At Rentmyhome, we understand how bewildering the world of property can be - especially if you’re letting your home for the first time!
… And even if you’re not so new to the rental market, it’s still very much OK to need to look up the meaning of all this property terminology. It’s called estate agent’s jargon for a reason after all. Nobody expects you to know all the legal terms or acronyms off the top of your head (unless you’re a fully fledged property tycoon of course!).
So, here you have a glossary of all the terms you need to know if you’re going through the process of renting your home:
AST – Assured Shorthold Tenancy. This is the most common type of tenancy. It gives the landlord the right to claim their property back after the initial agreed period, which is usually twelve months with a six-month break clause. A landlord can therefore evict their tenant after the specified period without a legal reason.
Break Clause/ Release Clause – this is a clause within a tenancy agreement that provides both the tenant and the landlord the opportunity to terminate the tenancy agreement early during the fixed-term. For example, a 24 month contract could get terminated after 6 months. Either party can ‘break’ the tenancy before the fixed end date, providing the correct procedures are followed.
Buildings Insurance – this covers the cost of repair or rebuilding a property following structural damage or destruction. Here’s an explanation of who is responsible for taking out buildings insurance:
If you have a mortgage and you own the freehold of your property, buildings insurance is usually compulsory as part of your mortgage agreement.
If you own the leasehold, your lease may state that you, the leaseholder should take out buildings insurance. Alternatively, the freeholder may take out insurance and charge you for it.
Tenants are not usually responsible for buildings insurance, but may be responsible for any loss or damage to fixtures and fittings. It’s recommended that tenants take out household contents insurance to cover this.
Contents Insurance – this covers the cost for damage to, or loss of, an individual’s personal possessions, fixtures and fittings while they are within the home. Some policies also provide restricted cover for personal possessions taken away from the home (e.g. bikes and laptops).
Covenant – in the context of a tenancy agreement, these are the terms of the agreement, including obligations of the tenant and the landlord.
Fixed Price – this an indication given by the estate agent that rental offers by the tenant will be accepted for the price shown only.
Fixtures and Fittings – these are any non-structural items included in the property. Fixtures are items that are fixed to a building or land. Fittings are not attached to the building or land. The landlord should complete an inventory that confirms what’s included in the property during the tenancy.
Guarantor – this is a person who will agree to guarantee that they will repay a loan or debt in case the tenant cannot pay it.
Guide Price - an indication on rental price given by the estate agent. Offers could be over or under this amount.
Inventory – this is a list of all the contents, fixtures and fittings within a property, as well as its condition. This will normally be provided alongside the tenancy agreement.
Joint Tenants – this legal term refers to when there are two or more people co-living in the property. The joint tenants would share equal ownership of the property and have equal rights to keep or cease renting the property. If one were to leave, their share of the property passes to the other/s.
Joint Agency – where two or more estate agents work together to market a given property.
Maintenance Charge – this is a fee paid by the tenant to the landlord for the maintenance and upkeep of external or internal communal parts of a property.
Offer – when you make an offer on a property, whether it be to rent or to buy, you put in a bid of the price that you’d like to pay. This is not legally binding.
PCM – this stands for Per Calendar Month and refers to the rent due each month on a rental property.
Sole Agent - this is where only one estate agent is instructed to handle the letting of a property.
Tenancy Agreement – also known as rental agreement. This contains the terms and conditions of a tenancy.
Tenants – this refers to the individuals living in a property owned by a landlord.
Under Offer – this is when the landlord has accepted an offer on their property but the contracts have not been exchanged yet.
Now, you’re ready to start letting your home! Get in touch with Rentmyhome today - we promise not to speak in confusing estate agent’s jargon, plus we could save you hundreds or even thousands on estate agents fees. We’re an online estate agent and we don’t charge a commission (just a flat rate from as little as £49).
We’ll market your property on all major portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla. Our agents vet and look after your potential tenants with the greatest care. We’re rated 9.7 out of 10 on Trustpilot for a reason!
Give us a ring on 0203 44 12345, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy renting!