Mortgage Solicitor Glossary

Bank telegraphic transfer

Instead of paying for property using cash or cheques money is usually transferred between solicitors electronically which both debits one solicitors client account and credits the other solicitors client account instantaneously. The bank charges a fee for the transfer of money electronically between bank accounts.

Charge on property

This refers to money that is secured on the property usually by way of a mortgage deed which means that when the property is old it is transferred subject to the mortgage continuing to be effective against the new owner or the seller pays of the mortgage to sell the property unencumbered.


This is the binding legal agreement by seller and buyer to transfer the property referred to in the term ‘exchange of contracts’. The contract sets out the agreement including a full description of the property and land, the price and the full particulars of the parties. The contract also incorporates the buyer’s information pack which refers to fixtures and fitting and other important matters.

Deed of Assignment of a Life Policy

This occurs when one person’s interest under an endowment insurance policy is transferred to the other policyholder often following transfer of equity as a result of dissolution of marriage or cessation of co-habitation.

Deed of Guarantee

This is used when a lender has reservations about the ability of a borrower to repay mortgage instalments and requires another, usually more financially secure person, to guarantee the loan.

Deed of Postponement

This deed may be used to postpone the rights of one party to those of another, usually in relation to the order of priority of repayment of outstanding mortgages on land or property.

Deed of Grant

In conveyancing terms this deed gives the beneficiary of the deed certain rights that are outlined in the deed which most often grants a right of way.


This term refers to the transfer of the legal title to land and property from one person’s name to another person’s name. Conveyancing is what a solicitor does to transfer ownership of land or property. Our specialist solicitors will give a low cost conveyancing quote for all UK business.

Deed of Variation

This type of document changes the terms of another document that affects the title of land, usually relating to leasehold properties.

Deed of Rectification

This document is used to correct errors in other documents relating to land.

Deed of Trust

Outlines each title holders share of jointly held property.


On exchange of contracts it is usual for a 10% deposit to be paid which is non refundable if the prospective buyer breaches contract and refuses to complete the sale. It is not unusual to exchange contracts with a nil deposit.

Exchange of contracts

Prior to there being a binding agreement both parties sign an identical copy of the contract for sale. It is not until the solicitor’s exchange the contracts with each other that the contracts become binding. Exchange is actually carried out informally on the telephone by the parties solicitors followed up by a formal exchange by post. Our solicitors are highly computerised and use the latest case management systems to take files up to exchange of contract and onward to completion not only to ensure the cheapest conveyancing but also to remove any possibility of error.

Fixtures and Fittings

The seller is required to complete a detailed form about fixtures and fitting prior to exchange of contract which subsequently becomes incorporated into the contract. It is the client who must complete this form thereby helping to ensure that we are able to offer the cheapest conveyancing possible. This is to ensure that there are no disputes as to what is and what is not included in the sale. Fixtures are generally referred to as items that have effectively become part of the fabric of the building and fittings are items that are less securely attached.

Land Registry

This is a central register of all land and property transfers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. All transfers are required to be registered at the Land Registry after completion. Thereafter the Land Registry issues a Land Certificate and sends it to the owner or issues a Charge Certificate if there is a mortgage which is sent to the lender.

Local Authority Search

The local authority will supply answers to questions raised on a standard form which gives information relating to the property including building and planning consents, whether or not the property is in a conservation area and plans for new roads.

Mutual Deed of Covenant for flying Freehold

A flying freehold refers to property that overhands another property and is often found above ground floor access tunnels to back yards or garages etc. This type of deed sets out the neighbours responsibilities to one another.

Power of Attorney

This is a document that allows one person to take decisions or sign agreements on behalf of another person. It is sometimes limited in its authority and is most often used in conveyancing transactions when a buyer or seller is resident in a foreign country.

Property Information Pack

This is a selection of questionnaires that must be completed by the seller of property prior to exchange of contracts which upon exchange becomes incorporated into the contract. There is a separate form for information about fixtures, fittings and contents and forms for requests for other information including guarantees, warranties, alterations, consents, boundaries and disputes. Whilst these forms are the responsibility of the client if you would like anything about this aspect of conveyancing explained you should consult your solicitor as errors made on these forms can result in legal action for damages after completion.

Purchase of the freehold reversion for a leasehold property

This occurs where the leasehold and freehold are previously separately owned and they subsequently come into the ownership of just one person which enables both titles to be merged into one.

Redemption of mortgage

This is the process of paying off what is outstanding and owed to the lender who has the benefit of a mortgage to secure his loan. Almost without exception outstanding mortgages have to be paid off at completion to allow the buyer to receive unencumbered property.

Stamp Duty

This is a government tax on the purchase of property which goes into the chancellors coffers. It is calculated as a percentage of the property value once the value exceeds the threshold. There are some specially designated areas of the country where stamp duty is not chargeable until a higher threshold is reached.

Statutory Declaration for Title rectification

This is a document used to rectify problems with a property’s title and is often used to claim the existence of rights established by the passage of time including rights of way and occupation of land.

Title Deeds

The title deeds are documents which prove current ownership and establish a chain of previous ownership and set out rights and obligations of the owner. These documents have now largely been replaced by electronic registration at the Land Registry. If you would like this aspect of conveyancing explained in detail you should consult the Land Registry website.


This is the document which transfers ownership of land or property from the seller to the buyer. This document is forwarded to the Land Registry to record the new owner’s details on their records.

Transfer of Equity & Deed of Gift

Equity is the difference between the amount of the outstanding mortgage and the value of the property. A transfer of equity occurs when one or more joint owners of land or property wish to transfer any interest that they may have in the land or property to another co-owner of that property. If there is money involved its called a transfer of equity if there is no money involved its called a deed of gift.