Rental Property Jargon and Terms Explained

For first-time property tenants (or even those who are familiar with the process) there are a lot of terms that may be unfamiliar. This post should help!

When it comes to rentals, there is a lot of property specific language that can go straight over your head. In a an earlier post we looked at first time property buyer jargon, but here we will provide a comprehensive list of several common terms associated with renting a property!

Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST)

An AST is the most common type of property agreement in the UK. Typically, these tenancies run between 6 and 12 months – during which, the tenant is committed to paying rent on the property for the duration of the contract

Break Clause

Break clauses can be put in tenancy agreements, which allows either the landlord or the tenant to end the contract early. This is usually providing either party has given two months written notice.

Check Out Process

This usually involves the steps that take place when a tenant is moving out of a property. The Check Out Process usually involves checking the inventory that was taken at the start of the tenancy, and ensuring everything is as it should be. This process is then usually ended by the tenant returning the property keys.

Clauses are what makes up a tenancy agreement. They involve the rules, instructions and conditions agreed between the landlord and the tenant.

Communal Areas
These are the living spaces that are shared between all the tenants of a single property.

Contents Insurance
This covers the loss of your possessions from within a property or any damage that occurs to them.

Man signing a property rental contract

A legally binding document between two parties which is signed at the start of any agreement.

Credit Reference
This provides insight into your financial history and how you have handled debt.

Provisions or restrictions set out by the landlord in the tenancy agreement.

Damage Disputes
Deciding who is responsible for property damages that have arisen

A refundable fee that is paid by the tenant at the start of the agreement, and is usually returned at the end of the contract providing no issues have arisen.

DPS (Deposit Protection Service)
This is a company that protects the deposits of tenants, they hold the deposits until the end of the tenancy agreement.

Early Release
A request by the tenant to end the tenancy agreement before the agreed date.

Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
The set of regulations regarding the safety of electronic equipment provided by the landlord.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
A set of tests that determine how energy efficient the property is. These are mandatory and must be completed by the landlord before a tenant moves in.

The action of a tenant being removed from a property by a bailiff.

Fixtures and Fittings
Household units and appliances that are included within the letting.

A person who is liable for rent payments on behalf of a tenant, if that tenant is unable to pay or meet the terms of the tenancy agreement.

Housing Benefit
A state benefit paid by the government to people who have receive low income in order to help pay rent.

Joint Tenancy
An agreement with two or more tenants that share equal rights and responsibilities.

The person who lets out their property to a tenant in exchange for money.

Let Agreed
The agreement to let a property between a tenant and a landlord.

‘Let as Seen’
Renting the property as it was when viewed by prospective tenants

Letting Agent
The company or person advertising and letting out the property on behalf of the landlord. The letting agent usually acts as the middle man between the landlord and tenant, and takes on some of the responsibilities in exchange for payment from the landlord.

The period of time given before vacating a property.

Per calendar month.

A punishment, which usually involves paying a fine, for violating the terms of the tenancy agreement.

A credit reference, or reference from a previous landlord regarding the tenant’s previous conduct and payment history

The agreed payment between a tenant and a landlord

Rent Arrears
Missing payments or falling behind on payments causes a tenant to be in rent arrears.

Schedule of Condition
Usually carried out pre-tenancy agreement with the inventory, this makes a record of the condition of the property in terms of cleanliness.

Tenancy Agreement
The legally binding agreement between tenant and landlord, that states and details all the terms of renting the property.

The person agreeing to rent a property from a landlord.

Wear and Tear
Unintentional damage or deterioration to the property, that occurs through everyday use.

White Goods
Essential appliances such as fridges and washing machines.

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Rental property jargon