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Glossary of Terms

  • ADR – Abbreviation for Alternative Dispute Resolution, the use of methods such as mediation or arbitration to resolve a dispute without resorting to litigation
  • Alternative Verdict –A situation when a person can be found guilty for a less serious crime than the one they are being convicted for
  • Arbitration – The use of an independent person or body appointed to resolve a dispute between parties
  • Asbestosis - A medical condition caused by exposure to asbestos fibres that causing scarring of the lungs

  • Bankruptcy Search - The process of checking whether a buyer or a borrower has ever been, is about to be or is currently bankrupt
  • Beneficiary - A person who inherits or gains from a Will
  • Breach - An act or instance of breaking a law or regulation
  • Breath Test - A test to determine the amount of alcohol consumed by a driver
  • Buildings Insurance – Insurance that covers structural damage to a building
  • Buyer - Also known as the purchaser, one who is intent on buying

  • Careless Driving - The offence of driving below the standard required of a competent and careful driver
  • Chain - A series of related transactions or events all reliant upon each other
  • CML – Abbreviation for Compulsory Maternity Leave
  • Commercial - Something related to buying or selling things
  • Completion Date – The day when the ownership of your property is passed to you
  • Compromise Agreement - A contract between an employer and its employee (or ex-employee) that can be used in redundancy and dismissal situations. The employee will typically receive a negotiated financial sum in exchange for agreeing that they will have no further claim against the employer for any sum owed under the original contract of employment
  • Constructive Dismissal - When an employee resigns as a result of their employer’s behaviour
  • Consultant - One offer professional advice to another
  • Consultation - One who advises another, officially or professionally
  • Contract - An agreement between two or more parties enforceable by law
  • Conveyancing - The name given to the house moving process where the ownership of a property is ‘conveyed’ from one to another. Work is undertaken by a Conveyancer
  • CoP – Abbreviation for Code of Practice, a set of guidelines and regulations to be followed by members of professions, trades, organisations etc.
  • Coroner’s Inquest - Official investigation of violent, sudden, or suspicious deaths

  • Dangerous Driving - The offence of driving far below the standard of a competent and careful driver i.e. excessive speeding, ignoring traffic lights and other road signs
  • Debtor - A person who owes a creditor; someone who has the obligation of paying a debt
  • Deeds - Documents signed and usually witnessed encompassing the terms of an agreement
  • Defendant - A person or organisation against who an action is brought in a court of law; the party being sued or accused of a crime
  • Deposit – A sum payable as a first instalment or by way of securing a contract
  • Discharge - Usually used to refer to the repayment of a debt, usually an existing mortgage
  • Disciplinary - Regulations and procedures for employers to manage employee misconduct
  • Dispute – a disagreement or an argument
  • Disqualification Period - The period of time an offender is banned from driving a vehicle
  • Drink Driving - The offence of driving a vehicle after consuming over the legal limit of alcohol

  • EDF – effective date or termination, the day on which employment is terminated
  • Equity - The value or worth of ones interests in a property
  • Estate - A person’s total possessions i.e. property, jewellery, clothing, cars, savings etc
  • Exchange of Contracts - The time when everyone in the chain is ready and simultaneously exchange. A completion date is set on exchange and is the date on which everyone in the chain will move
  • Executor - A person appointed to carry out the instructions detailed in the Will

  • Failure to Produce - The offence of failing to produce the necessary documentation when requested by a Police Officer
  • Fixtures and Fittings List - A schedule showing what sellers intend to include in and exclude from a sale
  • Fraud - The use of dishonesty, deception or false representation in order to gain an advantage, often financial
  • Freehold - Absolute ownership of property

  • Gazumping - Frowned upon practice of a buyer agreeing and a seller accepting an offer over and above an offer from another buyer previously accepted and perhaps in excess of the purchase price
  • Grievance – Cause of complaint
  • Ground Rent - An amount paid by a leaseholder to a landlord.- this is detailed in the lease
  • Gynaecology and Obstetrics - branch of medicine of the female reproductive system, treatment of women during pregnancy, labour, childbirth and the time after childbirth

  • Harassment - Behaviours that are found threatening, disturbing or aggressive
  • Heir - A person who inherits or is entitled by law or by the terms of a Will to inherit the estate of another
  • Homebuyers Report - Surveyors report, more detailed than a basic valuation but not as detailed as a full survey

  • Indemnity Report - You can insure against all manner of things arising in a property transaction e.g. your buyer or seller withdrawing, an adverse search result, breach of planning or building regulations and many other events. It does not solve the problem but it does provide compensation. There is a one off premium for this based on the value of the property
  • Industrial Disease – Injuries or sickness caused by exposure to hazards in the workplace, also known as occupational disease
  • Inheritance - Property that a Beneficiary receives from the estate of a deceased person
  • Inheritance Tax - A tax imposed on the privilege of receiving property by inheritance or legal succession and assessed on the value of the property received

