TenantsTips / FAQs / The rental jargon buster

The rental jargon buster

A summary of common terms used in the rental industry


Absentee Landlord -Landlords who do not live in or near to the property they own. The term is often used to describe landlords who show little concern for their property or their tenants.Applicant - an individual person applying to rent a property.

Allocations -This is the term used by social landlords to describe the process of identifying properties and letting them to people, who then become their tenants.

ALMO (Arms Length Management Organisation) A company set up by a local authority or in which a local authority has a majority share, which manages council housing stock. Because the council retains ownership, there is no change in tenancy status.

Almshouse - Form of charitable housing providing accommodation for older people or the homeless. Some almshouses are Registered Social Landlords, but their residents have different rights to tenants of none almshouse Registered Social Landlords.

Annual Lettings Plan - This is a plan drawn up by a social landlord that covers the various groups in need of housing that the landlord intends to let properties to over the year. It also sets out targets and monitors procedures. Most large housing associations and local authorities will have such a plan.

Area Based Regeneration - The improvement of a distinct geographic area by tackling a wide range of factors (e.g. unemployment, empty properties, unfit housing, poverty, crime etc) that are contributing to the decline of the area.

ARLA - The Association of Residential Letting Agents.

Assignment - An agreement between a landlord and tenant that a friend or relative of the tenant can take over the tenancy.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) - Is a formal tenancy which gives permission for a Tenant to reside in a property for a certain duration of time subject to the terms of the tenancy being adhered to.

Audit Commission - The "Independent public body responsible for ensuring that public money is spent economically, efficiently and effectively in the areas of local government, housing, health, criminal justice and fire and rescue services." (Audit Commission website) The Housing Inspectorate is part of the Audit Commission.

Link: http://www.auditcommission.gov.uk


Block Management - Agents who act for the freeholders and leaseholds for block of apartments and flats. Normally will organise internal cleaning, garden maintenance, arrange the insurance and arrange re-decoration.

Break Clause - Also referred to as a Release Clause. This is a clause sometimes inserted in a fixed term tenancy, typically if the initial fixed term is for a year or more. It will not normally be applicable during the first six months of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.. A break clause will usually be worded in such a way as to allow either landlord or tenant to give two months written notice at any stage after a particular date or period of the tenancy, or stating a set time within the fixed terms where notice can be given by either the Landlord or the Tenant, thus terminating the tenancy earlier than the end of the original fixed term.

Building Insurance Policy - insurance against the damage or destruction of the permanent structure of a property.

Building Insurance Premiums - The money paid to insurance companies at specified intervals to maintain the building insurance policy.

Buy to Let - A term used for a property bought with the intention of letting it out.

Buy to Let Mortgage - When Buyers intend to purchase a property in order to let it out, this type of mortgage is offered by the Lender.


Check Out Process - When a Tenant vacates a property under any circumstances, the Agent / Landlord and Tenant must follow certain steps. Usually a written set of vacation instructions are given to a Tenant prior to the last day of the tenancy and an appointment is made for an inventory clerk to attend the property on that last day. The Tenant is usually present and the clerk will compare the property to that listed on the ingoing inventory. Both the Tenant and the clerk will at a this point agree on any differences and the keys will be returned at the end of the appointment.

Clause - A tenancy agreement is constructed of a number of clauses. These are instructions and promises given by one party to the other which must be obeyed or fulfilled during the tenancy.

Client Monies Account - These are monies that are paid to an Agent from a Tenant which are due to the Landlord. These monies do not belong to the Agent. The Agent must keep these monies separate to their own business trading money. These monies must be forwarded to the Landlord within a period of time preset by the Landlord terms of business.

Communal Area - A shared living space, which no-one has sole right over such as the stairwells or gardens

Community Based HA - “A housing association set up to acquire and rehabilitate dwellings. Such associations are community run, have strong connections to the locality in which they operate and often have tenant majorities on the board of management”. (CIH definition)

Community Development - Generic term covering the process of building active and sustainable communities by giving residents access to information and training to enable them to take control of their communal life.

Community Development Officer (CDO) - A Community Development Officer is a community worker, employed by the council or a voluntary organisation, to help build, support and service community and residents` groups.

Community Empowerment Fund - Strategic fund set up to help voluntary and community groups get involved in decision making through the Local Strategic Partnership.

