The proppio/NHBC Property Users Dictionary



Touching or next to.- such as adjoining properties.

Administration/Application fee

Mortgage lenders often charge an administration fee to process your application.  This is usually non-refundable.

American Kitchen

A kitchen designed for an open plan area rather than being installed in a separate room.


A decorative feature carved into stone or plaster.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The APR allows you to compare the cost of different mortgages on a like-for-like basis.  Legally it should include costs for repayments on the loan plus fees such as booking, arrangement or basic valuation fees. The APR shows the true cost of borrowing over the entire term and should appear on all mortgage illustrations.


Mostly used in the USA but increasing in usage in the UK.  A flat.


A programme or piece of software for a specific function such as the proppio app.  Usually uploaded from the Apple store or Google Play.


Who is applying for a property to buy.

Appraised value

The value of a property as estimated by a surveyor.


The increase in the value of a property.

Arrangement fees

Fees charged to arrange a mortgage or loan. Usually when a special interest rate applies such as fixed or capped rates.


A textured effect created by spraying walls or ceilings with a specially designed plaster-type material.


Any form of property owned by a person, including land, buildings, currency, stocks or goods.


The transfer of ownership of an insurance policy or lease.


Room situated in the roof space of a house, traditionally used for storage

Attic Conversion

An attic converted into a room used for living space, often a bedroom.  Usually includes installation of flooring, insulation and windows or skylights.


The sale of a property to the highest bidder.  Often at a single event.

Automatic Irrigation System

A system of automatically watering a garden with a network of pipes and sprinklers, usually on a pre-set timer.



A decorative railing.

Barn Conversion

A new home created by converting a former out building, usually a barn.


Underground room such as a converted cellar.

Bay Windows

A window that protrudes or sticks out from the outer wall of a building.  Usually rounded or three sided.


Part of a bathroom suite which looks like a toilet and is used for washing and personal hygiene.

Boot Room

A room often located by the backdoor where dirty shoes/boots can be left or cleaned.  Often also used as a cloakroom for outdoor clothing.

Bridging loan

A short term loan usually required for the time between the purchase of a new property and the sale of an old one.

Building survey (used to be full structural survey)

This is undertaken by a professional surveyor and takes the form of a detailed report which outlines the good and bad point of a property.  There are different kinds of report and your mortgage company will usually insist on one.

Buildings insurance

An insurance policy that pays the cost of repair or rebuilding in the event your property is damaged or destroyed. Most mortgage lenders will require buildings insurance to be taken out as a condition of their loan.


On storey (ground floor only) house.


A bomb shelter attached to a house, usually those built during world war two.

Buy-to-let mortgage

A type of mortgage specifically designed for those buying a property with the intention of renting it out.



Close circuit television – a security monitoring system.


The difference between the value of the property and the money owed on it (also known as equity)

Capped-rate mortgage

A capped-rate mortgage sets a maximum rate of interest that the lender can charge, but only for a specified period.


A chain occurs when a number of buyers and sellers are waiting for each other in order to complete their sale/purchase and move.

Chimney Stack

The upper part of a chimney on the roof


A decorative cover or finish used to transform the exterior of a building.

Coach House

Often now converted into a home, but originally used for parking carts and coaches, stabling horses and storing feed.

Coal Hole

A storage room accessed from the outside of the house for storage of coal deliveries.  Now usually converted for other uses.

Combi (combination) boiler

A gas fired boiler which produces heat and hot water on demand.


The estate agent’s fee for selling the property.

Common/Communal areas

Areas of land or buildings, such as gardens, hallways, recreational facilities and parking areas, where more than one resident shares access.

Comparative search

A search that looks at the actual sale values of similar properties in the same area as your property. This search is normally carried out by a surveyor and should give an a good idea for the market value of a property.

Completion date

The completion date is the day on which money is transferred from the buyer’s to the seller’s solicitor. It is the date that the buyer becomes the legal owner of the new property.

Conditions of sale

The details that determine the rights and duties of the seller and buyer. These may be national, statutory or the Law Society’s conditions.


A glass enclosure or extension.

Contents insurance

Insurance that covers the contents of a home, including electrical goods, carpets, furniture and curtains.


A legal agreement between the seller and buyer of a property, which binds both parties to complete the transaction.

Contract race

When two parties have made offers on the same property, the vendor will sell to the first party to exchange contracts.

Converted flat

A flat or apartment that has been created by dividing up a larger property.


A qualified professional such as a solicitor or licensed conveyancer who deals with the legal aspects of buying or selling a property.


