Conveyancing jargon & disbursements explained

Technical terms relating to conveyancing

Sometimes during the process of moving home, or otherĀ property transactions, you will come across a number of technical terms which relate to the conveyancing process.


What do all these words mean?

Sometimes during the process of moving home, or other property transactions, you will come across a number of technical terms which relate to the conveyancing process. Here at Maclaren Warner Solicitors we will always try and minimise the 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, take out a new mortgageĀ or transfer a share in a property the transaction must 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 charge a fee for registering the transfer and the charge depends upon the price of the property. One of our conveyancers will give you the up to date values.

Stamp Duty (Stamp Duty Land Tax)

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

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

Mining Report searches

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

For example, these confirm when the last mine workings were in the area, whether there are any mine shafts or addits within 20m of the property and also whether there have been any subsidence claims made since 1994.

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.

Chancel repair search / Chancel 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’s are still subject to this liability.

There was a 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.

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).

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.

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.



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Clients choose Maclaren Warner for our unwavering commitment to excellence, personalised service, and proven track record of achieving favourable outcomes. With a dedicated team of experienced solicitors, we offer tailored legal solutions, compassionate guidance, and unwavering support, ensuring our clients receive the highest level of care and expertise throughout their legal journey.

How to contact us

Our specialists are ready and on hand to support you through the process. Talk to us today to find out more.

68 Nottingham Road,
Eastwood, Nottingham,
NG16 3NQ
First Floor Finance Block
Wharncliffe Road
Ilkeston, Derbyshire

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