AST: Assured Shorthold Tenancy
Arrears: Money unpaid by the tenant in whole or in part after the due date specified in the tenancy agreement.
Break Clause: A clause in a tenancy agreement allowing either or both parties to follow a set procedure to break the agreement.
Buy to let: A scheme for investment Landlords to finance and purchase a property to be let.
Common Household: Where a residential property is self contained and shared as a whole house by two or more tenants. The 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.
Customer: Your customer is the Landlord. They sign the contract with your ‘company’ and you act for them.
Deposit: A sum of money agreed between the parties and paid to the Landlord or his agent by the tenant as security for the satisfactory completion of the tenancy, its terms and as a guarantee of performance.
Dilapidation: Damage or excess ‘wear and tear’ to a property or contents.
Due Diligence: A process in the performance of your duties to the generally accepted professional standard.
Duty of Care: An obligation you owe to others, in particular Landlords and tenants, to provide the correct advice regarding lettings and to ensure the well being and safety of all those who visit the property.
Execute (a tenancy): The procedure to complete a legally valid tenancy by dating the Original (signed by the landlord) and the Counterpart (signed by the tenant) and then exchanging them. The date is legally considered to be the date on which the agreement was made.
Extensions: Contracts to let residential property are for a fixed term. At the expiration of that term an extension is negotiated (renewal) for a further fixed term, month-by-month or quarterly basis.
FICO: Financial Intermediaries and Claims Office – an Inland Revenue department administering tax for your overseas Landlords.
Freeholder: Freeholder (or superior landlord). With leasehold property, there will be a superior Landlord and/or a freeholder who owns the land on which the building stands AND who has ultimate responsibility for the building itself.
Gas Safety Registered: The trade organisation for registered gas fitters.
Grounds For Possession: The reasons for applying to the courts for repossession of a property and the basis of a case.
Guarantor: A third party who undertakes to be responsible in whole or part for the obligations of a tenant who subsequently breaches a Tenancy Agreement, by means of deed or enjoining on the Tenancy Agreement.
Handover: When tenants are allowed occupation of a property.
Head Landlord: A person or organisation that owns the freehold of a property which has been let out (and may be sub-let).
Housing Act Tenancy: Currently applied only to tenancies which fall within the scope of the Housing Act 1988 & Housing Act 1996.
Initial Term: This describes the first term period of the tenancy.
Inventory: An inventory is a list made prior to the letting, detailing all fixtures, fittings and free standing articles. This should incorporate a Schedule of Condition.
Schedule of Condition: This describes the state of fixtures and fittings and free standing articles and that of the property itself.
Jointly and Severally: A legal expression where two or more persons are held responsible under one tenancy. Each can be held responsible for the whole of the tenancy as well as his share.
Landlord’s Gas Safety: Commonly called the ‘Gas Certificate’, issued by a Gas Safe registered contractor.
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.