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JR Jones Solicitors Birmingham
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Conveyancing Jargon Buster / Disbursements Explained

During any property transaction, words or phrases will come up which are technical terms that solicitors use to describe various aspects of the transaction.

At J R Jones we will always aim to minimise the use of jargon with our clients and explain matters in plain English, however, when it is unavoidable we are always happy to explain these terms to you.

To help our clients we have put together a list of common terms and their meanings.

What are Disbursements?

The phrase ‘Disbursements’ simply means expenses which are incurred during the conveyancing process, for example searches (more information below).

Common Searches

Water and Drainage search

A Water & Drainage search checks with the local water authority which serves the area and provides confirmation of whether the property is connected to a public or private water supply and sewer system. It will also show how charges for water and drainage are calculated for the property (water meter or rateable value).

Environmental search

Some property is built on land that has previously conveyancing quotebeen contaminated, possibly by landfill or by previous industrial use of the land.

English law does not currently require local authorities to keep a register of contaminated land. An environmental search checks whether the land on which the property is built has been contaminated. It also shows whether the land is at known risk of subsidence, flooding or toxic emissions.

Mining searches

Mining of various types has been carried out widely in the UK for many years, such as coal mining, chalk mining and tin mining.

If the property you are buying is in an area where mining has taken place your solicitor carry out a search to ensure that the property will not be adversely affected by the mining activities, for example subsidence.

Local Authority search

This is a search of the local authority’s registers concerning the property you are buying. It provides information such as whether the road serving the property is maintained by the council, whether any planning applications have been made on the property and various other things which may affect your decision to buy the property.

Chancel Repair Check

A Chancel search is a low cost search that will check to see if the property you are buying has any historic Chancel repair liability.

In the past when the Church sold off land they sometimes required the new owner of the land to be liable to pay towards the upkeep of the church or its lands. In limited instances some properties are still subject to this liability.

There was a recent case where one unsuspecting couple were forced to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds to the church because their property was subject to this liability. A Chancel repair search will ensure that this cannot happen to you.

Other phrases commonly used in conveyancing

Land Registry fees

H M Land Registry is the organisation which keeps a register of who owns land and property in England and Wales.

When you buy a property, take out a new mortgage or transfer a share in a property the transaction must be registered at the Land Registry.

The Land Registry charge a fee for registering the transfer and the charge depends upon the price of the property.

Stamp Duty (Stamp Duty Land Tax)

When you buy any property (over a certain value) you will be liable to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on the value of the property. This is more commonly referred to as Stamp Duty.

Stamp Duty is a government tax levied when a property is sold or transferred. SDLT is always payable by the buyer of the property.contact us

Properties under a certain value are exempt from SDLT.

In his 2014 autumn statement, George Osborne introduced a new graduated tariff where the amount payable increases progressively with the purchase price of the property.

For the current SDLT rates please contact one of our conveyancing staff.

Telegraphic Transfer Fees

If you are buying a property your solicitor will have to send the purchase money to your seller's solicitor by telegraphic transfer.

This is a very fast and secure method of transferring money electronically on the day of a property transaction. Banks make a charge for this and the solicitor passes that charge on to you.

Official Copy Entries

When you sell or re-mortgage a property your solicitor will apply to the Land Registry for an official copy of the deeds relating to your property. These show things such as mortgages registered on the property.