ACCEPTANCE
The document that you will need to sign and return to a lender if you wish to accept the lender's mortgage offer.

AGRICULTURAL COVENANT
This is a planning condition which permits the erection of a residential dwelling providing it is occupied by a person employed or associated with working on the land. Properties subjected to such a covenant are effectively "blighted" by this stipulation and values are relatively low because they cannot be sold to anyone who fails to meet the conditions imposed, unless the planning authorities agree to lift the covenant.

APPLICANT
The term by which a potential purchaser is often referred to by estate agents.

BENEFICIAL OWNER
Person owning lands and entitled to it for his own benefit. Not, for instance, a trust that holds the land for the benefit of another.

BRIDGING FINANCE
A purchaser under certain circumstances may wish to complete the purchase of a property whilst still offering his own for sale. Lenders will advise as to whether the necessary temporary finance can be made available.

CAUTION
Entries on the land register protecting the interests of a third party. Any application for first registration of title is notified to him whereupon he can take appropriate action to protect his interests.

CHARGE
If a property owner uses his security in the property to service a loan, a charge is registered and certified. This entitles the lender to be regarded as a secured creditor to be paid out of the proceeds of a sale in the event of a default on the loan.

CHARGE CERTIFICATE
A certificate issued to a lender by the Land Registry giving evidence of the lender's charge over the property.

CHIEF RENT
A payment made on freehold land to the original freeholder forever. Distinct from ground rent which has a limited period.

COLLATERAL
Property pledged as a guarantee for the repayment of a loan.

COMMISSION OR FEE TO THE ESTATE AGENT
The sum of money paid to the agent, and invoiced to their clients on exchange of contracts.

COMPLETION
The finalising of the sale when all the monies are passed over and the purchaser has legal right to the property.

CONTRACT
Entered into by the vendor and purchaser of a property which only becomes binding on exchange of contracts, i.e. when both parties have signed the contract and the purchaser has handed over the agreed deposit (if any) to the solicitor.

CONTRACT RACE
Involving two or more purchasers wanting to buy the same property. Usually instigated by the seller. The successful purchaser is the first purchaser to exchange contracts.

CONVEYANCING
The legal process transferring ownership from vendor to purchaser.

COUNTY COURT JUDGEMENT (CCJ)
Whenever someone fails to pay for something and is subsequently taken to court, the magistrate may issue a County Court Judgement against that individual to pay the outstanding debt. It will only be removed once the debt is cleared.

COVENANT
A legal requirement of the owner to do, or not to do, something in relation to the property. For example; restrictions on its use, changes to its appearance.

DEEDS
All the legal documents relating to the property.

DELAYED COMPLETION
Completion can take place anytime after exchange of contracts. However, if it is longer than 28 days it is referred to as delayed.

EASEMENT
A right over or under land granted to someone who is not the owner.

ENGROSSMENT
The formal and final version of a document prepared by a solicitor in readiness for signing and sealing following agreement of the final draft between the parties.

EQUITABLE INTEREST
Legal rights in a property that do not include the right to sell its legal title.

EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS
This is the stage when the buyer and seller exchange signed, legally binding contracts of purchase and sale. Both then become committed to complete the transaction.

EXECUTION
Signing, sealing and delivering a deed in front of an independent witness.

FIXTURES & FITTINGS
Any items that are to be included in the sale, e.g. carpets, curtains, curtain rail, wall lights etc.

FLYING FREEHOLD
A flying freehold is formed when part of a freehold property overhangs a different freehold property or land.

FREEHOLD
Absolute ownership of land.

GAZUMPING
A term used to denote a situation where the vendor has accepted an offer but subsequently accepts a higher offer from another purchaser.

GAZUNDERING
A term used to denote a situation where the purchaser lowers his offer immediately prior to exchange of contracts.

GROUND RENT
This applies only to Leasehold properties and is a sum paid annually to the Freeholder by the Leaseholder.

