Breaking Down the Jargon: Understanding Legal Terminology in Conveyancing

When it comes to buying or selling a property, the legal jargon involved can often be confusing and overwhelming. Conveyancing, in particular, has its own set of legal terminology that can be difficult for non-experts to understand. To help you navigate the conveyancing process with confidence, we’ve broken down some of the most commonly used legal terms in conveyancing.

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What is a Contract?

The contract is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of the property sale or purchase. It includes details such as the purchase price, property boundaries, and any special conditions agreed upon by both parties.

What is a Title?

The title refers to the legal ownership of a property. It includes information such as the property’s boundaries, any rights of way, and any legal restrictions or charges affecting the property.

What are Searches?

Searches are conducted by a conveyancing solicitor to investigate any legal or environmental issues that may affect the property. This includes searches for things like planning permissions, environmental risks, and boundary disputes.

What is Completion?

Completion is the final stage of the conveyancing process, where the sale or purchase is finalized. The purchase price is paid, and ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer.

What is the Deposit?

The deposit is a sum of money paid by the buyer to the seller as a commitment to the purchase. It is usually a percentage of the total purchase price and is held in a special account until completion.

What is the Exchange?

Exchange is the stage in the conveyancing process where the signed contracts are exchanged between the buyer and seller. At this point, the sale or purchase becomes legally binding.

What is Freehold?

Freehold refers to the ownership of the property and the land it stands on. This means that the owner has complete control over the property and is responsible for its upkeep.

What is Leasehold?

Leasehold refers to the ownership of the property for a fixed period of time, typically between 99 and 999 years. The owner of a leasehold property has certain obligations to the landlord, such as paying ground rent and service charges.

What is a Mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan taken out to buy a property. The property is used as security for the loan, and the borrower makes monthly repayments to the lender.

What are Title Deeds?

Title deeds are legal documents that provide evidence of ownership of a property. They include details such as the property’s boundaries, any rights of way, and any legal restrictions or charges affecting the property.


Understanding the legal terminology in conveyancing can make the process much easier to navigate. By working with an experienced conveyancing solicitor, you can ensure that all legal requirements are met, and any issues are identified and resolved. At John Barkers Solicitors, our team of conveyancing experts is here to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring a smooth and stress-free property transaction.