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Mortgages

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Absolute interest

An unconditional interest in land.

Absolute title

The best class of title available in registered land (to freehold or leasehold land) that shows there are no discrepancies over the ownership of the title.

Abstract of title

Documents that prove the title to the land, setting out the history of the title and used when the land is not registered with the Land Registry.

Adverse possession

If someone takes possession of land, with the intention of excluding the true owner, then the "squatter" acquires title to the land byadverse possession after (usually) 12 years.

Annexation

By being annexed (joined) to the land, a fixture becomes part of the land.

Assignment

A document transferring a right or an interest in a property from one person to another.

Assignee

The person to whom the right or interest in property has been transferred.

Assignor

The person from whom the right or interest in property has been transferred.

Assurance

A deed such as a transfer or conveyance, which transfers property from one person to another.

Beneficial owner

The person or people to receive the proceeds of sale, for their own benefit and use.

Breach of Contract

Where somebody fails to keep to the terms and conditions of the written contract agreement (for examples fails to complete the transaction)

Bridleway

A path or route on which it is lawful to walk, ride a horse or to cycle

Building Regulations

All building work in England and Wales is required to comply with the standards set out in the Building Regulations - even if the work that is done does not require planning permission. The local authority is responsible for inspecting and issuing any necessary building regulations approvals or consents. New houses are usually inspected by the NHBC and are supplied with an NHBC guarantee. If work has been done on a property that should have building regulation consent, but there is no evidence of it, you should think very carefully before going ahead with any purchase.

Caution

An entry on the register of title (for registered land), which protects a minor interest in the land. When a Caution is registered, the owner cannot carry out dealings with the land without the cautioned being notified.

Certificate on report of title

A standard form used by the solicitor to request funds from the mortgage lending bank or building society.

Cesser on redemption

Term to describe the way in which a mortgage comes to an end when it is repaid. Charge A mortgage or secured loan secured against a property.

Chattel

An item which is not attached to the land and so has not become part of the land. It is distinguished from fixtures by reference to the method and purpose of annexation.

Conservation area

An area or district that the Local Authority has decided is of special historical or architectural interest that needs to be preserved. Usually, special planning requirements apply if you wish to make alterations or repairs to property that is in a conservation area.

Contract

A written and signed agreement made between the buyer and seller. It will give full details of the property and all of the other terms and conditions of the sale that have been agreed.

Conditional Interest

This is an interest in land which only arises or continues as long a certain condition is fulfilled.

Co-ownership

A situation whereby two or more people own the same parcel of land. Nowadays, the phrase usually refers to a joint tenancy or a tenancy in common.

Covenant

A promise in a deed.

Covenantee

The party who receives a covenant and so has the benefit of it.

Covenantor

The party who gives a covenant and so carries the burden of it.

Conveyancing

The legal process of transferring ownership of property.

Deed

A formal document that is "executed" by signature, with the signature being formally witnessed.

Deed of Gift

A formal document that transfers ownership of land as a gift or donation.

Deed of Variation

A formal document that alters conditions of a lease or title.

Deposit

The money that is paid by the buyer when contracts are exchanged. The deposit is a part payment and a gesture of good faith that the buyer will complete the purchase. If the buyer does not go on to complete the purchase, the seller normally keeps the deposit.

Determinable interest

An interest which can be brought to an end when a specified event occurs.

Devise

A gift of land by will.

Easement

The right to use a piece of land without owning it, e.g. a right of way over a piece of land or driveway.

Equity of redemption

The borrowers right to redeem their mortgage after the legal date for redemption (stated in the mortgage) has passed.

Exchange of Contracts

The point in conveyancing case where the terms of the transaction become legally binding. At exchange, the buyer becomes the equitable owner of the property.

Fixtures

An item which has become part of the land, having been annexed to it.

Flying freehold

This usually refers to property that is directly above land that belongs to someone else.

Foreclosure

This means that the mortgagee becomes the owner of the property and the borrower loses both his rights to the property and his right to redeem the mortgage.

Forfeiture

A provision in a lease enabling the landlord to bring the lease to an end before its term has expired, because of the tenants default.