IMPROVEMENT GRANT
A grant made by the local authority towards the cost of repairing or improving property. Further information with regard to grants is available from your local council.

INSTRUCTION
This term is used when the estate agent is formally instructed by a property owner to market the property, usually by private treaty, in order to find a purchaser. The resulting contractual agreement confirms the terms under which the instruction is offered by the vendor and accepted by the estate agent.

JOINT AGENCY
A situation where two agents are acting, the commission being apportioned as agreed by the seller and joint agents.

JOINT SOLE AGENCY
A situation where two agents are acting as sole agents, the commission being divided equally, no matter who sells the property. See also 'MULTIPLE AGENCY'

JOINT TENANTS
Two or more people holding property as co-owners. When one dies, his share of the property automatically passes to the survivor(s). See also 'TENANTS IN COMMON'

LAND CERTIFICATE
A certificate issued by the Land Registry as proof of ownership.

LAND REGISTRY
A Government department where details of properties with a registered title are recorded along with any charges e.g. mortgages.

LEASE
Ownership of property by way of a leasehold interest for a fixed term, usually with an annual ground rent.

LEASEHOLD
Ownership of land (normally for a fixed period) subject to an annual payment of a ground rent to the owner of the freehold. Usually a leasehold property is a flat or maisonette, although in some areas conventional houses and bungalows of a leasehold tenure exist.

LESSOR
He who grants a lease - the landlord.

LIEN
The legal right of one person to hold the property of another as security for a debt.

MAINTENANCE CHARGE
A charge made, usually annually, by the landlord, to cover the costs of maintaining the property as set out in the lease.

MARKET APPRAISAL
Carried out by a potential selling agent and, in their opinion, is the current marketing price of the property.

MORTGAGE
Loan for which property is the security (usually for house purchase).

MORTGAGE DEED
The document enshrining the conditions of a loan secured on a property.

MORTGAGEE
The lender.

MORTGAGE INDEMNITY GUARANTEE
An amount payable when a loan to property value exceeds the lender's maximum allowable. Amount payable and repayment terms of a M.I.G. vary according to each lender's mortgage arrangements.

MORTGAGE OFFER
The letter from the lender offering you the loan and setting out the terms and conditions upon which it is offered.

MORTGAGOR
The borrower (whose property is secured for the loan).

MULTIPLE AGENCY
A situation where two or more agents are acting for the vendor. The agent who introduces a successful purchaser is the only one paid. See also 'JOINT SOLE AGENCY'

NEW INSTRUCTION
This is a new property that has been added to the agent's list. For rightmove.co.uk, this will mean a flag may be applied to the property for a maximum of 28 days.

OFFER (England & Wales)
A presentation of intent to purchase a property, at a price.

PART-POSSESSION
The term used, when a property is being sold, where a tenant has legal right of occupation.

PEPPERCORN RENT
A term used to denote a ground rent of a trivial amount.

PRELIMINARY ENQUIRIES
A set of questions raised by the purchaser's solicitor and sent to the vendor via his solicitor, prior to exchange of contracts.They ask for clarification of specific points about the property which is being sold and the present vendor's ownership of it.

PRICE CHANGE
This is a property that has had its price changed. For rightmove.co.uk, this will mean a flag may be applied to the property for a maximum of 28 days.

PRIVATE TREATY (FOR SALE BY)
The sale of property by private treaty is the method employed by most estate agents, preparing descriptive details of the property and quoting a definitive asking price. Details are circulated: potential buyers may view the property and either agree to buy at the asking price or submit an offer to purchase. Agreement to buy at this stage (for England and Wales) is subject to formal contracts being prepared between the vendor and the purchaser and those contracts being signed and exchanged between the two parties.

PROBATE
The official process of proving a will is valid. In many cases part of the estate will involve a property, which might need to be valued for Inheritance Tax purposes. A probate valuation is generally a negotiated value with the district valuer representing the Inland Revenue. A sale cannot proceed to exchange of contracts until probate has been granted.

