UK Property Glossary

AcceptanceWhen you are offered and accept a mortgage offer from a lender this is what you need to sign and return.APRStands for ‘Annual Percentage Rate’ relating to interest on a loanApplicantThe term used by an estate agent to refer to you when you are a potential buyer of a property.AppraisalWhen selling your house an estate agent will ‘appraise’ your property to determine a current value for it.Arrangement FeeSome lenders may ask for this fee for providing or ‘arranging’ a loanAssignmentThe transfer of ownership from one person to another. For exampleif you buy a leasehold property ownership is ‘assigned’ to you via thecontract.Base RateThis is the lowest rate of interest a bank will charge when itlends you money and is used as a benchmark to set interest rates forborrowers. This rate set by the Bank of England and is reviewed severaltimes a year. Lenders will charge borrowers a margin above the baserate.Bridging Finance/LoanYou may need ‘Bridging Finance’ if you are buying a new propertybefore selling your current house. This is to ‘bridge’ the gap beforeyou have sold your property so as to complete the buying process ofyour new property before selling your existing home.BrokerThis is a person who advises on mortgages and loans known as a ‘mortgage broker’Capped RateThe maximum set interest rate you will pay on a mortgage for a setperiod of time. This means that the interest rate cannot go higher thanthe capped rate during the specified time period usually the first fewyears of the loan.ChainThis refers to a sequence of buyers and sellers. Most people whosell their homes are also buying at the same time. There can be a’chain’ of several buyers and sellers each dependent on each other forthe sale and purchase of their new homes. If one buyer or seller dropsout the whole chain may collapse leading to a domino effect where thepaperwork for several properties is delayed or cancelled altogether.Chain FreeThis is when the owner of property doesn’t need to sell the property in order to buy another thus it is offered chain free.CollateralYour house is ‘Collateral’ when used as a guarantee you will repaya loan to your lender. If you do not keep up with repayment your housecould be sold by the lender to get back the money they have loaned you.CompletionThis is the final stage of the property buying process – when theagreed sale price has been paid by the buyer to the seller. Legalownership has been transferred from the seller to the buyer of theproperty.Contents InsuranceThis insurance is taken out to cover/protect personal belongings that are in your home.ContractThis is the agreement that once signed by the buyer and seller binds both parties to the sale and purchase of the property.ConversionThis can refer to a property that has had the loft converted into a room or a house that has been converted into flats.ConveyancingThe name of the legal process that transfers property ownership from the seller to the buyer carried out by a solicitor.CovenantA requirement by law on the owner of a property to either do or not do something with their property.CAMStands for Current Account MortgageCCJThis stands for County Court Judgement. If you have a judgementagainst you for defaulting on a debt it may mean you are turned downfor future loans or pay a higher interest rate.DeedsThe legal documents regarding a property.DefaultThis is a term used when you do not do as you agreed eg. failingto make a mortgage payment. If you fail to make mortgage payments (ordefault) your home could be repossessed.Delayed CompletionTypically completion takes less than 28 days after the exchange ofcontracts. If it takes place after 28 days then it is called ‘delayedcompletion’DepositIn terms of mortgages a deposit is the initial lump sum payment thebuyer contributes towards the total purchase price of the property.DisbursementsThis is another word for the legal costs involved with purchasing a property.Discounted RateThis type of mortgage has an interest rate lower than the lender’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR).Early Repayment ChargeThis is a charge or ‘fee’ payable if you pay part or all of yourmortgage off earlier than agreed. This is used to compensate the lenderfor interest that would have been paid if the mortgage had run for thefull time period agreed.EPCEnergy performance certificate – part of a home information pack.Equitable InterestWhen a person has some legal rights to a property but not including sale of the property.EquityThis is what you actually own – it is the difference between themarket value of your property and the amount of