The legal process surrounding the transfer of ownership of a property from seller to buyer.

Conveyancing fee

The charge made by a solicitor or conveyancer for doing the legal work for the transfer of ownership of a property.

Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML)

The Council of Mortgage Lenders devised the Mortgage Code to ensure lenders treat customers fairly.


Rules and regulations governing the property, contained in its Title Deeds or Lease.

Crawl space

A gap below a floor or above a ceiling to allow access to wiring and plumbing.

Credit check

A check is made on the credit history of an applicant, usually by a credit rating agency. The check will reveal history of credit card repayments, outstanding debts, arrears and County Court Judgments.

Credit history

A history of an individual’s open debts. Checking a credit history helps a lender to assess the likelihood that a prospective borrower will keep up their mortgage repayments.


Draw search

The ability to create a property search by touching a map at various points.  Often by dropping virtual pins into the map, as with proppio.


A flat outdoor surface usually created with timber or artificial wood.


Legal documents proving ownership, generally held by the mortgage lender.

Deeds release or discharge fee

The fee charged by lenders at the end of a mortgage term to cover the administrative costs of transferring the property ownership documents to the borrower.


When prices are falling (the opposite situation to inflation).


A sum of money paid by the buyer on exchange of contracts.


Reduction in the value of a property caused by changes in market conditions (the opposite of appreciation).


Term used to describe a property that stands alone and is separated from all others.


A newly built residence or an older property that has been refurbished and modernised.

Dimmer Lights/Switch

A lighting system that enables the user to adjust the brightness to the desired level.


Fees paid by the buyer’s solicitor on the buyer’s behalf such as stamp duty, land registry and search fees.


Paying off a mortgage.

Discount mortgage

Mortgages charged at a rate discounted from the published bank standard variable rate for a set period of time. The rates are variable and are subject to go up or down in line with any changes to the Bank of England base rate.


Receiving information, files or software from an outside source.

Down valuation

When the lender restricts the amount you can borrow after the surveyor’s valuation report indicates the property is not worth the agreed sales price.

Dressing Room

A small room usually next to the bedroom that may contain wardrobes or a walk in wardrobe or sometimes an extra bed.

Draft contract

First version of the contract.

Dumb waiter

A shaft with a small lift for transferring food and drink on a tray from one floor to another.


A two story building, usually not detached.


Enclosed courtyard

A central area of a building exposed to the sky.

Early Repayment Charge (ERC)

An extra cost charged by the lender as a penalty if a mortgage is paid off early.

Endowment mortgage

Interest-only repayments combined with monthly premiums into an endowment policy designed to pay off the loan at the end of the term.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

An EPC measures the energy efficiency of a property using a scale of A-G. It is a legal requirement to have a valid EPC commissioned before a property can be marketed.


The amount of money either put into buying a property or the deposit placed on a property which exceeds the amount of any money borrowed against the property. Also known as capital.


An up front payment required from the claimant before insurance claim is paid out.

Exchange of contracts

The point at which signed contracts are physically exchanged, legally binding the seller and buyer to the sale and purchase of a property at the agreed price.


FSBO (For Sale By Owner)

The private sale of a property without use of a real estate agent.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

Regulates financial service in the UK

Financial Services Authority (FSA)

Formerly the independent body that regulated the financial services industry in the UK. Now the FCA.

Fixed rate mortgage

A mortgage in which the interest rate is set for an agreed period of time.

Fixtures and fittings

All non-structural items included in the purchase of a property.  This might include kitchens, bathrooms and lights.


Large concrete slabs used to pave outdoor areas.

Flat Share

A joint tenancy arrangement when two or more persons share a single rental property.  Or when a tenant rents part of a property owned by another occupant(s).

Flexible mortgage

An arrangement whereby you can increase or decrease your mortgage.

Flying freehold

A flying freehold exists when one part of a property extends over, or under, a neighbouring property.


Where the owner of the property also owns the land on which it is built.



When a seller accepts a higher offer from a third party on a property that they have already agreed to sell to someone else prior to exchange of contracts.


When a buyer reduces the offer on a property after having originally agreed a higher price.


A large farm house with additional outbuildings.

Granny Flat

Old fashioned term for a separate studio of flat within a larger property.

Ground rent

The annual charge levied by the freeholder to the leaseholder.


The lender may sometimes require a borrower to appoint a guarantor. This is someone who promises to pay the borrower’s debt if the borrower fails to make payments.



A fireproof area of flooring that extends from the fireplace.

