Property Jargon Buster

If you're new to the property buying or renting world, you may be unfamiliar with the terminology. Our property jargon buster is here to help you sail through the process & get familiar with the A-Z of property terms in no time! 

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Affordable Housing - This comes from either the Government or a Housing Association with any new built properties and them subsidising these properties, to help bring them within the budget to most households. These properties can then be utilised to help people in wanting Rent, Shared Ownership and Outright Sale.

Assessment - This is an affordability check to ensure the property is both affordable and sustainable for you to purchase.

ATP (Authority to proceed) - This is confirmation from Help to Buy in the form of a letter that you are eligible and can proceed with the purchase of your property. A financial break down of any terms of sale will also be included in this letter.

ATE (Authority to exchange) - This means you can now exchange contracts to your new home, You will pay your deposit and be legally obliged to complete the purchase of your new home by an agreed date.


The follow-up of the original snagging process. We allow time for wok to be carried out for the snags that have been raised and to be resolved. We then observe the work that has been done to ensure that they are done to a high standard and the work has been completed. Back snagging will occur just before handover so we can ensure we are happy with the condition of the property.

This is an electronic transfer of completion monies from the buyers solicitor to Platforms solicitors in order to complete your purchase of the property.


The legal transfer from one property owner to another. In this case, it would be from Platform Home Ownership to you! The process of conveyancing includes exchange of contracts and finishes with completion. Whilst all conveyancing transactions follow a similar template, all can vary in terms of challenges and length of time. Your solicitor, our solicitors and your sales consultant will work together to make this process as smooth as possible.

This is a statement that shows the amount of money a buyer owes the seller of a property when the sale is complete. Usually, several days before the completion date a buyer will receive a completion statement showing the balance that the buyers solicitor need to receive in order to complete the transaction.


These are expenses that your conveyancer pays for as part of your move. This can include things like the cost of searches, and fees for registering your details with The Land Registry. Usually, you will need to pay an up-front fee to your conveyancer , which covers the disbursements that are going to crop up.

On new build homes there will be defects and liability period for a period of 12 months from the date of handover of the property to Platform.

This is a legal document that is signed and delivered to the buyer and acts as a official record and proof of ownership of the property.


This is when you will pay 5% of the property price to legally exchange your purchase and this is paid to your solicitor, this means that you will be legally bound to purchase the property and Platform are legally bound to sell you the property with a completion date agreed.


Outright Ownership of the property and the land on which it stands. Platform own the freehold in the majority of properties we let or sell. A Shared Owner has the opportunity to acquire the freehold as part of staircasing, should this currently be owned by Platform, and the Shared Ownership lease permits it.

These are fixed assets attached to the property, usually these cannot be removed without causing defect or damage to a property. Examples would be integrated lights, kitchen units and sockets.


When the construction is finally complete, and Platform Home Ownership formally accept the property. Essentially, we are handed the keys and we can proceed further with the sale. Until handover has taken place, our buyer would be unable to complete. It is worth noting that in worse case scenarios, build delays can cause handover dates to be pushed back.

Your sales consultant will complete a practical demonstration of systems and appliances in your home. This will involve features like the consumer unit, the water stopcock as well as the heating system. Manuals will also be provided where needed.

A Government appointed agent for anyone wanting access to affordable homes for sale - There are 3 Help to Buy covering different areas within the country and you will need to complete their application form before being considered for a Shared Ownership property.


Platform includes Buildings within your rent of all our homes under Shared Ownership - your home is protected via our Group policy until you purchase the freehold of your property, If your property is within a Protected Area Lease - We will continue to cover your building.


This is the national organisation that represents local Authority Building Control departments in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each local authority provides a service to make sure building work complies with building regulations.

The 'holding'/owning of a lease on a property for a set term, though not the land on which it stands. All of our Shared Owners are 'Lease holders'.

On some of our Shared Ownership listings, a local connection may be required. This is typically found in rural areas and small villages where affordable housing is being provided to meet the needs of local people, rather then for private development. This is to help local people and families afford homes in area where they grew up. If you want to check local connection criteria or to see whether you qualify, please contact us.

A lease is a contract that outlines the terms where one party agrees to rent a property, owned by another party. In the case of Shared Ownership, the lease will be for the remaining share you are paying rent on.

This is the final step in the legal process of transferring ownership of a property from the seller to the buyer.


