Landlords | Jargon Buster

Finding your way through jargon and industry speak can be tricky, especially if you’re a first-time landlord.

We’ve put together a list of common phrases you might hear when letting your property out.

Applicant: The individual that is applying to rent the property

Additional Person Fee: This is a fee that is added to each additional person who is to be included in the tenancy agreement.

ARLA: The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) are the UK’s most popular professional industry body for letting agents. ARLA ensure that all agents meet a certain requirement of service level and protect their clients’ money.

Arrears: Late rent, or rent that is unpaid that the tenant owes to the landlord.

Buy to let: An investment property bought with the intention of letting it out.

Check out: This is the inspection process a property goes through at the end of the tenancy, before the deposit is returned to a tenant. If there are repairs needed on the property that were caused by the tenant and are not general wear and tear, any fees will be deducted from the deposit.

Communal area: A shared living space in a property, usually found in a HMO.

EPC: An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is used to rate the energy efficiency of a property. This is done by looking at the amount of energy that the property uses along with the carbon dioxide it emits.

Fixed Term Tenancy: This is a tenancy that has a specific start and end date.

Furnished: This refers to a property that is rented out with furniture included for use within the property until the end of a tenancy.

Gas Safety Check: A legal check carried out every twelve months by a registered engineer to ensure the provision of gas to the property is safe.

Guarantor: A third party that isn’t listed as a tenant and agrees to keep up rental payments if the tenant falls into arrears.

HMO: A House in Multiple Occupation is a property that is shared by multiple residents that share communal facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom.

Inventory: A check that is carried out before the start of a tenancy to formally document the contents and condition of a property. This is often referred to at the checkout process to ensure the condition hasn’t changed.

Landlord: A person who lets out land, a building or accommodation.

Letting Agent: The letting agent facilitates the agreement between a landlord and a tenant for the rental of a property.

Managing Agent: A letting agent who also manages the property on the landlord’s behalf.

Notice: Official confirmation that the tenancy is coming to an end, this can be given by the landlord or the tenant.

Part-furnished: A property that is let with partial furnishings, these usually include white goods.

PAT test: A Portable Appliance Test ensures that electrical appliances with a plug are safe to use.

Reference: A reference involves a series of checks carried out on a tenant, these include employment checks, credit rating and checks with a tenant’s current landlord.

Rent: This is usually a monthly fee that is paid to a landlord by a tenant in exchange for accommodation.

Security Deposit: This is money paid by the tenant before the tenancy begins. This is taken as a security precaution should a tenant default on payment of rent, or cause any damage during their time as a tenant.

TDS: The Tenancy Deposit Scheme is a government scheme set up to protect a tenant’s deposit throughout their tenancy.

Tenant: The person who lives in the rented accommodation.

The Property Ombudsman: This is a scheme that was set up to allow a mediator to step in where a dispute between a tenant and landlord arises.

Unfurnished: This is a rental property that is let with no furnishings, it is up to the tenant to furnish the property during their residency.