Higher lending charge

An up-front, one-off fee paid to the lender to protect them against the borrower defaulting on the loan. Usually charged on mortgages over 75% of the house value.

Homebuyer’s survey and valuation

This is a survey report, which is not as detailed as a structural survey, carried out by a chartered surveyor to assess the state of a property and its value.

Household insurance

An insurance policy that protects against loss or damage to the property caused by fire, some natural causes and acts of vandalism. Also see Buildings insurance and Contents insurance.

Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMO)

A building of three floors or more occupied by three or more people and where these people live as more than one household and share facilities such as bathrooms, toilets or cooking facilities.



Independent Financial Advisor.

Individual Savings Account mortgage (ISA)

An interest-only mortgage linked to an Individual Savings Account fund, which is designed to pay off the loan at the end of the period.


The increase in prices over time.

Inglenook Fireplace

An old fashioned fireplace with integrated seating.


Materials used to make a house more energy efficient.

Integrated Appliances

Electrical appliances (usually in the kitchen) which are concealed behind matching doors to provide a sleeker aesthetic. Often the fridge, dishwasher, oven or microwave oven.

Integrated Garage

A garage that forms part of the house and usually has interior access.


The amount you are charged or earn for a loan – usually a percentage.

Interest charges

The charges that banks make on a loan, calculated as a percentage of the amount borrowed.

Interest-only mortgage

A type of mortgage in which the borrower only repays the interest on the loan for the duration of its term and repays the full loan amount at the end of the mortgage period.

Island Worktop

A free standing work top usually in the middle of a kitchen.



An indoor or outdoor tub with hydro massage jets and water that can usually be heated.

Joint income

The total gross income of the two borrowers in a joint mortgage.

Joint tenants

A form of ownership for two parties whereby if one of them dies, their share of the property will automatically transfer to the remaining party, giving them full ownership (regardless of the terms of the deceased owner’s will).

Juliet Balcony

A balcony rail fixed directly to the window that does not stick out to form a terrace.



A criss-cross pattern of strips of wood, metal or plastic installed in a frame for use of doors, gates or fences.

Land registration

The process of registering the legal title of an area of land with the Land Registry, typically handled by a solicitor.

Land registry fee

The fee payable for the above.

Leaded Lights

A pattern formed in glass using lead strips to create various shapes.


A legal document by which the Freehold (or Leasehold) owner of a property lets the premises or a part of it to another party for a specified length of time, after the expiry of which, ownership may revert to the Freeholder or superior Leaseholder.


A type of ownership in which a person owns a property, but not the land on which it is built. The owner of the Freehold will grant a lease on the property for a specified length of time.

Legal charge

A mortgage on the property.


A bank, building society or mortgage company offering loans on property.

Lender’s arrangement fees

Charge passed on to the buyer by the lender for arranging a loan.

Listed building

A building officially listed as being of special architectural or historic interest, which cannot be demolished or altered without prior local government approval.

Listing (Property)

The brochure created online including details of a property for sale of for rent, on websites or apps such as Proppio.


A small building usually located near the entrance of a large estate, originally for security purposes.

Log Burner

A cast iron or metal fireplace with a glass door for burning a real fire.  Can be free-standing or installed into and existing fireplace.

Loan to value (LTV)

The proportion of the value of the property on which the lender is prepared to loan.

Local authority search

Procedure whereby a buyer’s solicitor checks with the local council regarding any outstanding enforcement or future development issues that might affect the property or immediate area.

Loft/Loft Conversion

A home created in an open plan design, usually on an upper floor with high ceilings. Sometimes converted from a building that was formerly used for industrial purposes.

Log in

Signing in to access an account such as the your proppio account


Maintenance charge (or service charge)

The cost of repairing and maintaining external or internal communal parts of a building charged to the tenant or leaseholder.


A self-contained apartment (usually on two floors) in a larger house with its own entrance from the outside.


A house formerly occupied by a noble or representative of the King/Queen.


Formerly a very large stately home, but now often refers to a large detached new build house.


A shelf above a fireplace.


A street with small houses converted from former stables.

Moulded Celings

Ceilings featuring decorative plaster patterns.


An amount of money advanced by a lender such as a bank or building society on the security of a property and repayable over a long period of time.

Mortgage Payment Protection (MPP)

This is an insurance designed to pay your monthly mortgage for a limited period, usually a year if you are unable to work through illness, disability or redundancy.

Mortgage broker

Someone who advises buyers on the types of loans available and helps to process any subsequent application.

Mortgage deed

The legal document that proves who is the owner of a document.

