Agent – An agent generally refers to the person that acts on behalf of the landlord who may be involved in the letting, sales, rent collection, property management or any services related to estate agency.
Break clause – A break clause is an important clause in a lease that provides(i) either or both parties the ability to terminate the lease early on the service of notice, (ii) the incorporation of a guarantor, (iii) the allowance of pets at the property, (iv) other such additions
Contents Insurance – Contents Insurance is taken out by the tenant to protect their belongings such as furniture, jewellery, pictures and items of value against fire, damage and theft. You should ask for it to include cover to re-house you in the event of fire or flood damage rendering the let property uninhabitable.
Council Tax – Tax charged to the person living in the property such as the tenant (or property owner if the property is empty). It is a contribution to local services such as police, waste collection and the fire service. The council tax varies depending on the property's value; is set annually by the individual Local Authority and paid monthly.
Credit Check – The procedure by which a check is made on the credit history of an applicant, usually conducted by one of the large dedicated credit rating agencies. The check will reveal history of credit card repayments, outstanding debts, arrears and County Court Judgments.
Guarantor – A person who is prepared to guarantee rental payments and other obligations of a tenancy on behalf of the tenant. 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 or credit search references will be taken up on a guarantor.
Holding Deposit Fee – A fee which is payable to reserve a property at the start of the application process. This may or may not be refundable under certain conditions, and the fee may vary.
Inventories – Inventories are created before a tenant moves into a rented property. It is an essential service, which protects both the tenant and landlord. Inventories detail the condition of the property and any items the landlord has left in the property during the tenancy. The inventory is referred to before the tenant moves in (check-in) and when the tenant moves out (check out). They are paid for by both the tenant, and the landlord.
Landlord – Is a person, persons, company or body that has a formal interest in the premises and has the right to let the property.
Lease – A contractually binding agreement that grants a right to exclusive possession or use of property, usually in return for a periodic payment called rent.
References – References or 'reference checks' allow a Landlord to check a tenancy applicant's suitability 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.
Security Deposit – The sum paid by the tenant in respect of any damage or disrepair occasioned to the property (save for fair wear and tear) including in respect of any rent and claims for damages to the contents or any other obligation contained in the tenancy agreement.
Tenancy Agreement – This is the legal document that agrees the terms and conditions of letting a property between a landlord and tenant. The agreement explains the rent to be paid, the date it should be paid, the rights and responsibilities of a landlord and tenant and under what circumstances the agreement can be terminated.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) – Sums are deposited securely with this government led service for the protection of tenancy deposits and the resolution of disputes between landlords, agents and tenants, in relation to the return of deposits at the end of a tenancy. The TDS is a mandatory scheme that has been set up in accordance with the Housing Act 2004.
Tenant – A tenant is a person, or number of people, a company or organisation who is entitled to occupy a property under the terms and conditions of a tenancy agreement.
Term of Tenancy– length of tenancy – most initial tenancy agreements are for a minimum of six months, they can be longer.
The Property Ombudsman (TPO) – The Property Ombudsman (TPO) is a free, fair and independent mediation service which provides sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants with a guarantee that they will receive the highest level of customer service.
Utilities – Utilities normally refer to electricity, gas and water and may be referred to as services that under most circumstances – in most, if not all leases the tenant is responsible for paying all the utility services.