Community Fund - New name for the National Lottery Charities Board. Community Fund gives out grants from money raised through sale of National Lottery tickets.

Link: http://www.community-fund.org.uk

Company Let - Let to a bona fide company.

Contents Insurance - Insurance to cover any loss or damage to your possessions within the property.

Contract - A document which is made between two parties and which binds both parties to complete the transaction.

Council Tax - Local authority tax for England, Wales and Scotland. In most cases this will be the responsibility of a tenant to pay.

Credit Reference - a search conducted via a specialised company to ascertain if an individual has CCJs or a bad payment history.

Credit Referencing Fee - A fee charged for the credit reference search process.

Credit Union - Credit unions are locally based savings schemes that provide low cost loans to people on a low income.

Link: http://www.abcul.org/

Covenants - The terms of the tenancy agreement - obligations - "promises" made by either Landlord or Tenant. When a Landlord sublets their property to a Tenant, these terms are in the main "restrictive" meaning things that you cannot do such as keep pets or hang towels over the balcony.

Crime & Disorder Act 1998 - Gave Local Authorities extra powers to deal with people who commit acts of Anti Social Behaviour.

Criteria of Recognition - Social Landlords often have a set of guidelines called "Criteria of Recognition" that set out what a Tenants’ Association must do in order to be ‘Recognised’ by the landlord as the official group for their area. Being Recognised means that a group can receive funding, resources and support from the landlord.


Damage Disputes - When a dispute arises about who is responsible for property damage

Data Protection / Data Protection Act - Under the Data Protection Act (1998), individuals have certain rights to access information that is being held about them by organisations and companies. These organisations and companies also have a responsibility under the Act to store and use the data that they hold in a responsible way.

Link: http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/

Decant - Tenants can be temporarily moved out of their homes (decanted) to another dwelling if their landlord needs to carry out work that is disruptive or that would be difficult to do with the tenant in situ.

Decentralisation -A process by which local authority departments make their services more local, for example by having a number of smaller estate offices instead of one central office in the town hall.

Delft Model - Form of Choice Based Letting first adopted in the Netherlands in 1990.

Density (Housing Density) - Describes the number of dwellings (houses, flats, maisonettes etc.) that exist within a particular area (e.g. acre or hectare). An area with many dwellings per acre would be described as having high density housing.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - Government department dealing with employment, pensions, child welfare and disability. They have recently also taken responsibility for Health and Safety.

Link: http://www.dwp.gov.uk

Deposit - a sum of money (usually a minimum of one month's rent in advance) paid to the landlord (or agent) of the property, which is returned at the end of the tenancy, subject to the condition of the property.

Dilapidations - Any disrepair or damage to a property that the Tenant is responsible for.

Direct Debit - A pre-authorised debit on the payer's bank account initiated by the recipient (payee).

Discrepancies - When documents presented do not conform to the terms and conditions of an agreement or contract

Disturbance Payments - Social Housing Tenants who are forced to move home on a temporary or a permanent basis due to their landlord carrying out major repairs or demolition are entitled to claim Disturbance Payments to help them cover the cost of moving.

DMC District Management Committee - Some councils and housing associations have District Management Committees (e.g. Kirklees, Camden, Yorkshire Metropolitan Housing Association). These are area committees that tenants are represented on, which normally have a budget devolved from the local authority, and which make recommendations to Housing Committee/Management Board.

DPS - Deposit Protection Service. The custodial tenancy deposit protection scheme.

Link: www.depositprotection.com


Early Release - When a Tenant asks for permission to end a tenancy before it is due to expire.

Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 - Governs the safety of electrical equipment provided by the Landlord to a Tenant.

EMB Estate Management Board - Tenants and landlords can agree to share the responsibility of running their estate by setting up an Estate Management Board, with the majority of members being tenants. An agreement is drawn up saying which issues are the Board`s responsibility and which are the landlord`s.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) - Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are a compulsory set of tests which must be conducted on a property prior to letting in order for the applicant to see how energy efficient it is. This came into force in October 2008.

Estate & Area / District Committees - Joint tenant/resident and landlord committees. Estate Committees deal with local issues, not all of which may be the direct responsibility of the landlord. Area Committees concentrate mainly on the landlord’s policies and how these affect residents.

Estate Action - A series of renewal projects set up in 1985 by the Department of the Environment (now the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister). The programme aimed to help councils improve run down estates by providing funding for improvements, better management, training and enterprise initiatives. Over 1,200 projects had received funding from the programme before it became part of the Single Regeneration Budget in 1993.