This is our applicant database where we register applicant's details and once properties in the area of your choice are ready to release you will receive an email from us giving you the opportunity to apply.

This is present in a Protected Area Lease, Once stair cased to 81% or higher Platform must buy the property back when the owner comes to sell, with a view to re-marketing as a Shared Ownership property, and maintaining the level of affordable housing in the local area.


The National House Building Council are a non-profit making independent body, who set down standards for the house builders who are registered with them. They are an independent regulator of the New Homes Industry.


Shared Ownerships Lease of a property based in a 'protected area' which are, predominantly rural areas where social housing needs to be retained. The lease will permit resales up to 80% max, and those that choose to staircase to 100% will not acquire the freehold. Mandatory Buy Back will be applicable on reselling after staircasing to 81% or higher.


Purchasing your new home before building has finished, or potentially before construction has even started. Your sales consultant will share site plans and floor plans with you and will guide you through what they have to offer. This will help you decide which plot will be the best for you. Your consultant can then provide you with site updates until the plot has been handed over to us. Reserving Off-Plan is extremely common with new build developments.

An older Shared Ownership Lease of a property based in a 'protected area' which are, predominantly rural areas where social housing needs to be retained. With a Restricted Staircasing Lease it is not possible for a Shared Owner to staircase any higher then 80%.

All our new build properties are valued by an independent Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyor (RICS) to ascertain the market value of our properties prior to releasing them for sale. A RICS Valuation is also required if/when you staircase on your own property at a later stage.

This is a deposit you pay to secure the home you want, this is £250 standard at Platform.


Shared Ownership is another way to buy your own home, you buy a percentage as much as you can afford from 25%-75% of the value of your home, you then pay subsidised rent on the remaining percent.

This is the process of checking a new build for defects or any minor issues which need correcting. Snags may be cosmetic or functional problems, which need to be resolved by the builder. An example of a snag may be a kitchen cupboard door catching or bumpy plasterwork. All new builds will be checked over, but often defects can be missed. Be sure to make a snagging list when moving into your home and communicate this to our contact centre who can inform the builder.

The seller, in this case Platform Home Ownership, have accepted an offer from the buyer for the property in question. However, until paperwork has been completed and the process in place has been followed, the sale is not legally binding. The property will be labelled "SSTC" once your reservation fee has been paid.

Buying more shares in your property, you can buy more shares in your home as and when you can afford it. The more shares you have in your home the less rent you will pay, until eventually you own your home outright and no longer pay rent to us. You can contact our designated team who will assist you along the way.

The rent you pay on a Shared Ownership home is often referred to as 'subsidised', otherwise known as discounted. This is because it's lower then the market rent you would pay in the local area. You would only pay a fraction of the rent that you would pay if you were private renting, as the rent payment would factor into account the share amount you already own, e.g., 30%.

These are made by your solicitor in the early stages of the contract drafting. The enquiries are made from the district, or Borough Council to highlight any issues that may affect your property. This could include proposals to build a factory nearby, or historic rights such as coal mining or access over summons.

106 - An agreement between the developer and local authority, under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This usually includes provision of public open space, contributions for local infrastructure to aid the sustainability of the community.

104 - A legal agreement in which the developer completes the adoption of the sewers by the water authority.

38 - A legal agreement in which the developer completes the adoption of the roads and footpaths by the local highways authority.

Charges paid on a monthly/yearly basis for services arranged by Platform, or an external management company e.g. buildings insurance, communal area cleaning, grounds maintenance etc.

Service charge budget - A yearly estimate of the above service charges, published by Platform or the Management Company at the beginning of their accounting year.

Service Charge Accounts - A yearly summary of actual expenditure by Platform or the Management Company for the year (may differ from the budget).

This is the rent you will pay on the portion of house you do not own yet which is made payable to Platform.


This is the document which officially finalises a sale, transferring the title of the property from the seller to the buyer. You usually sign this at the same time as your contract documents, and it will be sent to the Land Registry so the property's title can be transferred into the buyers name.

When you have the title on a property, this recognises that you are the legal owner. The document proves your ownership, and while in the past your mortgage lender would've looked after the title in the form of original Deeds, these days the Land Registry stores it electronically.


An assessment of the property to determine the value. Many factors are taken into consideration, such as location and condition. The valuation will be carried out by your mortgage lender and will be used to confirm that the value of the property is what is being claimed and is suitable security for a loan. A valuation fee will be charged to you by your mortgage lender.