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Legal Terminology

Ad Valorem Stamp used to be impressed on deeds at the Stamp Office when stamp duty was payable. Since the introduction of Stamp Duty Land Tax, HM Revenue & Customs issue receipts. The rate of duty depends on the value of the property
Abstract of Title An abbreviated version of old title deeds - used before photocopiers made copying easy! May be found in old deeds, but no longer prepared.
Assignment A legal document transferring ownership of unregistered leasehold property from one party to another or transferring the benefit of a life policy from one person to another eg the insured to a lender
Attestation Clause A specific clause at the end of a document which shows that the signature of a party to the document has been witnessed by another
Caveat Emptor Let the buyer beware
Charge In property law a charge is a form of security for the payment of a debt, such as a mortgage
Land Certificate A Certificate from the Land Registry containing particulars of registered land. Held by the registered Proprietor when all charges, such as a mortgage, have been paid.
Consideration Usually means money. A valuable consideration is necessary to make a legal, binding contract not under seal.
Counterpart A deed (often a Lease) prepared with two indentical copies - a lease and counterpart. Each copy is signed by one party and then exchanged and kept by the other party.
Deed of Covenant Covenants are often entered into by a separate deed, such a Deed of Covenant for production of deeds (now generally replaced by an acknowledgement).
Demise To lease.
Donee A person who receives a gift from another.
Donor A person who makes a gift to another
Dwellinghouse A building used or capable of being used as a residence by one or more families and provided with all necessary parts and appliances.
Easement A right enjoyed by a person over his neighbour's property, such as a right of way.
Fee Simple An estate which can be inherited by any chosen heir; clear of ny condition, limitation or restriction to particular heirs.
Incumbrance A right over land which held by someone who does not own land, such as a charge, ground rent or a right.
Joint and several liability Where two or more people may be laible, eg, for a joint mortgage. They are liable both individually and jointly together.
Land registry Office where details of all registered land are held.
Lessor A person who grants a lease to another. The other party is called the Lessee.
Messuage A house, including gardens, courtyards, orchards and outbuildings
Mortgagee The person who makes the loan and who holds the deeds as security against the loan.
Dematerialised Under the Land Registry Act of 1925 the Land Registry has the power to retain Charge Certificates for lenders. This is done electronically for all lenders from 2003.
Notice to quit A notice given by a landlord to a tenant that the tenancy is to end.
Quarter Days The dates on which rent is often due unde the terms of a lease: Lady Day - 25 march, Midsummer Day - 24 June, Michaelmas Day - 29 September, Christmas Day - 25 December.
Recitals Clauses at the beginning of a deed and which usually begin with the word WHEREAS. Recitals set out the seller's authority to sell.
Stakeholder An independent person holding deposit money for the purchase of property, who is obliged to hand it over to the seller on completion.
Created by: Jonell