Glossary of Terms

The Property Transaction Glossary of terms

Glossary of Terms

Mortgage Companion Glossary of Terms.

A to Z moving home glossary


Acceptance Form: The form that the home mover will sign and return to the removal company to accept the terms of the service. This will follow a written quote which outlines the details and price of the removal service.

Access: The difficulty of accessibility to the property for the removal company to load and unload the home mover’s belongings. Factors include, distance to the property from the parking area, availability of lifts for properties above the ground floor etc.

Advance: The sum of money you borrow from your mortgage lender.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Shown as a percentage, this is the total charge for the money lent to you for the loan. It includes fees and interest.


Bank of England Base Rate: The Bank of England sets a rate of interest which the high street banks use to calculate the interest rate they charge for some loans.

Binding Quote: The final price for the removal service as outlined in the written quote. This is based on the information given in the inventory or viewed by the removal estimator during a pre-move survey.

Blanket Wrap: A method of protecting furniture during a domestic move by wrapping the furniture in a blanket when loading into the removal’s vehicle.

Buildings Insurance: This is the insurance needed for the fabric of your property, against fire, theft and flood. Your mortgage normally requires this insurance. However, it is usually covered by the freeholder if you are purchasing a leasehold property.

Building Survey: An examination of a property by a surveyor (which may include specific tests by the surveyor or other experts) in order to produce a report on the structural integrity of a building and its state of repair.


Cancellation Charges: A cost to the home mover if the removal service is cancelled after confirmation during a specified time frame.

Chartered Surveyor: Chartered Surveyors are highly trained and experienced property professionals. They offer impartial, specialist advice on a variety of property related issues. Their duties include valuing property and looking for structural defects in buildings. They also provide expert consultancy advice in property, construction and related environmental issues. Chartered Surveyors are represented by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Claim: A written request for payment in accordance with the removal company’s insurance policy following loss or damage to belongings whilst in the removal company’s possession.

Collection: The packing and loading of the home mover’s belongings at their current address to be transported to the home mover’s new property.

Congestion charge: Required for a house move in London. This is paid by either the home mover or the removal company depending on the terms and conditions of the quote. For more information see our article on the London Congestion Charge.

Cost per Hour: The cost of the removal service per man by the hour. This is more commonly used to calculate the cost of smaller moves.

Complete: The end of the process of buying and/or selling a property. Once you have ‘completed’ the transaction has ended and you can move in.

Conservation Area: A tract of land that has been awarded protected status usually of architectural or historic interest.

Conveyancing: The legal process for the transferral of ownership of real property.

Council Tax Band: A letter code in the range A – I, each representing a specific range (or band) of property market values. In England the value is as at 1 April 1991; in Wales it is as at 1 April 2003. All domestic property is given one of these bands for the administration of council tax bills. There are different valuation bands in England and in Wales.

Crating: The packing of a home mover’s belongings into a wooden container for removal.

CUFT (Cubic Feet): An imperial unit of measurement to calculate the size of a house move.


Deeds: Also referred to as ‘Title Deeds’. Title deeds are documents showing ownership, as well as rights, obligations, or mortgages on the property. Since around 2000, compulsory registration in England and Wales has been required for all properties mortgaged or transferred. The details of rights, obligations, and covenants referred to in deeds are entered on the property register.

Dedicated Load (Dedicated Truck): The assigning of a removals vehicle to one house move.

Delivery: The transportation and unloading of a home mover’s belongings from the collection address to the destination address.

Deposit: The sum of money required to book a confirmed removal date.

Dismantling: The disassembly of an item of furniture into separate parts.

Domestic Energy Assessor: Also known as the DEA, is a qualified individual who visits the property prior to it being marketed for sale or to let and checks the property’s energy efficiency by examining its dimensions, construction, heating and hot water provision. The DEA will also provide cost effective recommendations for improving energy use.

Domestic Removal: A house move from and to addresses in the same country, not crossing a country’s border.


Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): The document provided by the Domestic Energy Assessor. It provides information on the property’s energy use, energy efficiency and recommendations for improved energy efficiency. It rates each property with a performance scale A to G, where A is very efficient and G is the least energy efficient.

Essentials Box: A box of items fundamental to a house move, such as tea, coffee and a kettle. Ask for this to be loaded last and unpacked first, or taken with you in the car.

Estimate: An initial, approximate quote for the removal service based on partial information.