Mortgage rate

The standard variable interest rate quoted by all mortgage lenders which normally varies in line with the Bank of England base rate. All discounted rates are based on this mortgage rate.

Mortgage term

The period of time over which a mortgage loan must be repaid.

Mortgage type

This may be a fixed, variable, capped, discount, tracker or another type of mortgage.


The lender of a mortgage (i.e. bank or building society).


NHBC scheme (National House-Building Council)

A type of building guarantee available on some newly built homes under which defects occurring within a specified time after construction are remedied.

Negative equity

A situation in which the value of a property has fallen to below the level of the loan secured on it.

New Build

A newly constructed property or converted property that is mostly constructed with new materials.



A sum of money that a potential buyer offers to pay for a property.

Offer of a loan

A formal document approving the mortgage you have requested and detailing the Terms and Conditions that will apply.

Office copy entry

An official document from the Land Registry confirming ownership of and mortgages against a property.


Available via the internet

Open market value

The price a property should achieve where there is a willing buyer and willing seller.

Open House

A system of showing a number of potential buyers a property for sale at a single event.  There is an open house facility on proppio.

Open Plan

A room design that consists of one large space rather than separate rooms such as kitchen, dining room and living room.

Out House

More commonly used in the USA refers to an outdoor toilet.



A decorative structure in a garden fashioned after the Buddhist temples which look like a tower with a curved roof.


Traditionally a store cupboard or small room next to the kitchen for storing food.

Parquet Floor

A decorative floor made by piecing together wood into a pattern.

Party Wall

An interior wall between two properties that is shared.


An outdoor area which forms part of a building, usually on the ground floor.

Payment break/holiday

An option on flexible mortgages that allows you to stop making mortgage payments for up to six months.


A specified charge that is levied by the lender under certain circumstances, usually for full or part repayment within a specific period linked to a discount, tracker, fixed or other product type.


A coating for external walls consisting of cement and various coloured small pebbles.


A top floor flat, often with a roof terrace.

Peppercorn ground rent

A token amount of rent for land that is usually paid annually.


A wooden frame in the garden which supports climbing plants.

Picture Window

A large single framed window – usually overlooking a nice view.

Pied à terre

A property kept for temporary use, usually a smaller second home.


A coating for walls to create a smooth surface for decoration./Someone skilled at applying it.


A way for you to download audio files over the internet and then listen to them via a computer or MP3 player.


Replacement of mortar between bricks to produce a more cosmetically pleasing and weather resistant result.


An item of information, photo or video you put on your property listing.

Preliminary enquiries

The initial questions about a property put forward to a seller, which the seller must answer before the exchange of contracts.


The monthly amount payable for an insurance policy.


The amount of debt outstanding (excluding interest).

Public liability insurance

Insurance that covers injury or death to anyone on or around a property.


A person who is buying a property.


QR (Quick Response) Code

A square shaped barcode used for transmitting information via a mobile phone.

Quantity Surveyor

A professional in assessing the amount of money it would cost to build or convert a property.

Quid Pro Quo

The exchange of goods or services for something of approximate equal value.



Refinancing a property by either switching a mortgage from one lender to another or by taking out a second mortgage to take advantage of any equity gained by a rise in value.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

RSS is a way to receive the latest information from a website (e.g. the latest properties) directly to a computer via an RSS reader.


When a mortgage is fully repaid.


Sharing basic information with a website or app in order to create an account, such as an proppio account.

Repayment mortgage

A mortgage in which monthly charges are used to repay the interest and reduce the outstanding capital.


When the mortgage lender takes over ownership of a property due to non-payment of the mortgage.

Resale Property

A property which has been previously lived in or occupied


The ability of a lender to hold back (retain) part of a mortgage until certain conditions are met.

Right of Way

Access allowed through another person’s property.

Roof Terrace

A flat roof which allows the space to be used as an outdoor area


SSTC (Sold Subject to Contract)

This is when an offer has been accepted on a property for sale but legal ownership has not actually changed hands.

Sale Board

A board prominently displayed on a property indicating that it is for sale, rent or lease.

Sash Windows

A window with two frames, allowing opening by sliding one up and over the other.

Small Holding

A small farm often for personal production of food.


Usually a touch screen phone with access to the internet and other services.


Short Message Service. Commonly known as text messages.

Search (legal)

A request or enquiry for information concerning the property held by a local authority or by the Land Registry

Search (property)

A means of selecting properties by specific criteria such as location, price or type.


A property which is joined to one other house.

Service charge

Service charges are paid by the owner and cover the cost of providing various services (i.e. maintenance and repair of the building and common parts, provision of heating, lighting and security).

