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Glossary of
Lettings Terms


Money unpaid by a tenant in whole or in part after the due date specified in the tenancy agreement.


An Assured Shorthold Tenancy.

Buy-To-Let Mortgage

A type of mortgage specifically designed for investors buying a property with the intention of letting it out. A minimum deposit of 15% is required, as is proof of rental valuation or rental comparisons in the area.

Check In and Check Out(s)

Meetings at the beginning and the end of the tenancy to ascertain the condition of the property. Ideally this is carried out by an independent inventory clerk.

Credit Referencing Agency

A Credit Referencing Agency is used by letting agents to verify the credentials of the tenant(s) to determine their suitability as clients. We employ a comprehensive search, which looks at the full credit history of the applicant as well as their level of debt on credit cards.

Common Household

Where a residential property is self-contained and shared as a whole house by two or more tenants. Our tenants are usually jointly and severally liable under the tenancy.

Contractual Obligation

A binding obligation imposed on a party to a contract and which, if not complied with, breaches the contract.

Contractual Term

A fixed period of time stated in a contract or agreement as being the time for which the contract will last.


Damage or excess wear and tear to a property or its contents.

Dilapidations Deposit

This is the money initially provided by the tenant(s) against any disrepair or damage to a rented property during the tenancy. The Housing Act 2004 specifies that all deposits taken must be registered with an authorised deposit scheme.

Execute (a tenancy)

The procedure to complete a legally valid tenancy by dating the Original (Signed by the Landlord or the agent on behalf of the Landlord) and the Counterpart (Signed by the Tenant). The date is legally considered to be the date on which the agreement was made.


Contracts to let residential property are for a fixed term and at (renewals) the expiration of that term an extension is negotiated for a further fixed term or a periodic month-by- month basis or Quarterly basis.


Financial Intermediaries and Claims Office - an Inland Revenue department administering tax for overseas Landlords.

Grounds For Possession

The reasons for applying to the courts for repossession of a property and the basis of a case. There are two types of grounds – mandatory and statutory.


A third party who under takes to be responsible in whole or part for the obligations of a tenant. The guarantor undertakes to pay if the tenant defaults.


The 1985 Housing Act definition of "House in Multiple Occupation" was a "house which is occupied by persons who do not form a single household". If the property has 5 or more people and/or is over 3 floors then it requires a mandatory licence from the local council.

Initial Term

This describes the first term period of the tenancy.

Joint & Several Tenancies

This applies to Tenancy Agreements involving more than one Tenant or Landlord. They are bound individually and together by the terms of the Tenancy Agreement.


The owner of a property that is ‘let out'. Where there is more than one owner, each will be a ‘landlord' and jointly liable.

Law of Contract

Law of Contract Tenancy / Tenancies outside the scope of the Housing Acts of 1988 and 1996 and subject to the standard provisions of contracts.


A contract granting use or occupation of property during a specified period in exchange for a specified rent. The lease sets out the rights and responsibilities of both parties.


The Tenant.

Leasehold Consent

Owners of property which is Leasehold, may find that their lease requires them to apply for consent to sublet from their Head Landlord.


The Landlord.

Managing Agent

A professional person or company responsible under an Agency Agreement for the maintenance and management of the property.

Multiple Occupation

A property occupied by more than one tenant and not used as a single home, e.g. Individual and private rooms which may be locked but where tenants share facilities. Any residential property which is occupied by separate Tenants under individual Agreements.

Non-Housing Act

Residential tenancies which do not meet the criteria of the Housing Act 1988 and Tenancies Act 1996 are collectively known as Non-Housing Act Tenancies.


Formal written statements to a party of a tenancy specifying certain statements and proposals. Formal documents issued at certain points during a tenancy.


Non- Residence Landlord Scheme form which is sent to the Inland Revenue.

Occupancy Rights

Contained within the Tenancy Agreement giving the Tenant right to occupancy of the property.

Owner Occupier

The person who owns the property who is, has been and will be living in the property as their sole or principle residence (relevant to Ground 1).


Landlord and Tenant (and possibly a guarantor) who come together to sign a Tenancy Agreement. They are collectively known as ‘The Parties’ to the agreement.

Periodic Tenancy

Either Contractual Periodic – a tenancy which is contracted by agreement to run from month-to-month, or Statutory Periodic when a fixed term comes to an end and the tenant remains, by agreement, in the property under the same terms and conditions as the original Agreement and runs from month-to-month, or quarter-to- quarter, depending upon the basis on which the rent is paid.

Power of Attorney

A legal document giving a third party an absolute or limited right over the principal’s property and assets.

Public Liability Insurance

An insurance policy designed to protect members of the public injured or affected by an accident or occurrence.


Occurs when the mortgage lender takes possession of a property due to non-payment of the mortgage/arrears.

Resident Landlord

Where the Landlord occupies part of the dwelling as their main or principle home and lets the rest of it.

Schedule of Condition

This describes the state of fixtures and fittings and free standing articles and that of the property itself.

Social Housing

Mainly Local Authority, Housing Association or Trust property.


A third party or agent whose responsibility is to hold the deposit and distribute at the end of the Tenancy Agreement by mutual consent.

Statutory Obligations

Requirements and obligations placed on Landlords and/or their agents by Acts of Parliament – i.e. Law of the Land.


The action of a tenant in letting the accommodation to be occupied by another person for a lesser term.

Tax Exemption

An exemption number issued by the Inland Revenue Office (FICO) to your agency approving the passing of rents to the customer without a tax deduction.


Temporary possession of a property by a Tenant. This usually ranges from between 6 months to 3 years.

Tenancy Agreement

A legal agreement designed to protect the rights of the Tenant and Landlord setting out all the terms and conditions of the rental arrangements. The most commonly used type is an ‘Assured Shorthold Tenancy' set for a fixed period with a fixed date when the property will be vacated.


The person(s) who has temporary possession of a property in accordance with the Tenancy Agreement.


The ending of a Tenancy.

Under Offer

The status of a property, when a Landlord has accepted an offer from a Tenant(s) prior to the move-in.


The income from a property calculated as a percentage of its value, used by investors to determine the profitability of the asset.