Estate Agreement - An Estate Agreement is a yearly agreement negotiated between the landlord and all tenants on an estate. The agreement sets out issues such as: priorities for action, standards of service for the estate, how tenants will be kept informed and consulted, how service standards will be monitored etc. The agreement is not legally binding and does not guarantee extra resources will be given to the estate to tackle any problems.

Estate Based Management - (Not to be confused with Estate Management Boards). Housing management services delivered from local estate offices instead of from the town hall or housing association head office. These services may also include repairs, re-housing and recreational services and in some cases social services, welfare rights and environmental health services.

Eviction - Being removed from your property by a bailiff following the serving of a Possession Order.


Factors - These are the Scottish equivalent to service and lease charges made in England. They are monies which are paid for the upkeep of communal areas or parts of a building.

Fire Safety Regulations - These specify certain acts which must be undertaken by a Landlord or a Tenant. www.communities.gov.uk/fire/firesafety/firesafetylaw

Fixtures and Fittings - Items usually provided in a letting - curtains, carpets, blinds, light fittings, kitchen units, appliances,

Freeholder - A person, body or company who owns a building and who then leases out parts of the building to another person - a leaseholder.

Furnishings - Furniture or other items provided by the Landlord at the property when letting. In the case of some lettings there will beds, chairs, tables and other items of fixtures and fittings provided. It is advisable to always check as to what is provided and not to assume that items will be provided.

Fully Managed Service - A service provided by an Agent to a Landlord where the Agent will undertake many aspects of the lettings process on behalf of the Landlord to include receiving the rent and being a point of contact for the Tenant for the duration of the tenancy.


Gas Safety Regulations - This governs the safety of gas appliances and associated pipework. www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1998/19982451.htm

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

Guarantor - person who is prepared to guarantee rental payments and other obligations of a tenancy. The guarantor will be liable for rental payments if a tenant is unable to pay them, so the guarantor will need to have a regular income. Normally references and/or credit search references will be taken up on a guarantor to ensure their suitability


Head Leases - These are the terms of possession provided by a freeholder to a leaseholder. Certain aspects of this head lease will be applicable in the event of a leaseholder subletting their part of the building. These are usually the restrictive covenants.

HMO - Houses in Multiple Occupation. These are properties which are occupied by a number of people which must then comply to further legislation. www.communities.gov.uk/housing/rentingandletting/privaterenting/housesmultiple/

HMRC - Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs: www.hmrc.gov.uk

Homeless / Homelessness - Someone who does not have any permanent accommodation is described as being Homeless. All local authorities have an obligation to house the Homeless.

Link: http://www.shelter.org.uk/

Homelet - Referencing agency and insurance provider www.homeletuk.com

Homeswap -Scheme set up by HOMES to help social housing tenants find someone to swap homes with

Hostel - Hostels provide temporary accommodation for homeless individuals and families.

Housing Association (HA) - A non-profit making organisation which provides homes either for people who cannot afford to buy their own or who need special types of housing, for example elderly people. Associations usually have paid workers and are managed by a voluntary Management Committee. Housing Benefit -Extra money paid to the landlord people on income support or low incomes to cover housing costs.

Housing Co-operative - 1. PRIMARY CO-OP A group of seven or more people who agree to work together in a co-operative to provide decent housing for their members. 2. TENANT MANAGEMENT CO-OP (TMC) Where local authority or housing association tenants take on the management (but not ownership) of their own homes and estates.

Housing Finance - Is a system of money and credit that operates to enable all types of residential property to be built, managed, repaired, and exchanged. Housing finance’s 3 broad categories are: capital expenditure (i.e. construction, conversion, improvements), revenue expenditure (i.e. repairs, maintenance, and administration of properties) and income (i.e. rent collection).

Housing Inspectorate - Under the Best Value regime all local authority and housing association`s housing services will be inspected to check they are showing continuous improvement and providing value for money. This external inspection is carried out by the Audit Commission`s Housing Inspectorate team.

Housing Officer - Person employed by a local authority or housing association to carry out a range of Housing Management duties, which may include Tenant Participation if there is no dedicated Tenant Participation Officer.

