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Renting and Letting Glossary of Terms

A

The Act: The Housing Act 2004 which outlines the statutory requirements for TDP (tenancy deposit protection).

Additional Person Fee: A charge for every additional person included in the tenancy agreement.

Agents: These are the people responsible for the letting and renting of property commonly known as Letting Agents.

ARLA: The Association of Residential Letting Agent.

Arrears: Any late or unpaid rent.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) Agreement: The standard tenancy agreement normally used for residential lettings.

B

Bailiffs: Officers of the court used by creditors in certain circumstances to collect debts, goods or repossessing homes.

Block Management: Refers to agents acting on behalf of freeholders and leaseholds for blocks of apartments and flats. Normally this involves organising internal cleaning, garden maintenance, insurance and redecoration.

Bonded or Bonding: The agent arranges and maintains, usually through a professional body, Client Money Protection Insurance which will reimburse the public in the event of fraudulent or dishonest misappropriation of clients' money; and that the extent of cover meets the minimum criteria set from time to time by the Board of the Dispute Service.

Break Clause: A break clause in most cases allows either the landlord or tenant to give a two-month written notice at any stage after a certain date or period of the tenancy, resulting in the termination of the tenancy earlier than the end of the original fixed term. If the initial tenancy is renewed a break clause may be requested if either party do not know if the can continue the contract or not. This is also known as a Release Clause.

Buy to Let: An investment where you buy a property with the purpose of renting it out.

Buy to Let Mortgage: A mortgage designed specifically for people who but a property with the intention of renting it out.

C

Check out: The process of checking a property after a tenant has vacated. Normally only done when an inventory was carried out at the start of the tenancy. The condition of the property and the contents is checked against the inventory and the report is used as evidence for the settlement of the deposit.

Common Household: Where a residential property which is self-contained, shared and let as a whole house by two or more tenants; jointly and severally liable under the tenancy agreement.

Covenants: An agreement to refrain from or engage in a specified action that is laid out in the terms of the tenancy agreement, refers to obligations or promises made by either the Landlord or Tenant.

Conversion: The sub-division of a residential property, into self-contained flats, bedsits or maisonettes.

Custodial Deposit Protection Scheme: A deposit protection scheme in which landlords are required to pay a deposit with 14 days of receipt from the tenant. The deposits are then held by the scheme until the end of the tenancy. There is no extra cost for the tenant or landlord when using this type of scheme, as the interest which accumulates on the deposit whilst held pays for the running costs of the custodial scheme.

D

Deposit: A fixed sum taken by landlords/letting agents at the start of a tenancy to cover reasonable losses (rent arrears, damage etc.). See also Tenancy deposit scheme.

Dilapidation: Damage to the property and contents within the property that surpasses acceptable wear and tear.

E

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): All properties let for private residential purposes must have an EPC. It is used to report the energy performance of a property.

Execute a Tenancy: The procedure to finalise a legally valid tenancy by dating the original - signed by the landlord and the counterpart - which is signed by the tenant and exchanging them. The date is validly considered to be the date on which the agreement was made.

F

Fixed Term Tenancy: A tenancy with a specified start and end date.

Fully Managed: A service level offered to landlords by Your Move. This is our comprehensive, hassle free service requiring minimum involvement from you. Whatever is required by you or the tenant, we take care of it.

Furnished: A property that is let with all furnishings a tenant would need to live comfortably.

Furnishings: The contents of the property included as part of the rent.

G

Gas Safety Check: Landlords are required to arrange of a gas safety check to take place annually on rented properties. This must be carried out be a registered engineer.

Gas Safety Record (GSR): A document which shows that gas appliances (including a gas meter) has had an annual gas safety check carried out by a registered engineer. Landlords are legally required to have a GSR produced annually.

Gross rental yield: The annual rental income expressed as a percentage of the value of the property.

Ground Rent: The annual rent paid by the leaseholder to the freeholder.

Guaranteed Possession: This refers to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, where after the initial agreed period (usually 6 months), the landlord has the right to repossess the property, under the House Act 1988.

Guarantor: Someone chosen to guarantee the payments of rent for the tenant should they fall into arrears.

H

Head Lease: The purpose of the head lease is to set out the promises the landlord has made to his superior landlords. The promises contained in this lease will bind the tenant if her had prior knowledge of those promises.

High Rent Tenancy: This refers to a tenancy agreement where the annual rent is more than £100,000 per annum, also known as a contractual tenancy.

Holding Deposit: This is the amount of money (around £100+) that will be asked for when a tenant applies for a tenancy of a property, in order to reserve a rental property before the signing of the tenancy agreement. A holding deposit is usually non-refundable if you withdraw your application.

Housing Act Tenancy: This applies to tenancies which are within the scope of the Housing Act 1988 and 1996.

House in Multiple Occupation (HMO): A term applied to a property which has three or more tenants who are not a family unit.

I

Initial Term: This describes the first period of the tenancy.