  • Joint Purchase – Right of ownership shared by two or more parties

  • Land Registry - A Government department that is responsible for registering ownership of land
  • Legacies - Gifts of personal property or money to a beneficiary of a Will
  • Lender - Usually a bank or building society to whom one applies for a loan/mortgage
  • Limitation - The time within which proceedings must be issued to claim damages for injury caused by Clinical Negligence
  • Litigation - A legal proceeding in a court
  • LLP – Abbreviation for limited liability partnership
  • Local Search - Enquiry made of the local authority about the property to be purchased but of a limited nature and addressing only certain matters

  • Maintenance Charge - An amount payable by a leaseholder to landlord, managing agents or Management Company being the leaseholder’s contribution towards costs incurred in maintaining and repairing the structure of a building and its insurance
  • Maternity & Paternity - Laws and regulations protecting new parents in the workplace
  • MIB - Abbreviation for the Motor Insurance Bureau. A body set up by the insurance industry by agreement with the Department of Transport. It provides cover and compensation if someone has been injured or killed in a motor accident and the wrongdoer is either uninsured or cannot be identified
  • Mitigation - The action of lessening in severity or intensity i.e. “due to the mitigating circumstances of the defendant’s health the fine was reduced”
  • Mortgage Offer - Formal and written offer from alender issued after their valuation has been carried out and income references and credit checks have proven satisfactory. Issued subject to conditions the offer refers to the gross advance i.e. the amount you pay interest on and the net advance i.e. the amount you can put towards paying for the property. Money is lent on many terms. You can have fixed rate, capped rate, discounted rate or variable rate mortgages on a straight repayment basis or endowment PEP or pension basis
  • Musculoskeletal - Repetitive Stress Injury is a syndrome that affects bones, muscles, tendons, nerves and other anatomical features

  • NIP - Abbreviation for Notice of Intended Prosecution, documentation detailing the alleged offence and pending prosecution

  • Ombudsman - The ombudsman is an independent complaint service
  • Oncology – The study and treatment of tumours
  • Orthopaedics - The branch of medicine concerned with diseases, injuries, and conditions of the musculoskeletal system

  • PAYE – Abbreviation for pay as you earn, a method of tax deduction
  • Planning Permission - Evidence of local authorities’ approval/consent to works undertaken to a property
  • Point System - A system of penalising drivers of motor vehicles for traffic violations by assigning points for each type of violation and revoking the driver's licence if a certain number of points are accrued
  • PEA – Abbreviation for pre-existing arrangement
  • PLC – Abbreviation for public limited company
  • Probate – The official proving of a will
  • Proceedings - The beginning of a court action
  • Property Information Form - Form that the seller completes giving answers to questions raised on the buyer’s behalf
  • Public Liability - Part of the law of tort which focuses on civil wrongs. An applicant (the injured party) usually sues the respondent

  • Redemption Figure - The amount a borrower owes a lender to repay a loan
  • Redundancy - The dismissal of an employee for lack of available work
  • Remortgage - Where you take out a new mortgage redeeming/repaying any existing mortgage
  • Respiratory Disease - Conditions that affect the respiratory system i.e. asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Farmer’s Lung etc
  • Retention - Money withheld by a lender until certain works have been undertaken and in some instances reinvested
  • RTA - Abbreviation for Road Traffic Accident

  • SAP – Abbreviation for Statutory Adoption Pay, payment that an employer may have to pay an employee by law if they are on adoption leave
  • Seller - Also known as the Vendor, the one selling the property
  • SMP – Abbreviation for Statutory Maternity Pay
  • SPP – Abbreviation for Statutory Paternity Pay
  • Special Reasons – Reasons put forward to a court to explain why the offence occurred. Special reasons do not excuse the offence but they may reduce the sentence or penalty
  • SSP – Abbreviation for Statutory Sick Pay
  • Stamp Duty - Tax payable to the Inland Revenue on a purchase price in excess of £125,000
  • Standard of Care - Degree of care an ordinary, reasonable, and prudent person would exercise in given circumstances
  • Survey - A surveyor can undertake a basic valuation, usually on behalf of a lender, or a home buyers report undertaken on your behalf and on which you can place reliance

  • Title - Investigated to ensure entitlement to sell or mortgage
  • Transfer Deed - Land Registry deed transferring ownership of land
  • Transfer of Equity - Transferring a property from joint to sole names or adding a new property owner to the deeds. Usually done at the same time as a remortgage
  • Trust - A Trust is a legal device which separates ownership of an asset from the right to use the asset or to receive its income
  • TUPE - Abbreviation for Transfer of Undertakings. The TUPE Regulations give employees certain rights when the identity of their employer changes due to the transfer of an undertaking i.e. if their employer is taken over by a new company/owner

  • Unfair Dismissal - When an employer terminates an employee’s contract unfairly or unlawfully
  • Urology - A surgical specialty which deals with diseases of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs

  • Vibration White Finger - A disorder affecting the blood supply to the fingers caused by prolonged use of vibrating hand tools
  • WEF – Abbreviation for with effect from
  • Whiplash - An injury to the muscles, ligaments, vertebrae or nerves of the neck caused when the head is suddenly thrown forward and then sharply back
  • Will - A legal document declaring a person’s wishes regarding the disposal of their property when they die