Are you new to the property market? Are you are hearing loads of weird and wonderful words and phrases that you have never heard of before? There are many odd terms in the world of property. Words such as Ombudsman and gazundering. Fortunately for you, we do know what all these words mean! So today, we would like to share an educational blog for all of you confused people new to the world of property jargon!

If you fail to make your mortgage repayments, your lender may take ownership of your property.

Conditions of sale
A contract that includes both the duties of the seller and the rights of the buyer.


Assigning the right or interest in a property to another person.

A legal document that confirms the legal ownership of a property.

Break clause
This is a clause that can be included in a fixed-term agreement between a landlord and a tenant.  It allows both the landlord and tenant to end the tenancy earlier than first planned in the original fixed term.  A notice period is still required and is quite often a few months long.

Structural Survey
A surveyor will report any problems or defects of a property as well as its overall condition.

This is not how much money you have in your bank or pocket, but the amount of money you have in property, investments or any deposits.

Absent landlord
Quite self-explanatory.  When you’ve called, texted and emailed your landlord and they’ve seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth.

When the buyer receives the door keys and can enter their new home!

Completion statement
A document/receipt from your solicitor that includes every transaction and cost.

These are fees on top of legalities and conveyancing.  So, stuff like Landy Registry fees, mortgage redemptions costs and Stamp Duty (tax).  If you ask you, conveyancer, they should be able to calculate these costs for you.

Legal documentation which includes terms between the seller and buyer.  The contract will also include a date in which the completion should be finalised.

Energy Performance Certificate
This shows the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of a property.  Which, consequently, offers an indication of how expensive heating bills will be.  It is grade from A (perfect) to G (very bad).

Contract race
This is when more than one potential buyers are given draft contracts.  The first potential buyer to sign the contract gets the property.

Another name for the seller.

The process of transferring the ownership of a property.

Documents that prove that you are the owner of a property.

This is a document that needs signing when accepting a lender’s mortgage offer.

A document confirming a tenant is legally abiding in premises for a confirmed length of time.

A person who deals with the legalities of buying or selling properties.  To buy or sell, you will need a conveyancer.

This is how much of a property you own.  So, subtract the value of your home from the amount of mortgage you owe.

Draft contract
An initial contract can be altered during the sale.  It becomes a finalised contract and the point of exchange.

Fixtures and fittings
Fixtures are items that are fitted within a property.  So, for example, kitchen worktops and a toilet.  You would not expect the previous owner to remove these items before moving out.  Fittings are items that are not physically attached, but still are likely to be included within the deal.  Perhaps items like a shed, carpets, light fittings, and curtains.  You can discuss what fixtures and fittings will remain in the property before finalisation.

When a sale is agreed, but a second offer comes in at a higher price.  This is highly frowned upon.  If a seller is enticed by a higher, they must tell the potential buyer immediately.

The opposite of gazumping, but equally frowned upon.  When a buyer lowers their offer at the last minute.

Rights concerning your property.  For example, a neighbour’s water pipe may run through your back garden.  So, if something goes wrong with your neighbour’s water, you have been given warning that people may need to access your back garden.

Stamp Duty
This is a tax paid to the government when a property is purchased.  The amount of tax payable is dependent on the property type, size and cost.

All the contents in a rental property. It should also note the condition of items before a new tenant moves in so that there are no arguments above damages.

Land Registry
Records of land ownership and any charges against the property (such as a mortgage).  These records are held by the government.  A fee will occur to change ownership on the records.

Sole selling rights
If an estate agent is grant sole selling rights, they have been offered an agreed fee no matter who buys the property.  If a member of your family or a friend buys your property, you will still need to give your estate agent a fee.

Assured shorthold tenancy (AST)
A rental agreement covering a fixed period and a fixed rental price.

Not as detailed as a structural survey and slightly different.  Simply offers an easily read report of the physical condition of a property and what needs attention.

Ground rent
An annual charge for the leaseholder of a property.

Gas safety record
If you are a landlord this must be provided every single year by a CORGI registered engineer.  The engineer safety checks all gas appliances, pipes and flues.

Closing date
The date in which your solicitor must finalise the buyer’s offer in writing to the seller’s solicitor.

A document that confirmed how a property is intended to be used.

Base rate
The benchmark interest rate.  This is the rate of interest that the Bank of England charges for lending to other banks.  Your lender will offer you an interest rate that will be a certain percentage above the base rate.  This way you’ll know how good their offer is.

Service charge
Most leasehold properties include charges for services such as maintenance and perhaps additional insurances.

A flat with one private entrance.

Listed building
Commonly a building that has a special historic or architectural interest.  These buildings often possess obligations and restrictions regarding their use, repair and maintenance.

Mortgage valuation
A professional report stating the value of the property. The purchaser commonly pays the fee for a mortgage valuation.

Multiple agent instructions
If you are desperate to sell or rent a property, you may instruct more than one estate or letting agent.

Open viewing (not possible during current lockdown restrictions)
This is when you hand your keys over to an estate agent and allow them to open your property to numerous viewings.  Different viewers can view the property simultaneously.

Local authority search
If you are looking to purchase a property, your conveyancer will enquire as to whether any matters are affecting the property.

Peppercorn rent
A very low rental cost.

The UK’s leading professional body for estate agents.

When a property is sold by auction.  Competing buyers bid money for a property and the highest bid wins.

An Ombudsman offers free services which resolve disputes between sales and letting agents.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
The full cost of a loan.  By full cost, we mean everything including interest rates, fees and all over costs.

Arrangement fees
Fees charged to arrange your loan by your mortgage lender or broker.

A sum that is paid on exchange of contracts.  It is commonly and 10% of the purchase price, but can be as low as 5%, or sometimes much higher.

Preliminary enquires
The buyer’s conveyancer will send the seller’s conveyancer any requested questions about the property.

Searches took out by your solicitor to see if anything may affect the future value of the property.

Shared freehold
A freehold can be owned by a limited company or by numerous owners.

Bridging loan
A stop-gap loan that helps someone purchase property before they have received the money for their existing property.

Open market value
The likely price of a property.  So, if a sale is smooth and quick, with no hiccups.

A person who has temporary possession of a property whilst renting it.

Tenancy agreement
An agreement that governs the occupation of the property by the tenant.

ARLA Property Mark
This is the UK’s professional body for letting agencies.