Exchange (of contracts): Both you and the seller sign the contract. You also agree a completion date that suits both of you. You also need to agree to pay a deposit to the seller at this point, typically around 10% of purchase price. This is paid via your solicitor. Once you have exchanged contracts, you are legally required to proceed.

Extra Handling Charge: Additional costs for specialist handling of specific items.

Extra Man: An increased number of removal team members to complete the house move.

Extra Pick Up (Extra Delivery): An additional pick up or delivery of items than originally quoted for.


First Time Buyer (FTB): Someone who has never owned residential property anywhere in the world, regardless of whether or not they lived in the property.

Freehold: Describes the dwelling and the land on which it stands which is owned by the possessor indefinitely.

Floor Protectors: A plastic strip placed onto a carpet or hard flooring to protect the surface from damage during removal process.

Furniture Covers: Protective quilted covers to pack furniture into before being loaded into the removals vehicle.


Gazumping: Gazumping is when the seller, having accepted your offer, then accepts a higher offer from someone else.

Goods in Transit Insurance: This ensures that belongings are covered by the removal company’s insurance whilst being moved by the company. This is usually only up to £40 per item; if you want more comprehensive insurance you should consult your removal company or home insurance firm.

Ground rent: You will be charged this if you have purchased a leasehold property.  It is often a token ‘peppercorn’ rent charged annually.


HHG (Household Goods): The personal belongings of a home mover in a domestic move.

Hoist (Lift): Lifting apparatus used to elevate and lower items.

Home Buyer Report: The Home Buyer Report is appropriate for modern properties that are conventionally built, and older properties in reasonable condition. On 1st April 2010, it replaced by the Homebuyer Survey and Valuation. The report details important problems that could make a difference to the value of the property and gives an opinion on its valuation. It is worth remembering that if you employ the surveyor directly, you will own the details of the survey and you can negotiate accordingly.

Home Condition Report: A type of survey no longer promoted by the Government for Home Information Packs (which are no longer required). A HCR tells you about the construction and condition of the home on the date it was inspected and whether more enquiries or investigations are needed. Only available from qualified Home Inspectors.

Home Report: The Home Report is mandatory for residential properties being sold in Scotland. This is a pack of three documents: a Single Survey, an Energy Report and a Property Questionnaire. The Home Report must be made available on request to prospective buyers of the home. The Single Survey contains an assessment by a surveyor of the condition of the home, a valuation and an accessibility audit for people with particular needs. The Energy Report contains an assessment by a surveyor of the energy efficiency of the home and its environmental impact. It also recommends ways to improve its energy efficiency. The Property Questionnaire is completed by the seller of the home. It contains additional information about the home, such as Council Tax banding and factoring costs that will be useful to buyers.


Indicative Quote: An initial estimate of the cost of the removal service that is subject to change following the pre-move survey.

Insurance Certificate: An official certificate the outlines the provided insurance cover.

Insurance Inventory: A list of the items that are covered by the insurance.

Inventory: A full list of the items to be transported and delivered to the destination address.

Islamic Mortgage: Alternative to a traditional mortgage. Islamic law forbids both the payment and receipt of interest. Rather than lending money to a customer to buy a property, the bank buys a home for the customer, who then pays the purchase price in monthly instalments. Ensures the mortgage is compliant with sharia law.


Land Registry: The central body holding the register of title to land in England and Wales and records dealings (for example, sales and mortgages) with registered land.

Leasehold: A property term where one party buys the right to occupy land or a building for a specified length of time.

Letting: An arrangement where a payment is made for the temporary use of a property owned by another person or company.

Licensed Conveyancer: A legal professional specialising in property law. The role of a licensed conveyancer is similar to that of a solicitor dealing with a property transaction. They will have been trained by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers.

Listed: A building considered to be of architectural or historic significance and therefore given special protection. Listed properties are subject to planning limitations.

Loan-to-value (LTV): The size of the mortgage as a percentage of the valuation of the property.

Long Carry: A notable distance between the removals vehicle parking area and the entrance of the current or destination address for the loading and unloading of items; usually paired with difficult access.

Luton Van: Medium sized removals vehicle with approx. 600 cuft capacity.


Mileage: The delivery distance from the collection address to the destination address.

Mortgage: A loan that is secured over a property.

Move Manager (Move Co-ordinator): A member of the removal company that is responsible for managing and organising all aspects of the house move. This person will usually be the home mover’s contact within the company.


