Property Jargon

When you are looking to rent and in particular at the stage in this process where you need to sign for the tenancy agreements you may possibly see or read some terms, conditions & property wording that you have never heard of previously.

Our property jargon-buster will help you sort through the industry terms to explain in a clearer language what it all means.

Arrears

If you’re late paying your rent on the agreed rent day then you will be  in arrears. Always contact us straight away if you are having trouble meeting payments.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST)

This is the most common agreement used for individual tenants. All parties have assurance in the tenancy Agreement as end dates are agreed.

Council Tax

This is an authority that is applied to England, Wales and Scotland. It is the tenants responsibility to make regular payments to this local authority which is known as council tax

Covenants

These terms will explain the things that you are not able to do whilst staying in this rented property setting out the commitments that both the landlord and the tenant have to both adhere to throughout the terms of the tenancy

Credit Search References

This is to check out a future tenant on their credit history and will entail contacting previous landlords or agents to ensure that they are capable of paying the rent each month. An employer could be contacted for a reference or an accountant if self employed. These are very important and need to be thoroughly carried out to ensure the right tenant is found.

Deposit

A tenant will be asked by the landlord to pay an amount as a deposit which is to cover any accidental damage or any rental that is outstanding. This amount is approximately 5 weeks rental but of course this is entirely up to the landlord to ask for the amount that his required to allow for these eventualities.

Dilapidation

This is referred to the amount of acceptable wear and tear to the property and the level of damage caused whilst the tenant was living in the property

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

All letting properties must have an energy performance certificates EPC which provides the ratings of the efficiency of the property’s energy with regards to the running costs and the impact rating on the environmental which are called carbon emissions. These are calculated on the condition of the property. These ratings are very similar to the graphs that you see when a new appliance is purchased for example a dishwasher

Fixture & Fittings

In the rented property a few items may be classed as fitted fixtures for instance fitted carpets, the kitchen cabinets, some white goods & light fittings etc and it also may include some pieces of furniture.  All of these items that are in the property are classed as fittings and fixtures so will remain always in the property even after vacating.

Gas Safety Regulations

This is the legal responsibility of the landlord to ensure that this is carried out before the property is rented out. It must be regularly checked and always by a Gas Safe registered and authorised engineer. A copy of the checked record has to be given to the tenant.

Grounds for possession

These are only applied for to the courts when a repossession of a property needs to be carried out

Guarantor

This is someone who signs a tenancy agreement and legally agrees to guarantee to take on the full requirements of the tenancy on behalf of the tenant. This is to ensure that if for any reason the tenant is unable to no longer pay this rental amount the guarantor will have to make these payments on their behalf

Holding Deposit

This is an amount of money that is paid to a landlord/letting agent which is called a holding deposit which secures a rental property. This amount is usually a non refundable amount that is given before a tenancy agreement is signed for. If you were to decide to not go ahead with renting the said property.

The landlord/agent has the right to not refund this amount back, if the tenancy agreement is signed for then the holding deposit will be put towards the rental.

Initial Term

This is the first period of time of the rented tenancy

Inventory

This is a full list of the complete contents of a property. This can also fully describe the exact state and condition of the property which may also have a garden so this will be have to be accurately listed. It will mention if the property is clean/dirty and the exact true state of the fixtures and fittings for example the furniture, windows, light fittings or power sockets.

Liability

If there are more than one adult person living in the rented property then the tenancy agreement will be listed as JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY responsible which means that all the individual tenants will be fully liable for the payment of the rent as any breach of the tenancy agreement by any of the other tenants along with their own share of the rent and responsibility

Notice Period

This is the period of time that a landlord or the tenant has to give to end the tenancy agreement.

Prescribed Information

It is a legal requirement for the landlord to make certain information with regards to the tenancy deposit protection scheme that protects the deposit and the specified tenancy information available to tenant/s

PCM

This is a short form abbreviation that refers to the amount of rental that is being paid on a PER CALENDAR MONTH basis

Renewal

Towards the end of the fixed term of an assured short hold tenancy some landlords and tenants decide to renew the tenancy for another fixed term.  This gives the tenant far more security. A landlord may decide to ask the tenant to sign if they wish to adjust the terms of your tenancy agreement in which it could be to raise the cost of the rent.

Statutory Obligation

This is a requirement and an obligation of the landlord or agent that acts on their behalf and is set out by Acts of Parliament

Standing Order

This is an instruction to a bank to an account holder to arrange fixed payments to a specific person or company & this if often used to pay rent and usually paid monthly. These standing order amounts can be set to finish at a specific time period or can continue until this amount is cancelled by the tenant. It is worth mentioning that only the person whose bank account the funds are coming from are able to cancel this set standing order. This is not the same as a direct debit as this is usually an amount that changes from month to month.  Direct debits are not often used to pay for rent.

Sublet

This is where an existing tenant decides to let out all or part of their home to another person/s & this is known as subletting.  Your tenancy agreement may have written in it that you are not allowed to sublet or it may stipulate that you have to get permission from your landlord before deciding to sublet.  If you do sublet your property without getting permission your landlord may have to take legal action against you as the tenant.

Tenancy Agreement

A tenancy agreement is an agreement that is usually signed before a property is let. This is a contract set between a landlord and the tenant that sets out the terms and conditions of their rental agreement