Share of freehold

Where the freehold on which the property stands is owned by a limited company and the shareholders of that limited company are the owners of the property.

Solar Power/Energy

Electricity generated by solar panels.

Sole Agent/Contract

When a seller chooses only one estate agent to sell their property.

Sole occupancy

A property that is occupied (lived in) only by the mortgage applicant(s) and their direct family.


A legal expert handling all documentation for the sale or purchase of a property.

Spiral staircase

A curved staircase ususally used a space-saving device in small areas.

Stamp Duty

A government tax paid by the buyer of a property, which ranges between 0% and 5% depending on the value of the property.

Standard variable rate

Mortgage lender’s standard rate of interest, which may be increased or decreased periodically by the lender depending on prevailing economic conditions.

Static Caravan

A mobile home that usually permanently situated.

Structural survey

This is based on a detailed inspection of the property and reports on the general structural condition.

Stucco Walls

A smooth or patterned finish to exterior walls

Studio flat

A flat consisting of one main room or open-plan living area with an American kitchen and a separate wc/bathroom/shower room.

Subject to contract (STC)

Legal terminology that indicates an agreement is not yet legally binding and depends upon the terms yet to be agreed within the contract.

Summer House

A small cabin or hut used to provide shade in the garden


A professional person qualified to estimate the value and condition of land and property.

Suspended ceiling

A false ceiling fitted below the actual ceiling to create a better cosmetic result or allow easier access to cables and plumbing for repairs and upgrades.



A small computer or mobile device

Tenants in common

A form of ownership by two or more people in which if one of them dies, their share of the property forms part of their estate and does not automatically pass to the other(s).


Conditions on which a property is held (i.e. length of lease).


An outdoor area which forms part of the building

Terraced house

A property that is part of a connected row of houses.


An online property community that allow you to buy, sell or rent property free of charge.  There are no restrictions on the number, type or locations of properties listed by the user.

The Property Ombudsman (TPO)

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) is a free, fair and independent arbitration service which provides sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants with an assurance that they will receive the highest level of customer service.

Title Deeds

Documents showing the legal ownership of a property.

Title insurance

An insurance policy which a buyer can take out to allow a sale to complete where there is a potential problem with the documentation in proving legal ownership of some part of the land they are buying.

Title search

An investigation carried out by a conveyancer or solicitor into the history of ownership of a property. The search will check for liens, unpaid claims, restrictions or any other problems that may affect ownership.

Tracker mortgage

A type of mortgage whereby any changes in the rate of interest charged follow exactly (‘track’) another, specified, interest rate or index. Typically a tracker mortgage will track the Bank of England base rate.

Transfer Deeds

The Land Registry document that transfers legal ownership from seller to buyer.


A wooden panel formed from criss-crossed strips of wood to support climbing plants in the garden.


Entering private property without the owner’s permission and where there is no right to do so.


Underfloor heating

Heating produced by an invisible system of pipes installed under flooring in order to dispense with the need for radiators.

Under offer

The status of a property for sale when a seller has accepted an offer from a buyer, prior to exchange of contracts.


Usually refers to double glazed windows made from plastic frames.


Transferring files to an outside source (such as proppio in order to post something to your listing).


Vacancy/Vacant Property

An empty property that may be available for rent or lease


Vacant Possession

Acquiring a property that has no-one living in it.


A basic survey of a property to estimate its value for mortgage purposes. Mortgage lenders will insist on this before lending.


The price of a property under normal conditions, i.e. when the buyer is not forced to buy and the seller not forced to sell.

Variable base rate

The basic rate of interest charged on a mortgage. This may change in reaction to market conditions so monthly payments can go up or down.

Venetian Blinds

Window blinds made up from horizontal slats


The person selling a property.


A space created between two doors usually at the main entrance or front door.



Walk-in Wardrobe

A room dedicated to storage of clothes and shoes, usually consisting of open wardrobe and cupboard space.


Traditionally refers to ‘water closet’ meaning toilet.

Weather Vane

A device usually mounted on a roof which shows which way the wind is blowing.  Sometimes called a weather cock.

Wet Room

A bathroom with an open shower (no curtain or splash guard) usually a small bathroom with a drain for water in the floor.

Wrought Iron

A hand made piece of metal work usually used to make gates, fences and window bars.



Is a gas sometimes used in lamps.



Income from a property calculated as a percentage of its value.  Usually rental income.


Zip Code

Postcode – usually in Canada and the USA

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Amy Candia

Amy Candia


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