Lawdit’s conveyancing dictionary- know your terms

A refresher of those terms that are used regularly when you are buying or selling a property- and are therefore important that you are clued up on:

  • Freehold

A freehold title is granted to the owner of a property and is their right to own and use a property as they see fit. A freehold property owner owns the whole of their property within the boundaries, up to the sky and down to the ground. By being the freehold owner, you are the ultimate owner of the property.


  • Leasehold

The leasehold title can be granted by the freehold owner and is the right to own and use a property as the owner for a set number of years, subject to the freeholder’s terms. A lease can be granted for a short period or a very long period of hundreds of years. While the terms of many leases are the same, it is very important that the terms are clear to the leaseholder before the lease is granted to ensure they are clear on their position.


  • Land Registry

The Land Registry is the government body who deals with all property administration with England and Wales. They are also there to assist in any disputes. They maintain the property register and are whom you must notify or apply to for of any change to your property. While the Land Registry are always on hand to deal with any questions, they do recommend you use the expertise of solicitors in any property matter.


  • Property Title Register

Replacing the old deeds of properties, the Property Title Register gives the details of each registered property. The register will contain details of ownership, as well as any rights or restrictions that affect a property. The Property Title Register is maintained by the Land Registry and a copy can be purchased at any time for a fee. The Register is your first point of call if you wish to find out about a property, and allows a much more accurate snapshot to be given than the old deeds produced.


  • Exchange

Exchange is a part of the conveyancing process. It is especially important as it signifies the exchange of signed contracts by both parties and means the sale is now legally binding. If a party pulls out after exchange, there are penalties attached. It is at this stage, the deposit is paid, but this is held by solicitors until the end of the transaction for security.

  • Deposit

A deposit is a portion of the purchase price which is paid on exchange as an incentive for both parties to go ahead. It is paid by the buyer and is held by the sellers solicitors until completion when it is released with the rest of the monies. A deposit is normally 10% but this can differ. It is important that you are aware that this is not normally part of any monies received by a mortgage, as a deposit is to be paid before mortgage monies are released.

  • Completion

As the name suggests, this is the end of a transaction and is the point where legal ownership actually transfer from the seller to the buyer. Prior to completion, the full balance of the sale monies is transferred from the buyer to the seller and the documents are dated. There is still steps to take after this point for the buyer, including an application to the Land Registry to update the Property Title Register but it will be the stage in which they can have the keys in their hands as owners.

For any further clarification on these terms or further information on how we can assist you with your property, please contact the Lawdit property team today.

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