Freehold

This is one of the two legal estates created by the Law of Property Act 1925. It continues for an indefinite period - for all practical purposes, ownership for ever.

Indemnity Insurance

Insurance to protect the interest of the client and mortgage lender against any imperfections or interest in a property.

Joint tenants

The property is jointly owned so that all of the owners have an equal interest in the property. If one of the owners dies, then the survivors will automatically own the whole of the property. See also Tenants in Common

Lease

This is one of the two types of property ownership. The owner of the freehold grants the lease to the owner of the lease for a specified period of time (e.g. 99 or 123 years).

Leasehold property

Property that is occupied under the terms of a lease.

Lessee

Tenant.

Lessor

Landlord.

Managing agent

A person appointed by the owner of a property (usually a landlord) to act on his behalf, usually in collection of rents or maintenance of the property

Mortgage advance

The money loaned under a Mortgage

Mortgage offer

The formal document making an offer of a loan under a mortgage which will say how much the loan is for, the period and amount of repayment and all of the terms and conditions attached to the loan. The Mortgage offer will normally be sent by the lender to the borrower, with a copy to us.

Mortgage retention

A sum of money not released by the lender until certain conditions have been complied with, for example, they may require that essential repair work is carried out. The remainder of the loan will be released when the work has been completed.

Mortgage

A loan secured against a property. If the loan is not repaid, in addition to suing under the covenant to repay, the mortgagee has various rights against the land which can be used to attempt to collect the money owed; for example the mortgagee may be able to take possession of the land and sell it.

Mortgagee

The lender who had made an advance of money under a mortgage. Usually a Bank or Building Society.

Mortgagor

The Borrower.

Office copy

An official copy of a document held by a Public Office such as Her Majesty's Land Registry.

PAB

Pending Action in Bankruptcy

Party Wall

The wall between two properties that both owners have rights over and responsibilities for.

Redemption

The repayment of an existing mortgage/loan.

Redemption Statement

A statement from the mortgage company/lender stating the amount required to pay off a loan on a particular date.

Registration

A method of protecting rights in land by entering them in an official record.

1. In unregistered land, various rights (mostly interests) need protection by registration at the Land Charges Registry.

2. In registered land, the title to the freehold or leasehold land is registered at the Land Registry.

Registered land

Land where the title is registered at Her Majesty's Land Registry.

Rentcharge

An annual rent (normally) secured on Freehold property. This is only encountered in some areas of the country (primarily in the Greater Manchester area).

Restriction

An entry on the register of title (for registered land) to restrict dealings. It is one of the methods of protecting a minor interest in registered land.

Restrictive Covenant

A promise by deed not to do a particular act, for example not to build an extension to a house without first obtaining consent.

Searches

We will ask for searches from the Local Authority, the Water Authority and a number of other organisations, so that we can find out everything possible about the property.

Severance

The method by which a joint tenancy is converted into a tenancy in common, for example serving a notice on the other co-owners.

Stamp duty land tax

A tax payable to the Government on the completion of purchase of a property or land. The amount of duty depends on the purchase price of the property.

Successor in title

A subsequent owner of the property.

Sublease

A tenant can grant a sublease for a term which is shorter than the residue of his own leasehold interest.

Telegraphic Transfer

A bank payment directly in to another bank account via a CHAPS transfer, with funds clearing on the same day.

Tenancy A lease

Often the word tenancy is used to describe leases with very short terms.

Tenants in Common

Each owner owns a precise and specified share of the property and each is able to leave their share of the property by Will to whomever they choose. If the property is held as Tenants in Common, you must be specific about the proportions of ownership. e.g. Owner A is to own 30% and owner B is to own 70% See also Joint Tenants

Tenure

The type of ownership of the property, either freehold or leasehold. Title deeds The formal documents that prove who owns the property.

Title indemnity policy

An insurance policy that covers the Owner and mortgage lender from any defects in title (up to the limits that will be set out in the policy)

Transfer (TR1)

The document that transfers Title from one owner to another

Transfer of Equity

The legal process of adding or removing a person from a mortgage.

Unregistered land

Land where the title is not yet registered at Her Majesty's Land Registry.

Vacant Possession

Having no tenant or occupant

WOB

Written Order in Bankruptcy


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