Housing Ombudsman Service - In charge of investigating complaints made about Housing Associations. Before the HOS can be called in to investigate, the person making the complaint must have been through the Association’s own Complaints procedure. The HOS only investigate complaints made against landlords who are members of the HOS scheme.

Link: http://www.ihos.org.uk/

Housing Plus - A concept which promotes a wider social and economic perspective when providing social housing, for example, employment, crime prevention, education, health etc. Housing Plus aims to enable local people to improve their opportunities in life and add value to their communities.

Housing Renovation Grants - Private tenants, Landlords and Owner-occupiers can apply for a Renovations grant from the ODPM to help with the cost of repairs to a property.

Link: http://www.housing.odpm.gov.uk

Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 - housing legislation governing Scotland: www.opsi.gov.uk/.../scotland/acts2006/asp_20060001_en_1

The Housing Act 2004 (c.34) - is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It introduced the tenancy deposit protection scheme and also significantly extended the regulation of houses in multiple occupation by requiring HMOs to be licensed by local authorities.: www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2004/ukpga_20040034_en_1

Housing Benefit - A state benefit within the social security system which is paid to employed and unemployed people on low incomes to help them pay their rent.


Improvement Grants - Grants paid by the local authority to owner-occupiers and private landlords to help them to improve their property to meet standards set by the Government.

Indemnity - Is protection from loss or damage claims filed by another person.

Innovation & Good Practice (IGP) Grant - A programme of grants from the Housing Corporation to finance housing association projects which show innovation and/or good practice in housing management.

Innovation into Action (IIA) Grant - A grant programme funded by the ODPM to develop radical or new ways of involving local authority tenants in managing their homes.

Inspection - This is the process under Best Value in which the regulatory agency (which at the moment is the Audit Commission) goes out in the field to examine what is actually happening in local authority housing departments and housing associations.

Introductory Tenancies - The Housing Act 1996 allows councils to offer introductory tenancies to new tenants. These last one year and then change to a secure tenancy if the tenant has not broken the terms of the agreement. It is discretionary whether local authorities choose to do this or not, but if they do, then it must apply to all new tenants.

ITA Independent Tenant’s Advisor - An external agency, independent of the landlord, employed during a major project (such as an LSVT or Options Study) to work on behalf of the tenants. An ITA provides independent information and impartial advice, as well as support and assistance, enabling tenants to understand the processes involved in the project and to play an active role in any negotiations.

Inventory and schedule of condition - A list detailing every item including fixtures and fittings contained within a rental property and the condition each listed item is in, usually checked by all parties on the day the tenant moves in and signed by all parties.


Joint Tenancy - A tenancy where there are two or more Tenants who all have equal rights and responsibilities during a tenancy. Joint and several - As joint Tenants of a tenancy, the Tenants have joint and several liability. This means that the Landlord can recover the whole indebtedness (i.e. rent arrears) from any of the Tenants named on the tenancy agreement. The joint Tenant would then have to recover these monies from the other joint Tenants.


Landlord - Person who allows use of his property by another in exchange for rent and subject to conditions set out in a tenancy agreement or contract.

Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 - This act covers items such as information to be given to the Tenant and repairing obligations. www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1995/ukpga_19950030_en_1

Lease - An agreement, in the context of a purchased property, between landlord and tenant setting out the terms and conditions of occupation. Often confused with tenancy agreement, this is normally a long lease on an apartment (see Superior Lease) where as the agreement governing a rental is normally known as a Tenancy Agreement or a contract.

Let Agreed - A tenancy subject to contract has been agreed with the landlord by tenants

‘Let as Seen' - means renting the property as it is seen at a viewing

Letting Agent - A person or company engaged to perform, on behalf of the landlord, some or most of his duties to the tenants, in return for payment.

LHA - Local Housing Authority

LHA - local housing allowance which is a payment of money for use as rent by the local authority to those persons who are on a low income. This replaced the housing benefit payment for all new claimants from April 2009.

Liable - legally responsible

Local Authority (also referred to as “The Council”) - A term used to define a body providing and managing local public services (such as housing) in a defined area, e.g. District Councils, County Councils and Metropolitan Boroughs. Social Landlords are usually Local Authorities or Housing Associations.

Local Housing Company (LHC) - A Local Housing Company is a specially created "not-for-profit" company set up to own and manage rented homes in an area. Existing local authority housing could be transferred to the company. The company board could consist of tenants, local authority representatives and representatives from the private sector and other organisations.

