Jargon buster
What we actually mean...

Don't know the difference between your dilapidations and your green belt? Let us help by telling you exactly what everything means.

"the Act" in the context of Tenants' deposits, means the Housing Act 2004, in which the statutory requirements for tenancy deposit protection are contained.

Agent means an individual or company who lets or manages property on behalf of its owner.

AST - An Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) is the usual form of letting for a private tenant renting from a private landlord; where the tenancy began on or after 15 January 1989; the annual rent does not exceed £25,000; the house or flat is let as separate accommodation; and is the tenant's main home.

Bond - See Deposit

Bonding or bonded means that the Agent has arranged 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.

Buy to let mortgage - A type of mortgage specifically designed for people buying a property with the intention of letting it out.

Client Account means an account set up in a bank, building society or other financial institution specifically to hold money held on behalf of clients.

Contract - A legal agreement between the seller and buyer of a property which binds both parties to complete the transaction.

Covenants - Rules and regulations governing the property, contained in its title deeds or lease.

Conversions - The sub-division of residential properties into bedsits, self-contained flats or maisonettes.

Deposit means any sum collected from the tenant at the start of the tenancy, as prescribed in the tenancy agreement and held by the Agent on behalf of the Tenant as security against: performance of obligations under the tenancy agreement; any damage to the property etc.; and/or non-payment of rent during the tenancy period.

Detached - Term used to describe a property that stands alone and is separated from all others.

Development - The carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, or over

Dilapidations - Any disrepair or damage to a rented property.

Draft Contract - Preliminary, unconfirmed version of the contract.

Fixtures & Fittings include references to any of the fixtures, fittings, furnishings, or effects, floor, ceiling or wall coverings.

Freehold - Technical word for the ownership of the property, meaning that it belongs to the owner without limitation of time.

Green Belt - Specially designated area of countryside protected from most forms of development in order to stop urban sprawl and the coalescence of settlements, preserve the character of existing settlements and encourage development to locate within existing built-up areas.

Ground Rent - The annual charge levied by the freeholder to the leaseholder.

Guarantor - Someone who guarantees an obligation of another.

Head Lease sets out the promises the Landlord has made to his Superior Landlord. The promises contained in this Head Lease will bind the Tenant if he has prior knowledge of those promises.

HMO - House in Multiple Occupation.

ICE Means the Independent Case Examiner of The Dispute Service Ltd.

Inventory & Schedule of Condition is the document drawn up prior to the commencement of the Tenancy by the Agent or Inventory Clerk which shall include the Fixtures & Fittings in the Premises including all matters specified in the Inventory and Schedule of Condition which will be given to the Tenant at the start of the Tenancy.

Landlord means an individual or company who lets property.

Lease - A legal document by which the freehold (or leasehold) owner of a property lets the premises or a part of it to another party for a specified length of time, after the expiry of which ownership may revert to the freeholder or superior leaseholder.

Leasehold - To be given ownership of a property but not the land it is built on. This normally requires payment of ground rent to the landlord.

Lessor - Person responsible for granting a lease - normally the landlord.

Letting - An agreement to let a property.

Listed Building - Building or other structure of special architectural or historic interest.

Maisonette - A property arranged over more than one floor (ie: a portion of the house).

Letting - An agreement to let a property.

Listed Building - Building or other structure of special architectural or historic interest.

Maisonette - A property arranged over more than one floor (ie: a portion of the house).

Maintenance Charge - A charge (usually levied in flats) to cover the cost of repairing and maintaining the external or internal parts of communal part of a building.

Mezzanine - Intermediate floor usually in a multi-story building, which does not extend to the full floor area of the whole building.

Mortgagee - The lender of a mortgage (ie: bank or building society).

Mortgage - An amount of money advanced by a lender such as a bank or building society on the security of a property and repayable over a long period.

Notice Period is the amount of notice that the Landlord must give the Tenant and vice versa.

Public Open Space - Land provided in urban or rural areas for public recreation, though not necessarily publicly owned.

Public Right of Way - A way where the public has a right to walk, and in some cases ride horses, bicycles, motorcycles or drive motor vehicles, which will be designated either as a footpath, a bridleway, a road used as a public path or a byway.

Premises means any part or parts of the building boundaries fences garden and outbuildings belonging to the Landlord unless they have been specifically excluded from the Tenancy. When the Tenancy is part of a larger building the Premises include the use of common access ways and facilities.

Prescribed information means information which the Housing Act 2004 Sections 213 (5) - (6) and The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007 require to be provided to the tenant within 14 days of the deposit having been received.

Private Rented Sector means the industry concerned with the letting of residential property owned by private landlords.

Professional Body means an organisation which acts in some form to regulate or supervise the activities of its members.

Ring fenced is where the money is held in such a way that it can only be used for a specified purpose.£ So in the case of a tenancy deposit you can use it for the purposes set out in the tenancy agreement.

Semi-detached - A property which is joined to one other house.

Stakeholder is a person or firm who holds the deposit as a quasi-trustee on behalf of both parties and who cannot release it without the consent of both parties

Sole Agent - When a single agent is instructed to undertake a sale or let

Studio Flat - A flat consisting of one main room or open-plan living area incorporating cooking and sleeping facilities and a separate bathroom/shower room.

Subject to Contract - Words to indicate that an agreement is not yet legally binding.

Superior Landlord means the person for the time being who owns the interest in the Premises which gives him the right to possession of the Premises at the end of the Landlord's lease of the Premises.

TDS or the Scheme or the statutory scheme means the Tenancy Deposit Scheme run by the Company for the protection of tenancy deposits and the resolution of disputes between landlords, agents and tenants concerning the return of deposits at the end of tenancies; and which has been set up in accordance with the Housing Act 2004.

The Dispute Service, TDS Ltd means The Dispute Service Limited, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with registered number; 4851694.

Tenant means an individual or company who holds or possesses property for a time in return for the payment of rent.

Tenancy Agreement - A legal document outlining the terms and conditions of the tenancy and is used to protect the rights of both the tenant and the landlord.

Terrace Property - One of a row of houses separated only by shared dividing side walls.

Tree Preservation Order (TPO) - Direction made by a local planning authority that makes it an offence to cut, top, lop, uproot or willfull damage or destroy a tree without that authority's permission.

Terraced house - A property which forms part of a connected row of houses.

Urban Fringe - Predominantly open land on the edge of an existing urban area.

Urban Regeneration - The re-use or redevelopment of decaying or run-down parts of older urban areas to bring them new life and economic vitality.

Victorian - Property built between approximately 1837 -1901.

Yield - Income from a property calculated as a percentage of it's value.

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On the Market January 2015
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