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Affidavit

A written statement of evidence sworn on oath or by affirmation to be a true and accurate collection of verbal or written statement taken by someone who has authority to administer it.

 

Assignment

To transfer property to another by assignment in relation to reversion or Lease which must be absolute in writing.

 

Auction

Public sale of property by an auctioneer to the highest bidder.

 

Bridging loan

Generally a short term advice made by a bank to a customer pending the receipt by the customer of funds from some other source.

 

Chain

A series of related property transactions which are all dependent upon each other.

 

Charge

An encumbrance on land which secures payment of money e.g. a mortgage, loan, legal or private charge etc.

 

Completion

The day when the purchaser becomes the legal owner of the property when the seller has agreed to a fixed date to move.

 

Contract

A legally binding agreement or a set of promises which the law will enforce.

 

Conveyance

A transfer of ownership of property by an instrument effecting the transfer conducted by a seller and buyer.

 

Conveyancer

Somebody who prepares transfers, conveyances, contracts and other documentation in connection with sale or purchase f a property.

 

Covenants

A promise usually contained in a deed to do or not to do something at a property.

 

Deposit

A sum of money paid by a buyer to the seller on exchange of contracts. 10% is the standard total amount of the total purchase price but can be varied by agreement between parties.

 

Disbursements

Fees paid to third parties during the course of a transaction e.g. search fees, copies of documents, application fees to Land Registry, office copy entries etc.

 

Drainage Search

A search of the local water authority to check the routes of pipes, sewers, drains and other associated items affecting the water flow to and from a property.

 

Environmental Search

Search of the environmental issues affecting the property to determine whether contaminated land affects the property in any way possible.

 

Exchange of Contracts

The point at which the sale or purchase becomes legally binding when two parties are bound into a contract to complete on a particular date.

 

Fixtures and Fittings

The items at the property indicated by the seller to be left and included in the sale as well as those which are not included in the sale.

 

Freehold

One of the two tenures recognised by English Law as an estate in land with an unlimited duration of occupancy.

 

Freeholder

Owner of freehold land with an unlimited duration of occupancy.

 

Gazumping

When a higher offer is made by another buyer after an acceptance of an offer from one buyer that the seller has already accepted.

 

Gazundering

When a buyer agrees a price for a property but then makes a lower offer just before exchange of contracts.

 

Land Registry

The official organisation responsible for recording ownership of land in the UK and where all properties are registered.

 

Leasehold

The second of the tenures recognised by English Law which is an estate in land with a limited duration of occupancy.

 

Local Search

A search of the property and the surrounding area in relation to various issues that could affect the property including planning, roads, and other factors information of which is provided by the local authority.

 

Mortgage

The disposition of an estate or interest in land or property to secure the payment of a debt or discharge of some other obligation.

 

Mortgage Deed

The legal document evidencing the mortgage lender as owner of a charge on the property.

 

Mortgage Term

The number of years over which the mortgage is to be paid and provides a maximum period of time.

 

Negative Equity

When the amount of the mortgage owed to a mortgage lender is more than the value of the property.

 

Redemption

Repayment of the mortgage property on payment of the debt.

 

Registered Land

Land and title which is registered under the Land Registration Act.

 

Remortgaging

Repaying one mortgage lender by obtaining a mortgage from another mortgage lender.

 

Report on Title

Sending a request to a mortgage lender to request monies to complete the purchase of the property upon completion of the matter.

 

Repossession

When a home owner cannot afford to pay a mortgage back to the lender and the mortgage lender exercises their right to take possession of the property due to the breach of contract terms and conditions by the mortgagee.

 

Stamp Duty

Tax on the purchase or a property proportionate to the value of the property payable to HM Revenue & Customs for fixed amount.

 

Title

An official right to land or goods as evidence of such rights in physical form.

 

Title Deeds

Documents constituting the evidence of legal ownership of property or land.

 

Transfer

The conveyance of a title or other interest in the property from one person to another by sale or gift.

 

Structural Survey

Carried out by a surveyor to determine the value and condition of the property to assist a buyer or seller.

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Ancillary Relief

A monetary payment to a party in a marriage or a term used to describe the Court process that deals with financial issues of a divorce.

 

Annulment

To end an invalid marriage.

 

Advocate

The lawyer who speaks in Court for a client, who may be a Barrister or Solicitor.

