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Glossary of Terms


  • Alternative Verdict - A request made to the Court asking for the jury to be directed to a lesser offence i.e. Careless Driving rather than Dangerous Driving
  • Asbestosis - A condition that causes scarring of the lungs caused by inhaling asbestos fibres. Other asbestos related illnesses are Mesothelioma and Bilateral Diffuse Pleural Thickening & Pleural Plaques


  • Bankruptcy Search - Search made on behalf of a lender to ensure that a prospective borrower is not or has not in the past been made bankrupt or has writs or orders made against him.
  • Beneficiary - A person who inherits or gains from the Will. Beneficiaries cannot be witnesses of the Will but can be Executors
  • Beneficiary - A person who inherits or gains from the Will. Beneficiaries cannot be witnesses of the Will but can be Executors
  • Breach - An act or instance of breaking a law or regulation
  • Breath Test - A chemical test of a driver's breath to determine the amount of alcohol consumed
  • Buildings Insurance - You should cover your property for the sum recommended by your surveyor/valuer. Cover usually to commence on exchange of contracts.
  • 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 i.e. reading a newspaper or map, lighting a cigarette
  • Chain - A series of related transactions, all reliant upon each other. Any chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
  • Clostridium Difficile - Bacteria naturally present in the large intestine that make a substance that can cause a serious infection, associated with hospital-acquired infections
  • Commercial - Something related to buying or selling things
  • Completion Date - The day on which the deals are concluded and monies change hands and when everyone can move.
  • 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 because of their employer’s behaviour
  • Consultant - One who advises another, especially officially or professionally
  • Consultation - One who advises another, officially or professionally
  • Contract - A contract is an exchange of promises between two or more parties to do, or refrain from doing, an act, which resulting contract is enforceable in a court of law. It is a binding legal agreement.
  • Contract - An agreement between two or more parties, especially one that is written and enforceable by law
  • Contract - The document you will be asked to sign to reflect the terms of your transaction which when exchanged will be legally
  • 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
  • Coroners 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 institution against who an action is brought in a court of law; the person being sued or accused
  • Deposit - A buyer is asked to pay a deposit on exchange of contracts to secure the property for you and is therefore the initial amount they will lose if they fail to comply with the terms of their 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 - To put forward reasons for or against something
  • Disqualification Period - The period of time an offender is banned from driving a vehicle
  • Drink Driving - The offence of driving after knowingly consuming over the legal limit of alcohol


  • Environmental Report - The owner of land can be held responsible for eradicating contamination from the soil however or whenever caused; a potentially expensive process. A report such as this can give an indication as to the likelihood of problems arising
  • Equity - The value of ones interests in the property usually calculated by deducting from the value of the property the debts secured against the 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 i.e. commits themselves to the deal under a legally binding agreement. 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 a material advantage or to injure the interest of others.
  • Freehold - Absolute ownership of property, perhaps subject to condition


  • 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 - Regulations and procedures for employees to raise formal complaints
  • Ground Rent - An amount paid by a leaseholder to a landlord.- this is detailed in the lease
  • Gynecology and Obstetrics - branch of medicine of the female reproductive system, treatment of women during pregnancy, labor, childbirth and the time after childbirth


  • Harassment - Behaviours that are found threatening or disturbing and beyond those sanctioned by society
  • 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 - An impairment of health, abnormal functioning or disability resulting from employment. Sometimes referred to as “Occupation 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 - Property can be acquired either a beneficial joint tenants or tenants in common and advice as to the most appropriate for your set of circumstances can be given


  • Land Registry - A Government department that is responsible for registering ownership of land
  • Legacies - Gifts of personal property or money to a beneficiary (legatee) 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: a judicial contest to determine and enforce legal rights.
  • 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 efendant’s health the fine was reduced”
  • Mortgage Offer - Formal offer from your lender 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 hich is documentation detailing the alleged offence and pending prosecution


  • Ombudsman - The ombudsman is an independent complaint service.
  • Oncology - A medical speciality focusing on the treatment of cancer
  • Orthopaedics - The branch of medicine concerned with diseases, injuries, and conditions of the musculoskeletal system


  • 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
  • Probate - The act of proving that a document claiming to be a Will was signed and executed within the legal requirements
  • 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


  • Searches - Numerous searches are made by us in the purchasing process which can include local searches, coal mining searches, environmental searches, commons registration searches, bankruptcy searches and many more. Those considered appropriate are made
  • Seller - Also known as the Vendor, the one selling the property
  • Special Reasons - “Special Reasons” are put forward to explain to the Court why the offence took place. They don’t excuse the offender but may reduce the penalty associated with the offence
  • 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
  • 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 and is the most commonly prescribed disease under the Industrial Injuries Disability Benefit Scheme


  • 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
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