Jargon Buster

We have compiled a shortlist of terms that may assist you when it comes to renting:

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.

Lease: A legal estate for a term of years. The lease sets out the rights and responsibilities of both parties.

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.

Lessee: The tenant.

Lessor: 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. Also, 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.

NRL 1: Non- Residence Landlord Scheme form which is sent to the Inland Revenue.

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

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 his sole or principle residence (relevant to Ground 1).

Parties: 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.

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

Social Housing: Mainly Local Authority, Housing Association or Trust property.

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

Stamping Tenancy: Required under the Stamps Act 1891. On payment of duty, the amount of money detailed in the Act, due to the Inland Revenue.

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

Subject to Contract: A Legal term placed as a heading on pre-contract letters to make it clear in law that the contents of that document do not constitute a contract.

Sublet: 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.

Term: The period shown in the Tenancy Agreement as the length of the letting.

Term of Contract: An expression referring to stipulated rights or responsibilities expressed in a contract.

Termination: The ending of a tenancy.

To Clear Monies: To pass through the banking system. To ensure money, other than cash or bankers’ drafts, is secure in your account and available for use

  • Thanks for the Tenancy agreement today and all the hard work you have put into finding the tenant's for me, they seem like a lovely couple starting out and very excited, hopefully they will turn out to be trustworthy and reliable.

    Mr Peter Bradley
  • Thank you all so much for all your help.

    Natasha Hopwood
  • Thanks for all your help in renting my property.

    Gemma Wright
  • Wish you could manage all my properties

    Tony Mothershaw
  • Thanks for the super service my other house is at Bridgfords but will definitely be coming to you cheers

    Jeremy Crowther
  • Thanks for your work on sorting this out so quickly, and dealing with the tenants! Much appreciated

    Kath Armitage
  • Thanks as always for the first rate job you do for us!

    Michael Warren
  • Thanks very much Diane, fingers crossed! Thank you for your help with everything, much appreciated

    Christine Thompson
  • Have just seen this, You have made it look amazing thank you so much. Have shared on Facebook.

    Sky Bendelow
  • Excellent to work with as a contractor. Great communication, updates and responses. From my ongoing relationship and experience FSL come highly recommended.

    Carl Thornley
  • Thankful for the speedy sale on my mum's property. The staff remained in constant contact with us with updates regarding the sale. Went above and beyond couldn't praise them enough.

    Susan Johnson
  • The most professional letting agency I've used. Always get back to you quickly as a tenant if you have an issue and are as focused on the tenant as the landlord, again a rarity with letting agencies in my experience.

    Ian Wilson
  • An extremely professional organisation who very swiftly and efficiently found us our new tenants within 24 hours of our ad going live. Communications between tenants and landlord through fsl are excellent. I can fully recommend fsl estate agents.

    Jill Brookling
  • I have used FSL for a Tenant Find Service for a number of years and have always been pleased with the service.

    Betty Christie
  • cannot fault them, they got us into our home quickly and efficiently and have managed the property well. they handled the bond via escrow much better than my last experience with whitegates. i even got a free mug and pen on move in date. thank you.

    Richard Taylor
  • My partner and I rented our first property together throughout FSL, quick, easy and so friendly. Answered every question with ease and made us both feel very comfortable. Thank you!

    Jordan Walton
  • FSL provide a curteous, efficient, friendly service and gets results.

    john richardson
  • The staff at FSL, especially Amy, have gone above and beyond in helping to secure a new 6 year lease on our retail unit in Wakefield city center.

    Andrew Smith
  • Fantasic estate agent and great staff! Highly recommend.

    Tom Avery
  • Fantastic landlords. East to approach and deal with and were quick to repair a couple of problems when reported. Lovely people and goid company. Would whole heartedly recommend.

    Stephen Parsonage
  • I am renting my very first property with FSL; after struggling with so many others, I am finally glad to have found the most helpful, caring and informative estate agents who put the client first no matter what. Diane was extremely attentive to our needs and even managed to push the moving in date forward so that it would work better for us all. Moving in was straight forward, simple, and not a daunting experience at all.. I highly recommend FSL to anybody looking for a new property: excellent service and a great team.

    Jess Miree
  • After dealing with several (stressful) agencies in the Wakefield and Leeds area, we decided to go through FSL to rent our new home. Diane was absolutely lovely, it's refreshing to have someone so helpful and organised dealing with our move. FSL have raised the bar in the Wakefield area and I would recommend them to anyone!

    Jackson Beckett
  • As a first time commercial property leaser i was very anxious about the whole process but Amy was very helpful & we completed really quickly & easily. Id definitely recommend. But i would of liked to have known about when id have to start paying rent as i was caught out by not realising that it should of been written into the lease. My mistake as a novice.

    Beverley Hirst

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