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Learn The Lingo

Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST)
This is the most common type of Tenancy Agreement and provides the tenant with certain protections under The Housing Act 1988. This agreement should be used where the tenancy is for a period of six months or more and the tenant is an individual, or group of individuals, rather than a company.

Break clause
A break clause gives the tenant or landlord the right to terminate a Tenancy Agreement, in writing under specific circumstances, before the date the agreement is officially due to end.

This is the abbreviation for a County Court Judgement which will be highlighted on a credit check if the applicant has been taken to court for an outstanding debt in the past. If the debt has been paid after the Judgement has been issued, the CCJ will still show up but it will appear as satisfied.

Converted flat
A flat or apartment that has been created by the subdivision of a larger property.

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 check agencies. The check will reveal history of credit card repayments, outstanding debts, arrears and County Court Judgments.


Credit history
A history of an individual's or company's past borrowing, including information about late payments and bankruptcy.

A sum of money (usually four to six weeks' rent) paid by the tenant prior to moving in.

Any disrepair or damage to a rented property. The costs of the dilapidations are usually recovered from the deposit.

A person who signs the tenancy agreement to confirm they will be responsible for the rent in the event that it is not paid by the tenant. This person will be reference checked.

An inventory is a list describing the condition and contents of a property and is produced prior to commencement of the tenancy and referred to at the end of the tenancy, against which dilapidations/weaknesses etc which occur during the tenancy can be measured to ensure that the property is left in the same condition.

The owner of property that is rented.

Landlord's reference
A reference given by a previous landlord, which confirms an applicant's history of payment of rent and previous conduct as a tenant.

A self-contained apartment (usually on two floors) in a larger house with its own entrance from the outside.

Section 21 notice
The notice a landlord can give to a tenant to regain possession of a property

Short let
A short let is a tenancy that typically lasts for a period of less than six months (subject to local authority restrictions).

Statutory periodic tenancy
When the fixed term of an Assured or Assured Shorthold Tenancy comes to an end but the Tenant stays, a periodic tenancy automatically follows if no additional contracts are signed, the tenancy will be on the same basis as the original agreement.

Studio flat
A flat consisting of one main room or open-plan living area, incorporating cooking and sleeping facilities usually with a separate bathroom/shower room.

Subject to contract
Words that confirm an agreement is not yet legally binding.

The temporary occupation of a property by a tenant.

Tenancy Agreement
A legal agreement designed to protect the rights of the landlord and the tenant setting out all Terms and Conditions of the rental arrangements.


Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (TDPS)
All deposits being paid by a tenant for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy must be registered with a recognised deposit protection scheme.

An individual, group of individuals (up to four) or company who holds or possesses property for a time, in return for the payment of


The Property Ombudsman (TPO)

is a free, fair and independent arbitration service which provides sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants with an assurance that they will receive the highest level of customer services.

Under offer
The status of a property to let when a landlord has accepted an offer from a prospective tenant, prior to exchange of contracts.

A basic survey of a property to estimate its value for letting purposes.


Void period
Period of time when a property is empty/unoccupied by a tenant.