Solicitors Reigate Horley

Conveyancing Jargon Explained

During the process of moving home, or other property transactions, you will come across a number of technical terms or jargon which relate to the conveyancing process.

At Sheppersons Solicitors we will always try and minimise thecontact us use of jargon, however, when it is unavoidable we are always happy to explain these terms to you.

For you reference, below is a list of common terms and their meanings.


Disbursements are simply expenses which are incurred during the Conveyancing process.

H M Land Registry fees

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

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

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

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

When you buy a property over a certain value you will be liable to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on the value of the property. Stamp duty is a government tax levied when a property is sold or transferred.

SDLT is payable by the buyer of the property. Some properties are exempt from SDLT because of where they are situated, for example in some regeneration areas.

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

Mining searches

There are various types of mining still carried out in the UK today as well as in the past. These commonly include coal mining, tin mining and chalk mining.

Your solicitor will check if the property you wish to buy is in a mining area and if so they will carry out a search to ensure that the property will not be adversely affected by the mining activities.

Environmental search

The law does not currently require local authorities to keep a register of contaminated land.

An environmental search will check whether the land upon which the property is built has been contaminated. contact us

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

An environmental search will check whether this is the case for the property you are buying. It will also show whether the land is at known risk of subsidence, flooding or toxic emissions.

Chancel repair check

In the past when the Church sold off or gifted land they sometimes required the new owner to pay towards the upkeep of the church or its lands. In rare instances some property is 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 search is a low cost search that will check to see if the property you are buying has any historic Chancel repair liability. It usually triggers the issue of a modestly priced insurance policy to provide protection from any charge. It is a one-off payment.

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.

Local Authority search

This is a search of the local authority’s registers concerning the property you are buying. It gathers information such as whether the road serving the property should be 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.

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.

Water and drainage search

This is a search of the local water authority which serves the area. It 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).

Conveyancing Quality Scheme

After an intensive and detailed assessment we have been awarded the Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation by the Law Society. conveyancing quality scheme

The accreditation is recognition for our commitment to providing an excellent service to clients, value for money and a professional approach.