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Conveyancing Jargon

Moving House –  legal words explained

We cannot avoid some legal words and phrases. Here are a few common ones with their meanings explained. If we use a word you do not understand, please tell us.

Completion – moving day! The purchase money is handed over in return for the keys and the deeds.

Contract – the document you sign that sets out all the details of the deal.

Covenant – an obligation that affects the property, to do or not do something.

Defective Title Indemnity Insurance – insurance that helps with problems in the deeds.

Easement – a right that affects the property, eg a right of way.

Exchange of contracts – the day you become legally bound to buy or sell.

Land Registry – the government agency that keeps a record of who owns what land.

Mortgage – the document that gives your lender the right to sell your house (and other rights) if you do not repay and follow your other obligations.

Searches – we ask various bodies for information they have about the property eg  the local council, the water supplier and environmental search companies.

Statutory Declaration – a document that confirms information to be true under a special legal procedure.

Stamp Duty Land Tax – the tax paid to the government by the buyer based on price paid.

Transfer – the document you sign that transfers the ownership of the house