 

Adultery

Sexual intercourse with an individual of the opposite sex other than your spouse.

 

Bigamy

Offence committed by a married person but still go through a marriage ceremony with somebody else.

 

Custody

Also referred to as 'residence' where a parent is seeks order for children to live with them.

 

County Court

A Court that deals with civil cases such as family law matters.

 

Decree Nisi

A provisional Court Order ordering a marriage to be dissolved but is only part of the Court process in a divorce matter taking place in open Court and which the public can attend.

 

Decree Absolute

The final Court Order which ends the marriage and places provisions to state what should happen between the Claimant and the Defendant.

 

Divorce Petition

An application for the end of a marriage in legal terms.

 

Divorce

The legal end of a marriage.

 

Family Division

Part of the High Court dealing with the breakdown of civil partnerships and marriages.

 

Injunction

Order of the Court preventing someone from taking a specific step, e.g. preventing a person attending a particular place.

 

Maintenance

A financial amount of money paid to support a spouse and children when marriage has ended, also known as 'periodical payments'.

 

Matrimonial Home

The place in which a couple have resided in together.

 

Nullity

Where a marriage may be rendered void because parties are within prohibited degrees of relationship, e.g. either party under 16 or lawfully married or incapacitated etc.

 

Pre Nuptial Agreement

Agreement entered into by a couple prior to marriage intending to determine financial issues if they should divorce. Courts attach a great deal of weight to such agreements if properly drawn up.

 

Post Nuptial Agreement

Entered into between a couple after a marriage, as opposed to before hand.

 

Petitioner

The person putting a written application for relief or remedy through the Court against the Respondent.

 

Respondent

The person an action is being taken against.

 

Spouse

Husband or wife.

 

Separation

A married couple living apart for a continuous period of at least two years or with the intention of doing so.

 

Trial

A formal investigation and determination of natters in issue before parties before a Court.

 

Undertaking

A promise to do something by one party to another which can be enforced by law during legal proceedings. Without Prejudice

A document that cannot be used as evidence that a contract or agreement exists if written on a document.

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Affidavit

A written statement of facts voluntarily made by an Applicant under an oath or affirmation administered by a litigator.

 

Amendments

A change in the pleadings (statements of allegations of the parties) achieved if parties agree to amendments in Court if confirmed by both parties.

 

Arbitration

Settling of a dispute by an arbitrator as an independent person which can be enforceable.

 

Burden of Proof

The obligation of proving facts relying on the party asserting the issue of making the claim.

 

Claim

A document forming part of a statement of case by one party to another.

 

Claimant

This is the name given to a party making a claim in the Court, previously referred to as 'plaintiff'.

 

Claim Form

The name given to a summons or writ. Used to commence proceedings in the Court irrespective of the nature of the claim.

 

Counterclaim

Documents filed in response to a claim setting out the opposition or objection against allegations which are disputed.

 

CPR - Civil Procedure Rules

The rules of Civil Procedure used by the Courts in England and Wales designed to improve access to justice by making proceedings cheaper, quicker and easier to understand.

 

Damages

Sum of money awarded by Court as compensation to a Claimant.

 

Deponent

Name given to a person who makes an Affidavit under oath.

 

Disclosure

Making available relevant documents believed to be in the possession of another party in proceedings, in the form of a request.

 

Precedent

A previous decision or proceeding that may be relied upon.

 

Preliminary Hearing

A hearing appointed to decide a point of procedure, organised by solicitors with the Court.

 

Privilege

This is the right of a party to refuse to disclose a document or refuse to answer questions on the grounds of a special interest recognised by law.

 

Subpoena

An Affidavit or Writ or document which requires a person to do or to refrain from doing something.

 

Witness Statement

A signed written statement equivalent to the verbal statement that would be given as oral evidence in a hearing made by a witness.

 

Writ

See Affidavit or Claim Form.

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Advocacy

The case stated by the advocate on the Claimant's behalf and the defence provided by the Solicitor on the Defendant's behalf.

 

Asbestos

A mineral mined and crushed into fibrous material commonly generalised in three terms: blue asbestos, white asbestos and brown asbestos. It is a dangerous material that can cause different disabling lung diseases including mesothelioma. There is no safe level of exposure.

