Solicitors in Bristol
solicitors in bristol

Conveyancing disbursements and jargon explained

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

At Hoole and Co. 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 mortgage 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. contact us

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. SDLT is payable by the buyer of the property.

Properties under a certain value are exempt from SDLT.

In his 2014 autumn statement, George Osborne introduced a new graduated tariff where the amount payable increases progressively with the purchase price of the property.

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

Mining 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.

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.

Water and drainage search

This is a search of the local water authority which serves the area. It provides confirmation of whether contact usthe 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).

Chancel repair search / 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 is still subject to this liability.

There was a recent 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.

Telegraphic transfer fees

If you are buying a property your solicitor will have to send the purchase money to your seller's solicitor by telegraphic transfer.

This is a very fast and secure method of transferring money electronically on the day of a property transaction. Banks make a charge for this and the solicitor passes that charge on to you.

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.

Environmental search

The law does not currently require local authorities to keep a register of contaminated land. Ancontact us 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.