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Administrator: An individual appointed by law to manage the affairs of a deceased person who died prior to naming someone in their will to carry out that work.
Beneficiary: An individual for whose benefit property is being held by trustees or administrators.
Building Regulations: Prior to carrying out extensive work or structural changes to a property, building regulations need to be obtained from the relevant local authority approving these changes.
Buy to Let: A property that is bought with the intention of then letting it out. Usually mortgage lenders will require information on the rental yield of the buy to let property.
Capital Gains Tax: The tax charged on any profit realised from the sale of an asset. Owner occupiers, who have lived in the property for over 6 months, are exempt from Capital Gains Tax.
Completion Date: The date a buyer is entitled to take possession of the property after settling the full balance payment for that property.
Conveyance: The act of transferring a property from one owner to another.
Deposit: For a purchase, this refers to the sum of money required from the buyer when they enter into an agreement to buy a property. This varies between 5 and 10 per cent of the purchase price. For a rental, the deposit (called a dilapidation deposit) refers to the sum of money held by an estate agent against any potential damage to the property, if the value of the total tenancy is above £25,000. If the value of the total tenancy is below £25,000, then this deposit is held in a Deposit Protection Scheme.
Equity: The difference between the value of a property and the amount of mortgage unpaid.
Gazumping: This refers to a vendor accepting a higher purchase offer for their property, despite having accepted an earlier offer from another purchaser subject to contract.
Ground Rent: Rent payable to the owner of the land on whose property others have built on.
Guarantor: This is someone who promises to pay the debt of a tenant if they default.
Home Information Pack: This is a document which is compulsory for properties of three bedrooms and above that are being marketed for sale. The pack includes an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), containing advice on how to cut carbon emissions and fuel bills. Also included are documents such as a sale statement, searches and evidence of title.
Inventory: A document listing & describing the condition of the contents of a leased property in order that any dilapidations during the tenancy can then be identified. Inventories are prepared by an independent company at the start and at the end of the tenancy. The check-in inventory is paid by the tenants and the check-out inventory is paid by the landlords.
Joint Agency: The appointment of two estate agents to act in the sale of a property.
Lease: A lease is issued by the freehold or leasehold owner of a property who lets the premises to another party for a specific length of time, after which time it may revert to the freeholder or superior leaseholder.
Purpose built: Refers to a property which has specifically been designed as an individual flat, rather than a propoerty converted into a single unit.
Stamp duty: A government levy paid by the buyer of a property based on the purchase price. Currently, there is no stamp duty payable up to £60,000 - between £60,000 and £250,000 – 1%, between £250,000 and £500,000 – 3%, and over £500,000 - 4%.
Subject to contract: When an offer is made to purchase a property subject to contract, it means that all dealings are subject to the exchange of the contract itself. Nothing is binding on either seller or buyer until this exchange.
Tenancy Agreement: An agreement between a Landlord and Tenant on the terms of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy as defined by the Housing Act 1988.
Tenure: This relates to the nature of the title to a property i.e. freehold or leasehold.
Transfer of deeds: A Land Registry document that transfers the ownership of a property on completion of a sales transcation.