REGISTERED LAND
Land (including buildings on it) the title to which is registered at the Land Registry and legal ownership is guaranteed.

RETENTION
An amount held back from the initial loan by the Lender until certain repairs or improvements have been completed or in some cases to cover possible road charges on a new estate.

RIGHT OF WAY
An individual's legal right to use any particular part of a property, in order to gain access to any particular part of his own property.

SEARCHES
A term used to denote the physical and written procedure for determining any adverse effects in / on a particular property, whether already in effect or planned to take place.

SITTING TENANT
To occupy the property as tenant, but have legal rights without a lease. Any sale would be subject to any rights of a tenant who has occupation.

SOLE AGENCY
Where only one agent has the authority to sell the property. This does not affect the owner's right to sell privately.

SOLE-SELLING RIGHTS
Where one agent has complete control of the sale, and is entitled to his fee however the property is sold.

STAMP DUTY
This is the tax paid by the purchaser of a property to the Government. Currently based on the following rates:
exempt: if the purchase price of the property is under £60,000*
1% of the purchase price on any sales exceeding £60,000 and does not exceed £250,000.
3% of the purchase price on any sales exceeding £250,000 and does not exceed £500,000.
4% if the purchase price on any sales exceeding £500,000.
*This does not apply if the purchase is part of a larger transaction or series of transactions.

SUBJECT TO CONTRACT
A phrase used as a provisional agreement before contracts have been exchanged where either party may still withdraw from the transaction.

SURVEY
Available in three types :- Valuation, Home Buyers and Structural. Inspection of the property by an independent surveyor.

TENANCY AT WILL OR LICENCE
After exchange of contracts a purchaser may seek to take possession of a property before financial, legal completion. This could be to carry out repairs and decorations or to take up residence early. This can often be organised and a licence arranged between both parties' solicitors. The purchaser paying an appropriate rate of interest on the balance of the outstanding monies (i.e. purchase price less deposit paid) instead of rental.

TENANT
Person who is in possession of a property usually by way of lease.

TENANTS IN COMMON
Two or more people holding property as co-owners. When one dies, his share of the property automatically passes to his estate. See also 'JOINT TENANTS'

TENDER - FOR SALE BY
This is the situation where the asking price is not actually stated, but offers (in writing) are invited. Details of the property are prepared, circulated and advertised. The closing date for the tender is noted. In most cases the vendor will reserve the right to refuse the highest offer, thereby not being committed to sell. Offers tendered are usually opened in the presence of the vendor's solicitors, at a prescribed date and time. An acceptance of an offer by the vendor constitutes an immediate contract, and in most cases, the party tendering will have made their financial arrangements and have had a structural survey carried out in advance.

TENURE
Whether a property is freehold or leasehold.

TITLE
The rights and liabilities that attach to the property.

TITLE - ABSOLUTE
The highest form of tenure available.

TITLE - ABSTRACT OF
A summary of title documentation used in the conveyancing of unregistered properties to prove that the vendor has the right to sell.

TITLE DEEDS
Legal documents describing the rights and liabilities that attach to the property and prove ownership of property.

TITLE REPORT ON
Solicitors' certificate confirming that the title to the property is acceptable. A Lender must have one before an advance cheque for the mortgage monies can be issued.

UNADOPTED ROAD
A road which has not been accepted by a Local Authority possibly as a result of it not meeting the standards laid down (e.g. road surfaces, drainage, etc.).This indicates the possibility of a road charge liability if and when the road is adopted.

UNDER OFFER
When the vendor has accepted an offer for his home but contracts have not yet been exchanged. Either party may still withdraw from the transaction.

VACANT POSSESSION
The previous occupants must vacate the property before you move in, including any tenants.

VALUATION
When carried out by a potential selling agent is in their openion, the current marketing price of the property. For any other valuation purposes, alternative professional advice may be appropriate.

VENDOR
The owner of the property to be sold.

WRIT OR SUMMONS
Mode of commencing legal proceedings.