Plain Talking - Conveyancing

At Nelson Myatt we pride ourselves on using plain, easy-to-understand language to communicate with our clients. But, when you are buying a house then you might come across all sorts of words you haven’t seen before. Here’s our handy guide to a few of the most common:

What is Conveyancing – this describes the process of transferring a house or land from one person to another. What are Contracts – these are the legal documents which set out how and when the house or land will be transferred. The deal is confirmed once contracts have “been exchanged”. What is an Easement – this is a right of way over one piece of land for the benefit of another. For example, this could be a driveway or path over land your neighbour owns to give you access to your house.

What are Office Copy Entries – these are the Land Registry documents which show the boundaries of a piece of land, who owns it and whether there is a mortgage on it, amongst other things. What does Unregistered Land mean – this is land which hasn’t been registered at the Land Registry. If a property isn’t registered then the owners still need to produce a bundle of deeds to prove that they own the land. When it is sold now it will be registered with the Land Registry. Since 2002 registration has been compulsory and therefore unregistered land is becoming less common. What is Caveat Emptor – this means “buyer beware”. It is a principle which means that a buyer must raise all queries before exchange of contracts. What are Disbursements – these are costs which a solicitor pays on your behalf. In a house sale or purchase this might be a Land Registry fee or paying for a policy. What is the Land Registry – this is the central office which holds records of ownership of all property in England and Wales. Some properties aren’t registered there and then the owners still need to produce a bundle of deeds to prove that they own a house or land. What does Freehold mean – this means that the house or land is owned completely outright. If a property is Leasehold it means that the ownership is time limited and that there might be restrictions on how it can be used. What is an Indemnity – it is an insurance policy which covers a legal issue with a property that can’t be resolved in another way. This is sometimes used if there are missing documents. What is a Mortgage – this is an agreement with a bank or other lender that they will lend you a certain amount of money to help you buy a house. Their loan is recorded and stored on the Land Registry so they can claim it back by selling the house if you don’t pay them back as agreed.


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