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Property rental jargon explained – all you need to know when moving home

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Property rental jargon explained - all you need to know when moving home

The property market is now starting to shake off the lockdown shackles with rental properties also beginning to move following the coronavirus shutdown.

However, it’s easy to get lost in the agent-speak jargon when property experts use specific terms of the trade without even realising it.

This can leave homehunters entering into agreements they don’t fully understand leaving them open for some nasty shocks ahead.

Rental app  Movebubble has put together a list of terms which to help end the confusion around property transactions.

Chief executive Aidan Rushby said: “We always aim to make the whole process of renting as smooth and hassle free as possible – from finding the perfect property, to using our ‘Home Walkthroughs’ virtual viewings and understanding all the language agents can throw at you.”

Key terms and jargon for renters

What is an AST?

This is an acronym for Assured Shorthold Tenancy. This is the most common form of contract between tenants and property owners and it details the conditions of the tenancy. Once the AST is signed, sealed and delivered – you’re ready to move into your new home.

How is Build-to-Rent different?
Build-to-Rent represents homes built exclusively for renters.

Instead of dealing with a landlord, you rent from the operators of the Build-to-Rent building.

What is Buy-to-Let?

Buy-to-let is the name given to properties bought by a landlord and then rented out to you lovely renters. You don’t need to concern yourself with the meaning too much, but it can be helpful knowing what it stands for if you hear the word every now and then.

What is check in and check out?

Before you move into a property, a managing agent or landlord will conduct a check-in. They essentially walk you around the home and point out anything you need to know, such as the location of smoke alarms, how locks work and the locations of gas and electric meters.

The check-out takes place at the end of the tenancy and compares the property to its pre-move in condition (minus fair wear and tear).

Inventory

The letting agent or landlord records an inventory which states the contents and condition of the property. The inventory is then used at check-in and check-out to cross-reference the overall conditions of the home before and after you move in.

What does let agreed mean?

Every renter and landlord looks forward to hearing the all-important “let agreed”; which means a deal in principle has been agreed for the rental property. Once a let is agreed and you pay the holding deposit (more on that later), the property will be removed from the rental market.

What is the zero deposit scheme?

Zero deposit replaces the traditional security deposit (more on that later too), which currently sees renters paying five week’s worth of rent. The scheme is designed to help tenants so they don’t need to pay a full security deposit before moving in.

Glossary of other often-used terms

Arrears
Unpaid rent that is outstanding to the landlord

Break clause
A provision built into the tenancy agreement that allows the renter or landlord to end the tenancy early

Contents insurance
Insurance that covers the personal items of a renter, including furniture, computers, household appliances and jewellery.

Credit search
A search that reveals your past credit history

Dilapidations
Items that have been damaged during the tenancy and lie at the fault of the renter

EPC
An energy performance certificate lets you know a property’s energy efficiency. Landlords are required by law to provide a valid EPC that has a rating of E or higher.

Fixtures and fittings
The items provided by the landlord in the rental property

GSR
The gas safety record is a certificate that states all gas appliances, pipework and flues are safe in the property. Landlords are legally required to provide a gas safety check every 12 months.

Guarantor
Someone who guarantees the rent if you are unable to make payments

Holding deposit
The amount you pay to secure the property after a “let agreed” occurs. The holding deposit is typically one week’s rent and is deducted from the first month’s rental payment

Managing agent
The agent who looks after the property and manages aspects like maintenance repairs.

Notice period
The amount of notice a landlord or renter needs to provide before they move out.

PCM
Per calendar month, which usually refers to the amount of rent paid each month

PW
Per week, which refers to the amount of rent on a weekly basis

Right to Rent
The right to rent check shows that you can legally rent a property in the UK. Landlords and agents are required to perform a right to rent check before you move into the property.

Security deposit
A deposit held against the property in case you are responsible for any damages during the tenancy. Security deposits are capped at five week’s rent.

Sharing
When several renters live together but don’t form an official family

Subletting
When a renter lets part of the property (or all of it) to someone else. Remember – you must have permission from the landlord to sublet

TDS
Tenancy deposit scheme, which is an official scheme where the landlord must hold your security deposit

Wear and tear
Natural damage that inevitably happens in a property over time. Renters are not liable for wear and tear, as it’s considered the result of ageing and the property being lived in.

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