Section 21 Notice The notice which must be served to end a tenancy.
Share of Freehold – Share of freehold means that when you buy a flat the lease on the property comes with a share of ownership of the building. Leaseholders in a block with several properties often choose to buy the freehold between them and so share of freehold gives them more control over the management of the property. It is important to remember that when purchasing a property with a share of free hold, the property is still a leasehold property.
Sinking Fund – When you buy a leasehold property, part of the service charge may be paid into a sinking fund. The sinking fund builds up over the years to cover future projects that may be needed to repair or improve the building. The freeholder or the property management company will be responsible for the service charge management and will notify leaseholders if part of the service charge will be paid into a sinking fund.
Sold Subject to Contract (STC) – This term refers to the fact an offer has been accepted by the vendor and that a sale is proceeding. It means the same as ‘Under offer’ or ‘Sale agreed’.
Sole Agency – Where you employ the services of one agent to sell your property for an agreed period of time. should you sell your property through another agent before your agreement with the sole agent has ended, then you may have to pay the original agent their fee as well. Likewise, the agent must respect the terms of the agreement and ensure that the service promised and agreed is delivered. If other agents approach you during the term of a sole agency agreement, they must warn you of a possible liability to pay commission to more than one agent. Sole Agency fees are lower than where more than one agent is instructed.
Sole Selling Rights – This means that the appointed selling agent will be due the agreed fee, even if you end up selling your property privately or through another agent. This usually applies to development / land, new homes, auction and properties being sold by tender.
Stamp Duty Land Tax – A tax you must pay on a property when you buy it. The duty must be paid at the point of completion.
Statutory Periodic Tenancy – If at the end of a fixed term tenancy, neither party does anything and no further agreement is made, the tenancy will automatically run from one rent period to the next on the same terms as the preceding fixed term assured shorthold tenancy. It will continue to run on this basis until replaced by a new agreement or by one party giving the other notice. Once notice is served, it will only be effective from the start of the next period of renewal and will end on the last day of that period. The tenant will have to provide not less than 1 months notice and the landlord not less than 2 months.
Subject to Contract – Words to indicate that an agreement is not yet legally binding.
Settlement – caused by the weight of a new building/structure or part of it. Buildings are heavy things and, as their weight is taken up by the ground, a little movement caused by this adjustment sometimes occurs as the ground consolidates under the new load – this is settlement. It usually occurs early in the life of a building and rarely recurs, although, there are exceptions, for example, in soft clay soils. Settlement rarely causes problems, although differential settlement (differing degrees of settlement between connected parts of the same structure) can cause damage. Not to be confused with subsidence.
Subsidence – This results from external factors which cause the disruption, displacement, contraction or distortion of the ground under or around a building. Some of the more common causes include-
- TREES – trees extract moisture from the ground which then contracts, particularly in shrinkable clay soils, causing buildings above to move (subside).
- DRAINS – leaking drains can wash away or erode the adjacent ground which then partially collapses reducing the lateral (sideways) strength of the ground. The support provided by this ground will then be reduced causing any building above to move (subside).
There could be movement in the ground beneath your home if you find: New or expanding cracks in plasterwork; New or expanding cracks in outside brickwork or rendering; Sticking doors or windows; Rippling wallpaper with no other apparent cause e.g. damp.
Survey – A thorough report on the property you are planning to buy. This can be a full structural survey, a homebuyers report or a basic mortgage valuation.