Local Housing Quasi Corporation - A proposed framework which creates a new organisation controlled by the local authority to take over its homes, but does not involve stock transfer.

Local Lettings / Local Lettings Policy - Practice of involving local tenants in the letting of Social Housing properties in order to give them an opportunity to become involved in the management of their estates and to develop stable, harmonious communities.


Maintenance Charge - see Service Charge

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

Market Appraisal - assessment of the expected rent which may be achieved for a property.

Mesne Profits - sums of money paid by an occupant to the owner of the property where no permission has been given for that occupation.

Meter Readings - Data collection from meters which display the amount of usage of a utility such as electric, gas or water.

Multiple Occupancy - properties that are occupied by more than one person and fall into the category of HMO (see HMO)


NALS - National Approved Lettings Scheme

Notice - Notification by either party of any events such as notice to end a tenancy.


Ombudsman - An independent organization that investigates professionals such as letting agents, or solicitors when complaints are made by their customers.

Option - option to renew a tenancy usually written into the original tenancy agreement which allows the Tenant to continue the tenancy for a further term equal to the initial terms subject to fulfilment of the terms of the tenancy.

Option Appraisals - Councils need to assess the level and type of disrepair within their stock, compare this to the decent homes standard and work out how much it will cost to bring homes up to standard. They also need to assess the options available for them to raise the necessary investment. There are four housing investment options councils need to look at: - 1. Transfer ownership of some or all of their housing stock to a Registered Social Landlord or Housing Association that is allowed to raise private funding 2. Use the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to introduce private sector investment to some parts of the housing stock, which stays in council ownership 3. Set up a Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) to manage the housing, which stays in council ownership, and gets some extra resources when the council demonstrates it is providing a good service 4. Keep the housing in council ownership, managed the way it is now and with the same level of resources All Option Appraisals have to be completed by 2005.

Options Study - Options Studies take place on local authority estates over a short period of time. They give the residents of the estate and the local authority an opportunity to look in detail at the issues that affect it. A plan of action is put into place to address the issues that matter to residents by establishing the best way for them to be involved in the future.


PCM - Rental figure, means per calendar month

Penalties - A fee or charge for violating terms

Penthouse - an apartment located on the top floors of a building usually with exclusive access.

Pied a terre - A property kept for occasional or temporary secondary occupation.

Planned Maintenance - A system of repairs and maintenance carried out by a local authority or housing association that has been decided in advance, and accounted for in the yearly budget. Planned maintenance is often carried out on a cyclical basis (e.g. every 10 years).

Policy Excess - The pre set amount you will have to pay if you make a claim on your insurance policy

Possession Order -A legal document obtained from a magistrates court by a landlord to gain possession of a property from a tenant.

Premium - The money paid to insurance companies at specified intervals to maintain cover.

Premium Lease - A lease where the payment of rent for the full term or majority of the terms is made in advance - usually for a company let.

Property Portal - a website that collates properties from a number of different sources for viewing.

Proprietor - means the person(s) registered at present as the business owner.


Quiet Enjoyment - All secure, assured and assured shorthold tenants have a statutory Right to Quiet Enjoyment. This does not refer to noise or anti-social behaviour, as the phrase might imply, but to the possession and enjoyment of the property without undue disturbance from the landlord (or a representative of the landlord) by acts that are likely to interfere with the peace and comfort of the tenant, for example harassment or illegal eviction.


Rechargeable Repairs - Repairs carried out by a private landlord which the tenant must pay for, because they caused the damage.

Reference - Checking an applicant's suitability as a proposed Tenant, their ability to be able to pay the rent and also the applicant's track record in earlier rentals. This often involves contacting previous landlords, the present employer or accountant if self employed and bank (banks normally charge for providing references) See also Credit search references.

Refurbishment -The renovation and improvement of a property.

Registered Social Landlords – RSLs -A term describing not-for-profit organisations that provide Social Housing and are registered with the Housing Corporation. Examples include housing associations, housing trusts, housing co-operatives etc. Only RSLs are eligible to receive Social Housing Grant.

Rent - Payment made by a tenant at intervals as specified on the tenancy agreement in order to occupy a property.

