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Estate Agent Terminology

When speaking with an estate agent, you can sometimes run into a language barrier. Estate agents will often use terminology that you haven’t come across before, leading to confusion. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the terms that might crop up in your next interaction with an estate agent, and what they all mean.

Freehold

There are two types of ownership of real estate in the UK: freehold and leasehold. Freehold is what we typically think of as property ownership: a person owns property forever, and it gets passed onto their next-of-kin when they die, according to their will. Leasehold is a different type of ownership. This is where a landlord “leases” ownership of a property to a person for a set period that will eventually end. (Leaseholds often last more than a hundred years and are more common in shared private dwellings, like blocks of flats).

Initial Term

An initial term is the first part of the tenancy.

Guarantor

Somebody who says that they will pay the landlord if the tenant cannot.

Buy-To-Let

Where a person invests in a property to rent it out to somebody else.

Tenant Arrears

When the tenant owes the landlord rent from previous months.

Chain

A chain refers to the sequences of buyers and sellers exchanging properties in a single transaction. The people buying your property have to sell to another group of people who, in turn, must sell to another buyer and so on.

Conveyancer

Somebody who deals with the legal side of selling a property.

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