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Jargon Buster

Buying a property and moving home can be difficult enough even if you have done it before, so you don't want to be confused by the terminology and abbreviations used during the process.

Here's our simple guide to beating the jargon:

Base Rate

Some interest rates are linked to the Bank of England base rate, which is the rate reviewed and set by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee every month.

The base rate influences the rate at which banks and building societies borrow from the Bank of England, and in turn, the rates at which banks and building societies offer their products to customers.

Bridging Loan

A temporary loan which enables you to complete the purchase of a new home if you have to do this before completing the sale of your existing property.


Stands for Clearing House Automated Payment System. A telegraphic transfer through which the mortgage advance is sent to the conveyancer.


The point at which the money is released to remortgage your home or to buy your new home. Ownership is transferred to you enabling you to move.

Conclusion of Missives

The point at which both buyer and seller are legally bound to the transaction ( Scotland only).


The legal document which transfers ownership of unregistered freehold land (see Freehold).


Until October 2003, the main title deed for registered land (the land on Charge Certificate) was held in traditional paper form. The Land Registry have now 'dematerialised' the paper deeds and the evidence of title to the property is held electronically at the Land Registry. Some lenders have opted for 'full' dematerialisation and hold little or no title documentation of any kind in paper form any more, with most original documents being returned to the borrowers.


The fees your solicitor has to pay to others on your behalf (e.g. Stamp Duty Land Tax, Land Registry fees, search fees).


The positive difference between the value of your property and the amount of any outstanding loans secured against it (i.e. the amount you own outright).


The term used to indicate ownership of a property and the land on which it stands where both belong to the owner indefinitely.


A document which grants possession of a property for a fixed period of time and sets out the obligations of both parties, landlord and tenant, such as payment of rent, repairs and insurance.


The term used to describe the arrangement by which property is let by lease by a landlord to a tenant for a fixed period of time.


Some interest rates are linked to the LIBOR rate, or London Inter Bank Offered Rate, which is the interest rate at which banks lend money to each other and is set by the British Bankers Association. The Libor rate is reviewed every 3 months, when any changes will be reflected in an increase or decrease in a customer's mortgage payments


Same as an advance. This is the actual amount of money that we agree to lend you.


The formal written offer to purchase and the acceptance ( Scotland only).

Mortgage Illustration

Introduced in March 2016, this document replaces the KFI. This document or ones similar to it, must be provided to you by law and shows you all the key information you need when choosing a mortgage. You can use it to compare different mortgages with different lenders. We will provide it when you have asked for a change to your current mortgage that will result in a new contract.


A building society or bank which lends money against the security of a charge over the property purchased (i.e. us as the lender).


The person who borrows money, usually to buy a property (i.e. you as the borrower).

Redemption Administration Fee

A fee charged by the lender for administering the redemption process; from issuing the redemption statement, dealing with queries, releasing the title deeds, receiving the redemption monies, and ultimately registering the discharge with the Land Registry.

Registered Land

Land for which title is registered and recorded at HM Land Registry, a central registry of the title to property in England and Wales . Scotland and Northern Ireland also have their own Land Registries.

Sasines Register

A Register in Scotland to register ownership of property which is not registered land.


Enquiries made at the Land Registry, the Land Charges Registry and local authorities to ensure there is nothing to cause concern about the property.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

A Government tax on the price you pay for your home.

If you purchase a residential property between 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021, you only start to pay SDLT on the amount that you pay for the property above £500,000. These rates apply whether you are buying your first home or have owned property before.

The current thresholds for England, Wales and Northern Ireland are as follows:

Property or lease premium or transfer value SDLT rate
Up to £500,000 Zero
The next £425,000 (the portion from £500,001 to £925,000) 5%
The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million) 10%
The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million) 12%

For Scotland the thresholds are as follows and is known as Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT):

Purchase price LBTT
Up to £250,000 0%
£250,001 to £325,000 5%
£325,001 – £750,000 10%
Over £750,000 12%

Subject to Contract

A provisional agreement made between buyer and seller, before exchange of contracts, which allows either side to back out without penalty ( England and Wales only).


Some interest rates mirror Amber's SVR, or Standard Variable Rate, which is a standalone interest rate and is not directly affected by changes in the Base Rate or the LIBOR Rate. The SVR can be reviewed at any time.


The length of time over which your mortgage loan is to be repaid.


The legal right to ownership of a property.

Title Deeds

The documents showing the ownership of unregistered property.

Transfer Deed

The legal document which transfers ownership of registered land.

Unregistered Land

Land, the ownership of which is established by a bundle of deeds but is not registered on the registered land system at the Land Registry.

17 May 2021

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