 

Article 75

A ground for an insurer following an accident to confirm that the policy has been insured on the basis of a material non disclosure or by misrepresentation of the policy holder.

 

Breach of Statutory Duty

Failure to comply with a legal responsibility or a duty in an act or regulation passed by Parliament as part of law of the land.

 

Common Law

The common sense of laws of the land which are general and custom sometimes declared in decisions in the Courts of Justice preserved for public record.

 

Contributory Negligence

Where another party is principally responsible for an injury but where a victim is also partly responsible for causing an accident through their own actions. Damages may be awarded to the victim but on a deducted basis.

 

Costs

Solicitors and Barristers fees, expenses like Court and medical report fees, VAT and other costs to prove a legal case.

 

Conditional Fee Arrangement

Written agreement or contract between Solicitor and client in a 'no win no fee situation'.

 

Damages

Financial compensation for injury and loss.

 

Duty of Care

Where reasonable steps should be taken to avoid acts which you can reasonably foresee would injure a party.

 

General Damages

To compensate for pain or suffering, disability or reduction in quality of life, money is paid and referred to as general damages.

 

Interim Payments

Payments that can be made on account of damages but paid an ongoing expense such as loss of earnings, medical treatment or housing costs.

 

Loss of Earnings

If an injury or disease directly results of loss of wages or salary, recovery can be made against the wrong doer in account for damages.

 

Negligence

The fault or wrong doing where a duty of care is owed to another person to not cause an accident or disease.

 

Special Damages

Money paid to cover out of pocket expenses such as loss of earnings, damage to car, clothing etc.

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Administrator

Person responsible for dealing with the Estate of a person who has died leaving no Will or where Executors appointed in a Will or Codicil is unable or unwilling to act.

 

Asset

Property, belongings or money owned by the deceased

 

Assets passing by Survivorship

If assets are held in joint names, they will pass automatically to the survivor, rather than through the Will, and excluded from the value of assets for probate purposes, e.g. a property owned as joint tenants will automatically pass to the surviving owner.

 

Beneficiary or Beneficiaries

A person who is a recipient of money or assets as determined in a person's Will.

 

Bequest

A gift left by your Will.

 

Codicil

An addition or change to your existing Will.

 

Bare Trust

A Trust requiring the Trustee to act as a repository of the Trust property with no active duties to perform.

 

Caveat

A warning in the form of an entry in the Probate Registry intended to prevent some action being taken without notice being given to the person issuing the warning.

 

Court of Protection

The Court that administers the property and assets of persons with mental health issues.

 

Deed of Variation

A legal document that allows the beneficiaries to change the terms of a Will after the person's death but within two years of their death.

 

Executor

Person appointed in the Will to administer the Estate of a person who has passed away.

 

Executors Oath

A written statement sworn by Executors or Administrators of an Estate which accompanies an application for a Grant of Probate.

 

Estate Administration

The process through which a person's assets are distributed according to the deceased wishes in their Will or by the Rules of Intestacy.

 

Grant of Probate

Official document that authorises a named Executor/s in the Will to act on behalf of the deceased and administer the Will accordingly.

 

Intestate

A person who has died and not left a legally valid binding Will.

 

Inheritance Tax

A tax payable to HM Revenue & Customs if applicable according to the amount of assets in the Estate.

 

Legacy

An amount of money or property left to someone in a Will.

 

Letters of Administration

A document given by the Registrar to appoint people to handle a person's Estate where there are no Executors appointed or no Will.

 

Personal Representative

A term used for a person appointed to administer the Estate of a person who has died whether a Will was made or not.

 

Lasting Power of Attorney

A document that authorises somebody to act on somebody's behalf to look after their property and financial affairs and health and welfare in certain circumstances.

 

Office of the Public Guardian

The Court that looks after peoples affairs if they authorise somebody to look after their matters on their behalf.

 

Probate

A term used in England and Wales for applying for the right to deal with a deceased person's Estate. Referred as administering the Estate, probate is the official term for dealing with the deceased person's Estate but depends on whether or not a deceased left a Will.

 

Trust

An agreement whereby a person (a Trustee) holds property or assets as its nominal owner for the good of one or more beneficiaries.

 

Will

A legal declaration by which a person (the Testator) names one or more persons to manage his or her Estate and provides for the distribution of their property at death.

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