There is often confusion around the terms used in property investment and this week we are bringing you the terms that begin with the letter F through to terms starting with the letter P. We hope that it is of use to you.
Thank you to OnTheMarket.com for the original list.
Property Investment Jargon Buster F-P
Fixed price (Scotland only)
The price the seller should accept for their property, although there is no guarantee and it might be possible to negotiate.
Fixtures and fittings
When buying: Fixtures are items that have become part of a building or land and are therefore included in the sale. Fittings are not attached to the building or land and so are not included in the sale unless otherwise agreed. The seller will complete a fixtures and fittings form that will confirm what is included in the sale, what isn’t included, and what is for sale separately.
When renting: Items usually provided in a letting that may include curtains, carpets, blinds, light fittings, kitchen units and appliances. In some cases it may also include furniture. It is advisable to check what is provided and not to assume that items will be provided.
The broadest form of property tenure guaranteeing that occupation continues for an indeterminate period of time. This contrasts with leasehold, which is always subject to a specified period of occupation.
Gas safety record
A certificate that states all gas appliances, pipework and flues are safe. It is a legal requirement for all landlords and must be provided every year by a CORGI registered engineer after a safety check.
Where a sale is agreed to a buyer at a certain price and then the seller accepts a higher offer from another buyer. Note that until contracts are exchanged estate agents are bound by law to tell a seller about any offer they receive for a property.
Where a buyer reduces their offer just on the point of exchanging contracts.
The annual charge levied by the freeholder on the leaseholder of a property.
Home Buyer Survey/Report
A report designed in a standard and easily read format that tells a buyer about the physical condition of a property. Lists defects and grades their seriousness and need for attention. Not as detailed as a structural survey. Not to be confused with a mortgage valuation (see below).
Home Report (Scotland only)
Information on the property, which contains a property questionnaire prepared by the seller, a report on its condition and an energy report.
A list of the contents of a rental property. The inventory will note the condition of items and will form the basis of a dilapidation report at the end of the tenancy. It often includes photographs of specific items and existing damage/defects.
A government office which is responsible for holding records of land ownership and any charges, including mortgages, against the property.
Land Registry fee
A fee charged by the Land Registry to record the change of ownership of a property.
The legal document governing the occupation by the tenant of a premises for a specific length of time. At the end of the period the property reverts to the owner.
The use and occupation of a property by way of a lease agreement for a certain period of time. A lease is frequently applicable to flats but can also apply to houses. The term of a lease varies but is commonly 99, 125 or 999 years.
Buildings of special architectural or historic interest. A listed building may carry certain obligations and restrictions governing its use, repair, and maintenance.
Local authority search
A buyer’s conveyancer makes a formal enquiry to the local authority to find out if there are any matters affecting the property that is being purchased.
Maintenance charge or service charge
Many leasehold properties (especially flats) are subject to such a charge which pays for items such as the insurance and maintenance of the building.
A flat with its own private entrance.
Missives (Scotland only)
At the point when you agree in writing via your solicitor to all the points in the contract, the agreement is known as the conclusion of missives and you are now bound by the terms of the contract.
Very commonly and incorrectly referred to as a “mortgage survey”, the mortgage valuation is carried out by a surveyor acting on behalf of a lender to provide them with a professional report stating the value of the property. The purchaser usually pays the fee for this valuation.
Multiple agent instructions
Where more than one estate or letting agency firm is instructed by a seller or landlord to offer a property for sale or to rent.
The National Association of Estate Agents, the UK’s leading professional body for estate agency.
Where the sale value of a property is less than the amount outstanding on the mortgage.
Note of interest (Scotland only)
This registers your interest in a property so that you will be told if any other offers are made on it. It does not oblige you to buy the property.
Open house (or open viewing)
A process, normally managed by an estate agent, where several house hunters are given a time of a few hours when they can all go and view a property for sale instead of separate, private viewings.
Open market value
The likely sale price of a property assuming a willing seller and a willing buyer, with a reasonable period of publicity and marketing and no special factors affecting the property.
A very low sum of rent or ground rent. In the past it was, literally, a peppercorn.
When a sale is agreed, the buyer’s conveyancer will send the seller’s conveyancer a standard list of questions about the property.
A sale conducted at a certain time by an auctioneer, either online or at a physical location, where competing buyers bid openly for a property and the highest bid wins. The purchase is binding on the fall of the hammer.
The Property Ombudsman
The Property Ombudsman offers a free and independent service for resolving disputes between sales and letting agents, which are members of The Property Ombudsman, and buyers/sellers of residential property in the UK.
The person buying a property.
The final part of the property investment jargon buster will be posted next week.