Rent Arrears - If you fall behind with your rent payments (whether paid by Housing Benefit or yourself), you are said to be in rent arrears. This means that you owe your landlord money. Tenants who are in rent arrears would be advised to contact their landlord as soon as possible to try and sort the problem out, as being in arrears is a breach of the tenancy agreement and can lead to eviction

Rent Guarantee - A form of Landlord insurance where, for a relatively small annual fee, landlords can protect against loss of rent due to a breach of the tenancy by a Tenant.

Rent Receipt Service - A service provided by an Agent to a Landlord where the agent will undertake the necessary steps to find a suitable Tenant, make arrangements to commence the tenancy and to ensure that the rent is regularly receipted. The day to day management of the tenancy will be undertaken by the Landlord.

Rental Assessment - See Market Appraisal

Rent Reform / Social Rent Reform - The Government has introduced guidelines for social landlords that set out how social housing rents are to be changed so that they are all calculated to the same standard by 2012. This is known as Rent Reform. By doing this, the Government hope to keep rents affordable for social housing tenants and to bring local authority and housing association rents in line with each other.

Rental Yield - Rental yield is the amount of money a landlord receives in rent over the course of one year, expressed as a percentage of the amount of money invested in the property.

Renting - Renting is an agreement where a payment is made for the temporary use of a property owned by another person.

Repairs - Mending something that is broken, inside or outside of your home e.g. a blocked drainpipe or a dripping tap. A tenant should refer to their tenancy agreement to see whether they, or their landlord is responsible for carrying out a particular repair. See also Response Repairs and Planned Maintenance.

RICS - Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors - www.rics.org

Right to Acquire - Scheme giving eligible tenants of Registered Social Landlords the right to buy the home they currently live in. The criteria for the Right to Acquire are very specific, please read the Housing Corporation’s guide to the right to acquire for more information about eligibility.

Right to Buy - Some local authority and housing association tenants have the legal right to buy their home at a price lower than the full market value, if they have been living there for more than two years.

Right to Manage - Introduced in 1994, the Right to Manage gives local authority tenants a statutory right to take over the management of their homes by setting up a Tenant Management Organisation. Section 16 Grants are available from the ODPM to pay for a properly constituted tenants` association, working with an authorised Section 16 agency, to explore the options for taking on housing management functions.

Right to Repair - Local authorities are obliged to carry out certain small, urgent repairs which are likely to affect a tenants’ health, safety or security, within a prescribed time limit. This is known as a tenant’s Right to Repair. If the repairs are not carried out in the time given, the tenant can require the landlord to instruct another contractor to do the work.

Routine Maintenance - Includes day-to-day duties carried out at the expense of the Landlord in order to maintain the Landlord's property only maintenance which is the responsibility of the Landlord will be carried out at their expense. Maintenance required due to the negligence or an act of the Tenant or caused by damage must be paid for by the Tenant.


Schedule of Condition - A Schedule of Condition is carried out in conjunction with the inventory in order to determine the condition including cleanliness of a property prior to a tenancy beginning.

Section 16 Funding / Section 16 Agency - Under Section 16 of the Housing and Planning Act 1986 grants are available from the ODPM to pay for a properly constituted tenants` association, working with an authorised Section 16 agency, to pursue certain projects or receive training. This might involve looking at setting up a Tenant Management Organisation, carrying out an Options Study or receiving training from the National Tenant Training Programme. Section 16 Grants are only available to local authority tenants’ groups. Section 16 grants are also known as Tenant Empowerment Grants.

Link: http://www.housing.odpm.gov.uk

Secure Tenancy - The vast majority of local authority tenants, and housing association tenants whose tenancies began before 15 January 1989, are secure tenants and have a range of additional rights covered in the Housing Act 1985.

Security Deposit - see Deposit

Security of Tenure - A tenant’s right to remain in their home indefinitely provided that they keep to the conditions of their tenancy agreement

Service Charges - A charge to the Leaseholder for the maintenance and repair of commonly shared internal and external parts of the building / premises.

Shared Occupancy - see Multiple Occupancy or Joint Tenancy

Social Housing - "Housing of an adequate standard which is cheaper than that which is generally available in the local housing market. This can comprise a combination of subsidised rented housing, subsidised low cost home ownership including shared ownership, and in some market situations cheap housing for sale". (ODPM definition).

Social Housing Grant -The money that the Government gives housing associations or co-operatives to help them to buy, build, repair or improve homes for rent or sale.

Social Landlord - Provider of Social Housing such as a Local Authority or Registered Social Landlord.

