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Property Jargon Buster - Common Lettings Terms

Renting a property can be very confusing at times especially with all the property related jargon that you may across. Below we have gathered an A-Z of common property jargon we letting agents use on a daily basis. Should you require any advice then please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.



An agent who acts on behalf of the landlord who may be involved in the marketing, rent collection and management of the property.


The person or party interested in renting a property.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST)

An Assured Shorthold Tenancy explains how you can end your tenancy, when your landlord can evict you and the landlord’s responsibilities including getting repairs done and not disturbing you. This is the most common type of Tenancy Agreement.


Rent that has been paid by the tenant in whole or in part after the due date specified in the tenancy agreement.

Administration Fee

This is a charge to tenants who will be moving into a property by the managing agent that covers the cost of preparation of paperwork to let a property.


Break Clause

This allows the landlord or tenant to get out of a Tenancy Agreement before the agreed official end date.

Buy to Let

This is where a property has been purchased with intent to let out in the future.


Common Household

This is when a property is inhabited by more than one tenant. All tenants under the contract are liable.

Contractual Obligation

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

Contractual Term

A fixed period of time stated in a contract referring to the time that the contract will last.

Credit Check References

These references are required before a tenant moves into rented accommodation. We use an external company called Homelet who will contact the applicant’s employer, landlord and also check the tenant’s credit history who will then provide us with a report.



A deposit is a sum of money (usually the equivalent of 6 weeks rent) held by the managing agent for security should any damage be caused to a property.


Any damage caused to a property or contents that exceeds acceptable wear and tear.

Duty of care

An obligation owed to others, specifically Landlords and Tenants, to provide the correct advice regarding lettings and ensure the well-being and safety of those who may visit the property.


Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

An EPC is a graph which measures the energy efficiency and environmental impact of a property using the scale of A-G. This is a legal requirement commissioned before a property can be marketed.

Execute a Tenancy

This is the procedure where a valid tenancy agreement by dating the Original (Signed by the landlord) and Counterpart (Signed by the tenant) and exchanging them. The date is legally considered on which the agreement was made.


Fixtures and Fittings

Items that is included in a rental property. These are Non-structural items and usually include items such as curtains, blinds, light fittings, kitchen units and appliances. We would normally advice looking at the fixtures and fittings list on your agreement to see what is included before moving in.


Gas Safety Certificate

This is a legally required certificate which needs to be renewed on an annual basis and carried out by a Gas Safe engineer to ensure any appliance such as a boiler or a gas fire is operating safely in a property.


A guarantor is an individual, often a close relative, who assumes the financial liabilities of the tenant including paying the rent in the event that they fail to do so. We require that a tenant who is using house benefits has a guarantor.



The procedure when the tenants are allowed occupation of a property.


Initial Term

This describes the first period of the tenancy.


An inventory details the contents of a property and includes the state and condition of a property including the fixtures, fittings and the garden. An inventory is usually carried out at the beginning of a tenancy and then checked out at the end.



The person, persons, company or body that has the right to let the property.


The agreement to let a specific property.

Managing Agent

A professional or company responsible under an agency agreement for the maintenance and management of the property.

Multiple Occupancy (HMO)

This is where a property is shared by three or more tenants who are not members of the same family. You will share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants.


Notice Period

The amount of noticed that the landlord is required to give the tenant to end the tenancy and vice versa.


Non Residence Landlord Scheme form, which must be sent to the Inland Revenue


Periodic Tenancy

A periodic tenancy is a tenancy which runs commonly runs from month to month. You can also run from week to week, quarter to quarter or even year to year.


Refers to the rental figure for a property and stands for ‘per calendar month’.


The landlord and tenant (and possibly a guarantor) who come together to sign a tenancy agreement.


Ring Fenced

Refers to money held in such a way that it can only be used for a specified purpose.


Sole Agent

When a single agent is instructed to undertake the marketing of a property.

Studio Apartment/Flat

A flat with a bedroom and living room all in one either with a separate kitchen or a corner of the main room as a kitchen, with a separate bathroom and toilet.

Subject to Contract

Signifies that an agreement is not yet legally binding.


This is where a tenant will sublet accommodation to be occupied by another person (or subtenant).

Schedule of Condition

The state of the property and contents prior to the tenancy.



A person, persons, company or organisation who is entitled to occupy a property under the terms and conditions of a tenancy agreement.

Tenancy Agreement

A legally binding document containing details about rental terms, this is also known as a rental agreement.

The Term of Tenancy

This refers to the length of a tenancy. Most tenancy agreements are for a minimum of 6 months although they may be shorter or longer.


The ending of a tenancy.



These are normally electricity, gas and water and may be referred to as a services which, under most circumstances, the tenant is responsible for paying for.



Refers to income from a property calculated as a percentage of its value.

About The Author

Everyone at Edison Ford works as a team to bring you this content however, the content is generally written by Peter and the advice included in our guides comes from our own experiences and research collectively. We hope you find our content insightful and if you have any suggestions, then please feel free to email Peter.

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