Inventory: An inventory is conducted before the tenancy starts to provide an accurate list of the rental property’s contents and their condition.

J

Joint Tenancy: When two or more people rent a property together.

Joint & Several Liability: Where two or more people living in the property are jointly and severally responsible for the property. This means that both parties are equally responsible and liable for the payment of rent, bills and utilities.

L

Landlord: A person who owns a property and allows a tenant to live there in exchange for monthly rent.

Landlord's insurance: A specific type of insurance offered by certain companies to cover the needs of landlords. Can cover anything from rent losses and damage to re-housing tenants in the case of emergencies.

Lease: A document where the owner of a freehold lets out their property to a named party at a certain price for a specific time.

Lease Break: If a property manager/owner or tenant towards to end the fixed term agreement before the end date without an adequate reason.

Leasehold: The ownership of the lease.

Lessee: The person who leases a property, more commonly known a tenant.

Lessor: The person who grants a lease of a property as a landlord.

Letting Agent: An agent who assists the landlord and tenant with the letting and renting of a property.

M

Maintenance Charge: The cost of repairing and maintaining the external or internal elements of communal parts of the property for let.

Managing Agent: A letting agent who manages the day to day running of the property on behalf of the landlord. The landlord remains legally responsible for the property and repairs but the agent works on the landlord’s behalf.

Multiple Occupation: A property which is occupied by more than one tenant, which is not used as a single home. Separate tenants under individual agreements.

N

Non-Resident Landlord (NRL) Scheme: The scheme that sets the rules for how overseas landlords pay tax.

Notice Period: A declaration given by either a landlord or tenant that the tenancy agreement is coming to an end.

O

Occupancy Rights: These are included in the tenancy agreement and gives the tenant the right of occupancy of the property.

Oral Tenancy Agreement: A verbal legal agreement between a landlord and tenant, where there is no written contract. Also known as a verbal tenancy agreement.

P

Part-furnished: A property let with some furnishings, usually white goods.

PCM: Refers to the rent paid per calendar month.

Periodic Tenancy: This is a rolling tenancy. This include tenancies that were originally for a fixed term that has ended and no new fixed agreement has been drawn up.

Portable appliance test: A test carried out on electrical appliances. The test is not legally required, although the landlord is responsible for ensuring any appliances provided are safe to use.

Portfolio: When a landlord lets and owns more than one property.

Private Rental Sector: This refers to the letting of residential property owned by private landlords.

PW: Refers to rent paid per week.

R

References: A process by which an applicant (i.e. the tenant) is credit checked, as well as checks on their current employer and residence.

Rent: A fee (usually monthly) paid in exchange for accommodation.

Rent Collect: A service level offered to landlords by Your Move. As well as finding you a tenant we’ll also take care of collecting monthly payments on your behalf; this leaves you to organise other tenant matters, the property maintenance and adherence to legislation.

Rental yield: The gross rental yield is the annual rental income expressed as a percentage of the value of the property. Whereas the net rental yield takes into account the costs associated with owning the rental property such as property management, mortgage costs, insurance, etc. when making the calculation.

Right to Rent: The Right to Rent scheme, which helps to make sure that people renting property in the UK have a legal right to be here, was rolled out across England in February 2016. This Right to Rent law means that landlords or the letting agent must carry out identity checks on every tenant before they sign a tenancy agreement.

S

Security Deposit: A sum of money taken from the tenant at the beginning of the tenancy held against non-payment of the rent and any damage to the property (above and beyond reasonable wear and tear).

Set up fee: A charge for setting up a new tenancy. The cost covers referencing the tenant, drafting the tenancy agreement and registering the deposit with a Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

Sublet: The action of a tenant letting out a property to then be occupied by another person for a lesser term.

Superior Landlord: A person to whom the ownership of a property might revert to at a later stage, for example an apartment with a 99-year lease.

Superior Lease: This is the lease that the landlord holds, where the owner has a leasehold interest, but another individual owns the freehold. There is then a lease with the freehold under which the landlord is responsible for obligations/covenants. When a property is let out the tenant renting a property then also has to comply with any obligations.

T

Tenant: A person who lives in a property owned by a landlord in exchange for a monthly rent.

Tenancy Agreement: A contract (verbal or written but usually written) between landlord and tenant. The contract outlines the rights both parties have (e.g. your right to occupy the property and the landlord's right to receive rent from you).

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS): A landlord is legally required to register the tenant’s security deposit in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme which protects the money for the tenant and will assist with any disputes at the end of the tenancy.

Tenant Find: A service level offered to landlords by Your Move. We find you a tenant and organise a tenancy agreement, leaving you with the day to day running of the property let.

The Term of Tenancy: This refers to the length of a tenancy.

Termination: The end of a tenancy.

TPO: An independent body to which landlords can refer any complaint should the agent fail to address it to their satisfaction. We are founder TPO members.

U

Unfurnished: A property let with no furnishings.

Utilities: This usually refers to electricity, water and gas and may be referred to as services that the tenants are responsible for paying.

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