Smoke Detectors Act 1991 - This act governs the necessity for hard wired smoke detectors to be installed into all newly built properties since 1991. www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1991/Ukpga_19910037_en_1

Starter Tenancies - The Housing Association term for Introductory tenancies.

Statute - The primary legislation, made by parliament, of the UK. Examples of statutes are the acts such as Landlord and Tenant Act, Housing Act.

Studio Flat - A studio flat has one bathroom/shower room and an open-plan living area that incorporates kitchen, lounge and bedroom facilities.

Sub-Let - A tenant reassigns part or all of the property they are renting to another tenant. This terms can also be used for a leaseholder who lets their property to another person.

Succession / Right of Succession - The right to automatically transfer the tenancy of a property on the death of a tenant. For example, if a husband and wife lived together in the property and the husband was the tenant, upon his death the wife would automatically take over the tenancy.


Tenancy - The tenancy is the granting of temporary possession of a property to a tenant by a Landlord.

Tenancy Administration Fee - A fee which is collected by an Agent to a Tenant in order to commence the necessary tasks to create a tenancy.

Tenancy Agreement - The Tenancy agreement legally identifies the rights of both tenants and landlords by detailing all the terms and conditions of the rental arrangements. Statue will always dictate certain rights and responsibilities regardless of what or whether it is stated in the tenancy agreement.

TA Tenants’ Association - A voluntary group made up of people who live in a particular area or scheme, who have got together to have their say on local issues, improve their area or organise social events. Can also be called a Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, Residents’ Association, Tenants’ and Leaseholders’ Association etc.

Tenant Consultation - A "Tenant Consultation" refers to arrangements for involving tenants in decisions on housing policy and practice that goes beyond information provision but does not include actual housing management. 2.The legal definition as stated in Section 105 of the 1985 Housing Act is: a council must inform tenants of its proposals, it must give tenants the right to comment, and it must give consideration to tenants` comments before it takes a decision.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme - There are three tenancy deposit schemes which run in accordance with the Housing Act 2004, Tenancy Deposit Protection. They have been officially appointed by the government and are the only persons legally able to register and protect Tenant's deposits. The three schemes are run by The Deposit Protection Service, The Dispute Service and My Deposits.

Tenant Empowerment Grant (TEG) - ODPM grant available to local authority tenants to help them fund projects that allow tenants to get more involved with the management of their neighbourhood. The grant can be used to fund Training, Options Studies or Tenant Management projects.

Link: http://www.housing.odpm.gov.uk

Tenant’s Handbook - Handbook given to new tenants by a local authority or housing association. It contains useful information about the tenancy and the landlord.

Tenant Inspection Advisers / Tenant Inspectors / Tenant Auditors - Tenants working voluntarily with Audit Commission inspection teams to provide a tenant’s viewpoint on the quality of housing services provided by local authorities and registered social landlords. If you would like to become a Tenant Inspection Adviser, please contact the Audit Commission.

Link: http://www.auditcommission.gov.uk/

Tenant Management - Tenant Management refers to tenants taking over all or part of the running of Housing Management services (e.g. repairs and maintenance) by forming a TMO.

Tenant Participation (TP) -“A two way process involving sharing of information and ideas, where tenants are able to influence decisions and take part in what is happening.” (TPAS/CIH Definition

Tenant Participation Compacts (TP Compacts) - “Locally-negotiated agreements between a local authority landlord and its tenants, setting out how tenants will be involved collectively in taking local decisions on housing issues which affect them.” (ODPM Definition December 1998)

Tenancy Renewal Fee - a fee which is payable to by Tenant to the Agent in order to effect a renewal of the tenancy for a further term. This fee is usually split between the Landlord and the Tenant.

Tenant - The Tenant is the person / party legally entitled to temporary possession of a property.

Turnaround - The period of time in which a property is made available to rent.

TV Licence - A compulsory fee paid to the BBC for ownership of a television or radio in a property.


Utility Bills - These are normally electricity, gas and water. Under most circumstances the tenant is responsible for paying for these.


Viewing - An appointment where an agent shows applicants around an available property

Void Periods - where a property available for rent remains vacant.


Warranty - written assurance that some product or service will be provided or will meet certain specifications.

Wear and Tear - the day to day deterioration of a property through normal use.

White Goods - usually kitchen and utility appliances, including: washing machine and fridges.


Yield - Income from a property calculated as a percentage of its value.


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