A helpful guide to keep things simple
An agent must keep written records of keys held and inform tenants of any access required in accordance with the terms of the tenancy agreement, except in cases of genuine emergency.
Additional Person Fee
A charge for every additional person to be included in the tenancy agreement.
Affordable housing includes social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to households whose needs are not met by the market. (See explanations of these terms below).
Affordable Rented Housing
Affordable rented housing is let by local authorities or private registered providers of social housing (housing associations) to those who are eligible and qualify for the Council’s housing register. Rents are above target rents but are not in excess of 80 per cent of local market rent.
Agency Agreement (Landlords only)
When dealing with an agent landlords should ensure that they understand the services to be provided and that they are recorded in the agreement. Services range from finding a tenant, carrying out referencing, drafting a tenancy agreement, arranging an inventory, check-in, or for the rent collection and management of the tenancy thereafter.
It should be clear how long the agency agreement runs for; how it can be terminated, the notice required, and whether there is any continuing liability for any costs after it ends. The agents terms of business should include all fees and confirm whether they are a member of TPO or another redress scheme. When you sign the agreement you are entering into a legally binding contract under which you will incur a financial commitment.
Ensure that you have read and understood the terms of the agreement and understand the commitments you will be entering into with Warwickshire Residential Lettings or the landlord. Do not feel pressured into signing and be aware that if you sign the document in your home or at your place of work you are entitled to cancel it within 14 days.
Any late or unpaid rent.
The Association of Residential Letting Agent, the UK’s foremost professional body for letting agents.
Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement
The standard tenancy agreement normally used for residential lettings.
This is the type of tenancy agreement usually offered by housing associations. Tenants can continue to live in the property for as long as they wish, as long as they do not break certain conditions set out in the Housing Act 1988.
The individual(s) designated to receive the benefits from a policy.
A break clause (or a ‘break option’ or ‘option to determine’) is a clause in a lease which provides the landlord or tenant with a right to terminate the lease before its contractual expiry date, if certain criteria are met.
Buy to Leave
Residential property bought and deliberately left empty.
Buy to Let
An investment where you buy a property – usually with a mortgage – and rent it out.
The term generally used to describe land that has been previously developed, and may be available for re-use.
The process of checking a property after a tenant has vacated. Normally only done when an inventory was carried out at the start of the tenancy. The condition of the property and the contents is checked against the inventory and the report is used as evidence for the settlement of the deposit.
Choice-Based Lettings (CBL)
Choice-based lettings schemes are designed to allow an element of choice for people applying for council and housing association homes and existing tenants who want a transfer. As properties become available for letting, full details are advertised on the Home Connections website and applicants assessed as needing to be rehoused can bid for available properties.
Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO)
A legal order that allows certain bodies to take over land or property against the wishes of the owner. There is a lengthy legal process involved and the majority of those directly affected receive compensation.
Common Housing Register (CHR) or Housing Register
The Council’s list of people applying for social housing including
housing owned and/or managed by the Council and housing associations. People have to meet certain criteria to join the register and it only includes those in the greatest housing need.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
A charge that developers have to pay to local authorities when undertaking new building projects. The amount charged relates to the net increase in gross internal area floorspace arising from development. It is used to fund infrastructure that is needed to support development for example, creating additional school places or GP services.
Gardens which are shared by residents of a designated block or blocks but are not open to the public.
Gardens which are managed or maintained by a local community or residents’ group.
Levied by local councils to cover the cost of local amenities and services.
The process of moving residents from their homes while improvements are carried out. It also describes the process where a block or estate is to be completely redeveloped, and residents are moved to allow redevelopment to take place.
Decent Homes Standard
Introduced by government to ensure all social housing meets a minimum standard. The standard requires the property to be free of health and safety hazards, in a reasonable state of repair, having a reasonably modern kitchen, bathroom, boiler and adequate insulation.
Deposit Protection Service (DPS)
Unconfirmed version of the contract.