Estate Agent Jargon Buster - L to R


Land Certificate
A Land Registry certificate proving ownership of property.

Land Registry
The Government organisation that holds records of all registered properties in England and Wales.

Land registration
The process of registering the legal title of an area of land with the Land Registry, typically handled by a solicitor.

Land registry fee
The fee payable for the above.

A person who owns a property and allows a tenant to live there in exchange for monthly rent.

A legal document by which the Freehold (or Leasehold) owner of a property lets the premises or a part of it to another party for a specified length of time, after the expiry of which, ownership may revert to the Freeholder or superior Leaseholder.

A type of ownership in which a person owns a property, but not the land on which it is built. The owner of the Freehold will grant a lease on the property for a specified length of time.

Lease Schedule
A section of a commercial lease that pertains to a specific area, such as clauses and break dates and repair terms.

Legal charge
A mortgage on the property.

The party, typically a bank, building society or mortgage company, offering the loan.

Lender's arrangement fees
Charge passed on to the buyer by the lender for arranging a loan.

Letting Agent
An agent who assists the landlord and tenant with the let. Service levels will vary and will be agreed between the landlord and the letting agent.

Level term assurance
A policy that pays a fixed lump sum upon death during the policy term.

Listed building A building officially listed as being of special architectural or historic interest, which cannot be demolished or altered without prior local government approval.

Loan to value (LTV)
The proportion of the value of the property on which the lender is prepared to loan.

Local authority search
Procedure whereby a buyer's solicitor checks with the local council regarding any outstanding enforcement or future development issues that might affect the property or immediate area.


Maintenance charge (or service charge)
The cost of repairing and maintaining external or internal communal parts of a building charged to the tenant or leaseholder.

A self-contained apartment (usually on two floors) in a larger house with its own entrance from the outside.

Managing agent
A letting agent who manages the day to day running of the property on behalf of the landlord. The landlord remains legally responsible for the property and repairs but the agent works on the landlord’s behalf.

An amount of money advanced by a lender such as a bank or building society on the security of a property and repayable over a long period of time.

Mortgage Administration/Application fee
This is a charge levied by the lender to cover the costs of processing a mortgage application. If an application is not completed, the fee may not be refunded.

Mortgage Arrangement fees
Fees charged to arrange a loan on certain products. Usually applied to loans where a special interest rate applies e.g. fixed or capped rates.

Mortgage broker
Someone who advises buyers on the types of loans available and helps to process any subsequent application.

Mortgage deed
The legal document that confers ownership or title to a property.

Mortgage Payment Protection (MPP)
This is an insurance designed to pay your monthly mortgage for a limited period, usually a year if you are unable to work through illness, disability or redundancy.

Mortgage rate
The standard variable interest rate quoted by all mortgage lenders which normally varies in line with the Bank of England base rate. All discounted rates are based on this mortgage rate.

Mortgage term
The period of time over which a mortgage loan must be repaid.

Mortgage type
This may be a fixed, variable, capped, discount, tracker or another type of mortgage.

The lender of a mortgage (i.e. bank or building society).

The selection of two or more estate agents to act on the seller's behalf, usually incurring a higher fee than if the sale is completed by a sole agency.


NHBC scheme (National House-Building Council)
A type of building guarantee available on some newly built homes under which defects occurring within a specified time after construction are remedied.

Negative Equity
When the value of a property is less than the outstanding sum owed on a mortgage.

Non- Resident Landlord (NRL) scheme
The scheme that sets the rules for how overseas landlords pay tax.

A declaration given by either a landlord or tenant that the tenancy agreement is coming to an end.


A sum of money that the buyer offers to pay for a property, this is not legally binding.

Offer of a loan
A formal document approving the mortgage you have requested and detailing the Terms and Conditions that will apply.

Office copy entry
An official document from the Land Registry confirming ownership of and borrowings against a property.

Offers Over
Offers are invited above the price shown.

Open market value
The price a property should achieve where there is a willing buyer and willing seller.

Independent professional bodies who investigate complaints on behalf of customers against estate agents, solicitors and insurance companies.


A property let with some furnishings, most properties will provide white goods. 

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

Payment break/holiday
An option on flexible mortgages that allows you to stop making mortgage payments for up to six months.

A specified charge that is levied by the lender under certain circumstances, usually for full or part repayment within a specific period linked to a discount, tracker, fixed or other product type.

Peppercorn ground rent
A nominal periodic rent usually paid annually on a leasehold property.

Pied à terre
A property kept for temporary, secondary or occasional occupation.

Planning Classes
A category of determined usage for all premises by a local authority, sub-categorised between A and D

Portable appliance test
A test carried out on electrical appliances. The test is not legally required, although the landlord is responsible for ensuring any appliances provided are safe to use.

When a landlord lets more than one property, this is called a ‘portfolio’.

Preliminary enquiries
The initial enquiries about a property put forward to a seller, which the seller must answer before the exchange of contracts.

The monthly amount payable for an insurance policy.

Premium protection
Covers the cost of policy premiums during periods of unemployment due to illness or injury. Also known as waiver of premium.

The amount of debt outstanding (excluding interest).

Private Treaty
The agreement for the sale of a property at a price negotiated directly between the vendor and purchaser or their agents

Your home or the property you wish to sell or buy.

Public liability insurance
Insurance that covers injury or death to anyone on or around a property.

A person who is buying a property.


Refinancing a property by either switching a mortgage from one lender to another or by taking out a second mortgage to take advantage of any equity gained by a rise in value.

When a mortgage is fully repaid.

A process by which an applicant (ie. the tenant) is credit checked, as well as checks on their income and residence.

A fee (usually monthly) paid in exchange for accommodation.

Rent Collect
A service level offered to landlords. As well as finding you a tenant we’ll also take care of collecting monthly payments on your behalf; this leaves you to organise other tenant matters, the property maintenance and adherence to legislation

Rent Review
An agreed date in a commercial lease whereby the rent can be increased in line with market rent at the time of similar local premises

Repayment mortgage
A mortgage in which monthly charges are used to repay the interest and reduce the outstanding capital.

When the mortgage lender takes possession of a property due to non-payment of the mortgage.

The ability of a lender to hold back (retain) part of a mortgage until certain conditions are met.

Reviewable premium
Premiums are very likely to change over the term of the policy, an insurer may choose to review premiums at set intervals such as every five years.

Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the governing body of Chartered Surveyors