Documentation demonstrating ownership of a property.
The seller of a property.
CHANCEL REPAIR SEARCH
A Chancel Repair Search reveals whether or not a property may be encumbered by 'Tithes' or payments that need to be made to the local church.
These are ancient laws that may not be immediately apparent from the title deeds to the premises.
Unless you potentially want to be committed to repairing the roof of the local parish church, we would suggest that you undertake a Chancel Repair Search.
The alternative is to take out Chancel Repair Search Insurance. This can cost as little as £20.00p per property and will insure you against any future liability or costs in this respect.