New Build: Property that has just been built and is usually sold by the building company.


Offer: When someone puts forward an amount that they would purchase a property for.


Packer: The members of the removal company that undertake the packing, wrapping and loading of a home mover’s belongings at their current address. They are also responsible for the unloading, unwrapping and unpacking at the destination address.

Packing: The preparation of the home mover’s belongings into appropriate packaging and boxes to assist with the safety and security of the items during a house move.

PBO (Packed By Owner): When the items are packed by the home mover before the arrival of the removal company.

Parking Restrictions: Regulations enforced by a city or council to control the parking of vehicles.

Parking Suspension (Parking Exemption): The pausing of parking restrictions at the request of the removal company to allow parking for a house move.

Part Load: When goods from more than one house move share a vehicle.

Pre Move Survey: A removal company’s visit to the current address to assess the volume of belongings to be moved. They will then calculate the cost of the removal service and equipment/workforce needed for the house move.

Planning permissions (Planning content): The authorization required in the United Kingdom in order to be allowed to build on land, extend a building, or change the use of land or buildings.

Property Ombudsman: The Property Ombudsman has powers that allow them to make awards of compensation for financial loss and/or aggravation, distress and inconvenience, where they feel appropriate. The service is free of charge for the public. They are not a regulator or consumer guardian.

Property Questionnaire (PQ): Document essential for property sellers in Scotland. To be completed by the seller, the PQ gives prospective buyers useful information about the property. It includes information such as parking arrangements, council tax bands, and any local authority notices or notes of alterations that have been made to the home. It is included in the Home Report.


Quotes: Indicative prices for a service.


Reassembly: Putting back together an item of furniture that had been disassembled into separate parts.

Remortgage: Repaying your mortgage by taking out an alternative mortgage the usually replaces the first, but still secured on the same property.

Repossessed: The legal term relating to a property in which a borrower has fallen short of repayments on the loan for that property. A repossessed property is usually sold at a public auction.


Searches: These involve a search of files relating to a certain property or area which are held by the Local Authority. Other searches are also carried out such as the Water Drainage Search and Environmental Search. They inform the purchaser of any potential municipal or private building work or potential issues that can affect the property.

Shuttle: A smaller removals vehicle used when access is tight to transport the home mover’s belongings between the property and main removals vehicle.

Signing off: When the home mover confirms that all belongings have been delivered and they are happy with the completed removal service.

SIT (Storage In Transit): The temporary holding of belongings before the items get delivered to the destination address in a storage facility.

Solicitor: A lawyer who traditionally offers legal services outside of the courts. A Conveyancing Solicitor handles legal documentation involved in buying or selling a property.

Specialist Services: Extra services that require specialist skill or equipment during a house move. This could be a piano move or the moving of antiques.

Stamp Duty Land Tax: A government tax which is added to the purchase price of a property. Different percentages are charged for different values of property from 0% to 12%. It’s called Stamp Duty Land Tax in England and Northern Ireland – in Scotland it’s called Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and in Wales it’s called Land Transaction Tax (LTT).

Storage: When belongings are temporarily stored in a dedicated facility.

Storage Access: The capability of accessing the storage facilities in which your items are kept.

Survey: A house survey for buyers is essential. By having it surveyed or examined by a RICS surveyor, you will know the structural state of the property. Different types of surveys go into different depths of detail.


Tenancy Deposit Scheme: Deposits paid by tenants are put into a secure account so they are available – all or in part – to get back when the tenant leaves the premises, depending on the condition in which the property is left.

Tail lift: A mechanical lift on the back of a vehicle to aid with moving items.

Terms and Conditions: The rights and duties of each involved party as defined in a contract.

Third Party Contractor: An external company that offers additional services to the removal company.

Transit Van: Small sized removals vehicle with approx. 250 cuft capacity.

Transit High Top: Long wheel base van with approx. 350 cuft capacity.


Under Offer: When an offer to purchase a property has been accepted by the seller and the transaction is now proceeding.


Valuation: An assessment of the worth of your home. There are several types – mortgage lenders usually send a qualified valuer to confirm the value of your property before they will confirm the mortgage, but this is not the same as a RICS valuation.

Vendor: The person selling the home.


Waiting Time: A length of time when the removal company suspends the continuation of the removal service. This could be due to a delay in the arrival of the keys to the destination address.

Waiver: The intentional relinquishment of a term in an agreement.


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