Glossary

Arrears

These are the sum total of late or overdue payments for ground rent, maintenance charges or any other regular payment.

Arrears fee

This is a fee charged to cover additional administrative costs.

Breach

The failure to comply with a specific clause or clauses contained within a lease. Where a serious breach occurs, the freeholder may be entitled to terminate the lease and take possession of the property.

Buildings Insurance

Buildings insurance is designed to give you financial protection for the basic structure of your home such as the walls roof and foundations. This usually includes any external parts of the property such as your shed garage conservatory or greenhouse.

Certificate of Compliance

A document required by Land Registry to confirm that specific covenants of the lease have been complied with. Where there is a restriction on the Leasehold Title, this is required to be issued before the purchaser of the property can be registered by Land Registry as the Owner.

Common Parts

The parts of the building used by all residents, such as the front entrance and lobby, common staircase and common hallways.

Consent

Under the terms of your Lease it is likely that consent from the Landlord is required before carrying out any alterations or additions to the property. You may also require consent to keep a pet or to sublet.

Contracts

The legal documents under which you and the person selling the property agree to buy and sell the property.

Covenant

A legally-binding promise, as referred to in leases.

Deed of Covenant

A document by which the purchaser agrees with the Landlord to abide by the terms of the lease.

Deeds

These are the documents which contain all the information about a property such as the owner and the rules affecting the property. These are often held by the mortgage lender to ensure they can take possession of the property should you default on the repayments.

Freehold

This means that you own the property outright as opposed to leasehold where you own the rights to occupy a property for a specified period of time. This is the highest level (or absolute) ownership of property and land.

Freeholder

Owner of the land, external structure and common areas of the block or development. Commonly referred to as the Landlord or Lessor.

Ground Rent

This applies only to leasehold properties and is a sum paid annually to the freeholder by the leaseholder. Need not be an annual payment. It can be quarterly, half-yearly, etc.

Head Lease

There may be more than one leasehold interest on a property. The freehold is the ultimate interest followed by the head lease then one or more under leases.

Land Registry

This is a government department which registers all the details of any land transactions and issues to do with ownership of property in England and Wales. Transfer of ownership has to be registered with the Land Registry.

Landlord

Either the person who owns a property which you are renting and to whom you pay rent or the freeholder of a property for which there is a leasehold tenure.

Lease

The lease is a contractual document that contains the rights and the covenants (rules) on behalf of both the landlord and the tenant which regulate the use of the property.

Lease Extension

A residential lease is granted for a specific term. At the expiration of this term, the property reverts to the landlord. Once a lease has been granted the term immediately begins to get shorter. If you wish to sell a leasehold property, you may need to extend the lease in order to maintain its value.

Leasehold

When you buy a leasehold property essentially you are buying nothing more than the right to occupy a building for a given length of time. You will usually have to pay ground rent and maintenance in addition to a one-off payment that buys ownership of the lease until sold or it runs out. The amount of alterations you can make to the property varies accordance with the lease and you may well have other conditions imposed upon you by the landlord.

Leaseholder

Owner of a flat or house in the block or development. They will hold the property under a lease agreement which allows them to occupy the property for a fixed period of time, as set out in the individual lease.

Lease Term

The length of time for which a lease is granted (often 99 or 125 years) starting on its Commencement Date and ending on its Termination Date. The Commencement Date of a Lease is not usually the same as the date on which the lease was originally signed.

Lessee

The person to whom a lease is granted referred to as the tenant or leaseholder.

Lessor

The person who grants a lease referred to as the landlord or freeholder.

Licence to Assign

A document by which the Landlord gives permission for the Leaseholder to sell the property.

Managing Agent

Acts for the Freeholder or Management Company

Mortgagee

An institution such as a bank or building society which lends money to a Mortgagor, the loan being secured on the property.

Mortgagor

The mortgagor is another term for the owner of the property interest who borrows money secured against the property.

Notice

A formal document served in relation to an action or proposed action by the freeholder or leaseholder. For example; a notice is served on the freeholder to inform them of a change of leaseholder and/or lender

Notice of Assignment / Transfer

A document ordinarily served to the Landlord by the purchaser's solicitors to inform that the property has sold to their client. This document is required under the terms of the lease, and registration fee is usually payable.

Notice of Charge / Mortgage

A document ordinarily served to the Landlord by the Leaseholders solicitors to inform that a mortgage has been taken out on the property. This document is required under the terms of the lease, and a registration fee is usually payable.

Service charge

Payments by owners of flats to the Landlord / Managing Agent relative to the services provided to the Block, which would or may include items relative to insurance, maintenance & repairs, lighting and cleaning of the common parts and could also include such matters as communal central heating, porterage and lifts.

Solicitor

Legal professional who is instructed to act on behalf of the buyer in the purchase of a home. They check the legal position of the house carry out a local authority search land registry searches and oversee the smooth exchange of contracts between concerned parties.

Solicitor’s fee

Your solicitor will usually charge you a basic fee to cover taking your instructions, advising you throughout the course of the sale, acting and investigating on your behalf, explaining the contract for purchase and completing the matter on your behalf. Though this is rarely charged as a percentage of the property value it can be stepped so that buyers of more expensive properties pay a higher fee.

Solicitor’s Letter Fee

This is charged when your account falls in arrears and the lenders instruct solicitors to act on their behalf.

Tenant

A person who has a legal right to occupy a property they do not own by signing a contract with the landlord to whom rent is paid, also referred to as a Lessee.

Tenant Reference

E&J Estates use a Tenant Reference  to find your account within our internal systems. The Tenant Reference can be found on all correspondence sent to you.

Title

The right to ownership of a property.

Title deeds

These are the legal documents which prove the ownership of the property and set out details of anything affecting the property such as rights of way and boundaries.

Title searches

Undertaken by a solicitor or conveyancer to ensure that there are no unusual circumstances governing the ownership or use of a property.

Transfer deed

A document that, once you sign it, actually transfers the ownership of the property to you.

Under Lease

There may be more than one leasehold interest on a property. The freehold is the ultimate interest followed by the head lease then one or more under leases.

Unit

A flat, house or maisonette.

Unpaid ground rent charge

If you are a leaseholder and the freeholder notifies the lender that you have not paid your ground rent or service charge the lender may penalise you.

Valuation

This is the estimated price that your property is worth.

Vendor

The person who is selling the property.