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Glossary of common terms often used in conveyancing

  1. Exchange of contracts : Until contracts are exchanged either the seller or the purchaser can pull out of the proposed transaction without any financial consequences. Once contracts are exchanged if either the buyer or the seller pull out of the deal without the consent of the other then there are severe financial consequences. A deposit is paid on exchange of contracts. It is the exchange of contracts which is important, not the signing of contracts.
  2. Completion date : The day the monies are handed by the buyer to the seller. The day people move in and out.
  3. Local Search : Search with the local authority which includes whether there are any proposals to build new roads nearby, whether there are any planning applications affecting the property, whether there is any money outstanding on the property to the Council and many other things.
  4. Land Registry Search : To prove that the seller has not mortgaged the property more than he or she has said and they do in fact own the property.
  5. Mining Search : This is common in Stoke-on-Trent. This is to obtain a copy of the records from British Coal about mining which may have affected the property you wish to buy and any claims made to British Coal because of mining subsidence.
  6. Environmental Search : A search to discover whether the property is adversely affected by contaminated land or similar.
  7. Drainage/Water Search : Whether the property has main drains etc.
  8. Chancel Search : This is to make sure the vicar cannot come after you and ask you for money to maintain the Church. On rare occasions they can.
  9. Stamp Duty : Tax paid to the Government. This duty is paid by the buyer.
  10. VAT : Another tax by the Government. This you have to pay as tax on the Solicitors fees.
  11. Land Registry Fees : Fees paid to the Land Registry to register change of ownership of the property.
  12. Lender : The organisation such as a bank or building society who lend you the money to buy the house and also when you sell the house and they want the money back.
  13. TT Fee : When completion takes place the money is sent from one Solicitors bank to another’s and also the lender sends money to the Solicitors by bank transfer. The bank of course change for this. This is what the TT fee is for. The more transactions there are, the more TT fees there are.

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