A

A.C.U. (average cost of unit)

The cost of merchandise acquired by a rental company.

Abatement

An abatement is a lease clause stating that if your apartment is damaged or under repair (not by you or someone in your care's fault or from a disaster, also known as force majeure), your landlord will allow you to suspend your lease and not charge you rent while the apartment is uninhabitable and you're living elsewhere.

APR

Annual percentage rate (APR) is the official rate used to help you understand the cost of borrowing. It takes into account the interest rate and additional charges of a credit offer. All lenders have to tell you what their APR is before you sign a credit agreement.

B

Bedsit

A one-roomed unit of accommodation typically consisting of a combined bedroom and a sitting room with cooking facilities

Bridging Loan

A bridging loan (or ‘bridge loan’) can be useful if you need to borrow money for a short period. It can help to ‘bridge the gap’ if you want to buy a new home before selling your old one. Bridging loans can also be used if you buy a property at auction, where you’ll need the money immediately but may not have sold your current property yet.

Buy-to-Let Mortgage

A buy-to-let mortgage is a mortgage sold specifically to people who buy property as an investment, rather than as a place to live. If you plan to rent out a new property, most lenders will prefer you not to finance your purchase with a standard residential mortgage.

C

Capital repayment

Regular capital repayments are made over the term of the loan, usually monthly. Mortgages repaid in this way are known as repayment mortgages or capital-and-interest mortgages.

Closing Date

The date set for submission of offers when more than one party show interest in the property.

Completion Date

Completion of the legal transaction with all monies and documents having been distributed. This is also when the seller’s solicitor will instruct the estate agent to release the keys.

D

Deeds

Legal documents assigning ownership of a property and/or land.

Deposit

An amount of money that you pay upfront as a percentage towards the price of the property, or as a safeguard sum towards renting a property.

Detached house

A detached home is a permanent dwelling, usually set on a separate lot and includes ownership rights to the land on which it is situated.

E

Equity

Equity is the market value of a homeowner’s unencumbered interest in their real property, that is, the difference between the home’s fair market value and the outstanding balance of all liens on the property.

Estate Agents

A real estate agent is a licensed professional who represents buyers or sellers in real estate transactions. A real estate agent usually works on commission, being paid a percentage of the property’s sale price.

F

False Representation

To misrepresent a service or product's condition or capabilities or to state falsely the obligations of a contract or agreement.

Full Structural Survey

This is the most comprehensive survey and is suitable for all residential properties. It’s particularly good for older homes or homes that might need repairs.

Further Advance

A further advance is taking on more borrowing from your current mortgage lender. This is typically at a different rate to your main mortgage. This route can make sense if: Your lender’s further advance is competitive. You don’t want to remortgage or switch lenders.

G

Gazumping

The practice by a seller accepting a higher price than that previously agreed with someone else.

Gazundering

The practice by a buyer lowering his offer just before exchange of contracts.

Grace period

The time between the rental renewal date and the date when late charges or reinstatement fees are charged.

Guarantor

More common amongst younger renters, having a someone as a guarantor means that the landlord can legally ask them to pay any rent due if the tenants fail to. There are also guarantor insurance policies now which can be used as an alternative.

H

Homebuyers report

A HomeBuyer Report (or HomeBuyer Survey) is a survey to find and document any problems in a property that could cause damage and need future repairs, such as damp or subsidence. A HomeBuyer Report is carried out on homes that are in a reasonable condition and only checks for easily visible problems.

The Homebuyer Survey includes a visual inspection of all major indoor features including ceilings, roof, walls, and bathrooms, as well as permanent outdoor buildings and features including roofing, pipes, gutters, walls, windows, and doors

I

IFA

Independent financial advisers (IFAs) are professionals who offer independent advice on financial matters to their clients and recommend suitable financial products from the whole of the market.

Insolvency

The inability to pay one's debts when due or to convert assets into cash and pay debts.

Instruction

When a seller instructs an estate agent to market a property.

Interest-only

An interest–only mortgage allows you to pay just the interest charged each month for the term of the loan. You don’t have to repay the amount you’ve borrowed until the end of the term.

Inventory

An inventory is a documentation of all the contents and condition of a property which is taken before a tenancy begins, this is then referenced at the end of the tenancy to document any changes in its condition. Taking a thorough inventory at the start of the tenancy and ensuring the tenant agrees with it can help avoid disputes at the end of the tenancy.

J

Joint Mortgage

A mortgage where there is more than one individual named responsible for the mortgage.

Joint Tenancy

A joint tenancy is where two or more people rent a property together & are jointly responsible for the items within the Tenancy Agreement.

K

Kerb Appeal

Kerb appeal refers to how good the exterior of a property looks. This can include things like the guttering, paint, front garden and windows. A property with good kerb appeal can make a better first impression with prospective tenants.

L

Landlord

A landlord is the owner of a house, apartment, condominium, land, or real estate which is rented or leased to an individual or business, who is called a tenant (also a lessee or renter).

Lease

A lease is a contractual arrangement calling for the lessee (user) to pay the lessor (owner) for use of an asset. Property, buildings and vehicles are common assets that are leased. Industrial or business equipment is also leased.

Leasehold

With a leasehold, you own the property (subject to the terms of the leasehold) for the length of your lease agreement with the freeholder. When the lease ends, ownership returns to the freeholder, unless you can extend the lease.

Letting Agent

The letting agent is responsible for helping landlords and their tenants. Duties of a letting agent include managing rental properties, finding tenants and making sure rent is paid. A letting agent is responsible for managing properties for private landlords. Depending on the level of service acquired, the agent’s responsibilities can include finding tenants, collecting rent, and fully managing the tenancy.

Loan To Value(LTV)

Loan-to-value (LTV) is an often-used ratio in mortgage lending to determine the amount necessary to put in a deposit and whether a lender will extend credit to a borrower.

Local Authority Search

An application made to the appropriate Local Authority requesting details of any planning or other matters which might affect the property being sold.

Lump sum payment

Payment in full in a single sum made at one time.

M

Mortgage Deed

A legal document relating to the mortgage lenders interest in the property.

N

Negative Equity

When the value of a property is less than the outstanding sum owed on a mortgage.

Notice Period

This is the amount of time that the landlord or tenant must give the other party to end the tenancy.

O

Occupancy Rights

These rights are included within the tenancy agreement and give tenants the right to occupancy of the property.

Offer

A bid made by a prospective buyer, this is not legally binding.

P

Portfolio

A property portfolio is a collection of property investments owned by an individual, a group or a company. There are many benefits to owning a property portfolio as opposed to either owning no properties or owning just one investment property.

Portfolio Gearing

Gearing is a term used to describe the overall equity levels within a portfolio of properties and gives an indication of the level of debt against the portfolio value. If a portfolio has a high gearing there is very little equity in the overall portfolio.

R

Remortgage

Remortgaging is the process of switching your existing mortgage to a new deal, using the same property as security.