When buying or renting a new home, you will hear a lot of words or phrases being used by those in the property industry which may not make much sense to you at first. To give you some clarity, we’ve put together a glossary of property terms so you never feel left out of any important conversations.
ARLA / NAEA Propertymark
An important symbol to look out for when choosing an estate agent as it signifies they are members of the UK’s largest professional body for both sales and letting agents.
Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST)
This is a common rental agreement for properties with annual rents of less than £25,000 per annum. It is handed out for the first period of the tenancy for a fixed period.
For tenancies of a year or more, this clause can be inserted into a fixed term agreement. It allows either party to provide written notice after a set period or date to end the tenancy earlier than the initial agreed fixed term.
A report carried out by a surveyor to detail the condition of a property. This is produced in a written report, highlighting any issues or defects that affect the structural integrity of the building.
When a seller is also buying a new home, the person they are buying it from will also be looking to purchase their own property. This means the purchase of a new home will affect the buyer’s ability to sell their own.
This refers to the moment when the buyer is handed the keys to the property and the sale of the property is concluded.
Your solicitor or conveyancer will provide you with a full statement listing all of the financial transactions and costs related to the deal.
Conditions of Sale
The terms of the sale agreed between the buyer and seller, which may also include special conditions added by either party.
A legal document covering the full terms of the sale and purchase of the property. A draft is sent to the buyer once a sale is agreed, with an exchange of contracts between both taking place at a later date that makes the sale official.
This can be either a licensed conveyancer, or solicitor, who will manage the legal aspects of buying or selling a property. Both buyer and seller will have their own conveyancer during the process.
Relates to the process carried out by a conveyancer when transferring ownership of a property from one party to another.
Rules related to the property as stated in the lease or deed documents.
Credit Search References
Carried out by landlords or estate agents when tenants make an application to rent a property. It involves contacting an external credit agency to check the applicant’s credit history to see how reliable they are when paying bills.
A legal document that covers the full details of who owns a property.
When buying a property, this is the large sum of money paid to the seller when contracts are exchanged. The amount varies depending on the mortgage obtained by the buyer.
Those renting will pay a deposit that is retained in a safe tenancy deposit scheme for the duration of the tenancy. For annual rental amounts of less than £50,000, the maximum deposit is six weeks rent.
Deposit Protection Service
This is a government authorised service that is free to use and where every tenant’s deposit must be placed by either the landlord or letting agent. Full information and contact details must be given to the tenant and it will then be returned at the end of the tenancy.
An inventory of items left in a rented property is usually taken before the tenant moves in. Dilapidations are a list of any items that may have been damaged, with the tenant typically responsible for covering the cost.
The first version of the contract that can be amended and updated as the sale progresses until it is finalised and prepared for the exchange close to the end.
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) details the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of the property. It is displayed as two graphs, with the property graded between A to G – the latter being the worst rating.
Exchange of Contracts
When the buyer and seller exchange contracts via conveyancers, this is the point when the deal becomes official. If required, the buyer is then able to pay a holding deposit on the property.
Fixtures and Fittings
When buying a property this is a list of items that are included with the property or land. Depending on what’s agreed, not everything is automatically included, with some items being sold by the buyer separately.
Any furniture pieces, appliances, carpets etc. included with a rental agreement should be discussed before the signing of any agreement.
Buyers purchasing a freehold property will have ownership of both the building and the land and will be responsible for their upkeep.
Gas Safety Record
This should be provided by landlords before a tenant moves in and then once a year by a qualified CORGI engineer who will visit the property to check that all gas appliances, pipework and flues are safe.
Leaseholders have to pay this charge set by the property freeholder on an annual basis.