Property jargon buster

Property jargon buster

28th Mar, 2018

Following on from last month’s ‘mortgage jargon buster’, we wanted to create another covering ‘all things property’. We know how complicated and bewildering it can be purchasing a home, never mind understanding some of the terms surrounding this industry.

Below is a list of regularly used words and phrases when buying, letting, renting, selling or enquiring about a house…

  • Absent landlord – this is a home owner who cannot be contacted. If the renters would like to create a Right To Manage Company, but are unable to contact the landlord, they are free to make a legal application.
  • Administration fee – a payment which is charged to cover the cost of processing a property rental application.
  • Agreement fee – a fee which is charged to cover the cost of drawing up a tenancy agreement.
  • ARLA Propertymark – this is the UK’s foremost professional body for lettings agents – formally known as the Association of Residential Letting Agents.
  • Assured shorthold tenancy (AST) – a widely used rental agreement, where the net amount does not exceed £25,000 a year. This also covers a fixed period so both parties know exactly when the property will be vacated.
  • Break clause – sometimes agreed between the landlord and tenant in a fixed term agreement, this will usually allow either party to give written notice after a particular date or period of time, to end the tenancy earlier than the original fixed term.
  • Bridging Loan – a short-term, temporary loan that enables someone to purchase a property before selling their existing house.
  • Building inspection/structural survey – the surveyor will look at all accessible parts of the property and give a written report on the physical condition of it.
  • Chain – this is formed when several sales and purchasers are inter-dependant on one another.
  • Contract race – where two or more purchasers – who are interested in buying the same house – are given a draft contract and the first one to complete it gets the property.
  • Dilapidations – these are items that have been damaged during tenancy, and the tenant is usually responsible for the cost of repair or replacement.
  • Easement – a right that affects a property. This could be the right a neighbour has to pass over an access path, or the right of a water company to have pipes and drains running under your house.
  • The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – shows the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of a property, which gives an indication of the cost of fuel bills.
  • Gazumping – where a sale is agreed to a buyer for a certain price, but then the seller accepts a higher offer from another person. It is good to remember that until contracts have been exchanged, estate agents are bound by law to tell a seller about any other offers they have received.
  • Listed building – these are houses which have a special architectural or historical interest. It may be that the property carries certain obligations and restrictions governing the use, repair and maintenance.
  • The Property Ombudsman – offers a free and independent service for resolving disputes between sales and lettings agents.
  • Title deeds – documents which detail and confirm the legal ownership of a property.

We hope that this jargon buster helps you to better understand the world of property. If you would like to further understand mortgages, you can also check out our previous blog here.

If you require any further advice, or simply want to speak to one of our sales and lettings team regarding a property, you can contact us here.

View all posts by Chloe Byrne


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