Landlord and Tenant Dispute – Glossary
The term ‘assured
tenancy’ applies when a tenant is granted a certain level of tenure as part of
their tenancy agreement. Such agreements are usually issued by a housing
association or housing trust. Assured tenancy typically means that for as long
as the tenant doesn’t breach any of the rules of the agreement, they can reside
in the property indefinitely. The Housing Act 1998 introduced the concept of
assured tenancies to England and Wales for the first time.
Assured Shorthold Tenancy
This is the most
common type of tenancy agreement issued by landlords in the UK, which grants
the tenant a finite period of residency under the condition that they abide by
all terms and conditions set out in the tenancy agreement.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Service (ADR)
Dispute Resolution Service is responsible for resolving disputes and
disagreements between tenants and landlords regarding deposits. The
jurisdiction of the ADR only applies in instances where a recognised Deposit
Protection Scheme has been used, which is now a legal requirement meant for all
landlords upon taking deposits from tenants. In all instances, the decision
reached by the ADR service is considered final and legally binding.
The amount of rent
outstanding due to the tenant having failed to meet their agreed payment
groups thereof who oversee the letting, selling and buying of properties – aka
A formal evaluation
of the current value of a property, carried out by an estate agent prior to
listing the property for sale.
The Association of
Residential Letting Agents is the professional and regulatory body for letting
agents in the UK.
authorised by UK courts to enter the homes of debtors and repossess assets to
cover the costs of outstanding debts.
Another word for ‘permission’ – to be granted consent is to be
given permission to do something.
The amount left on
a mortgage from which interest is calculated.
The term ‘chain’
refers to the market for property buyers and sellers, who are linked by their
different stages in the buying or selling process. A buyer is looking to
purchase a property, the owner of the property they wish to purchase is selling
their property with the intention to move to a different property, and so the
An entity with the
legal authorisation to carry out business activities in the UK.
handles the legal aspects of transferring property ownership from the seller to
The legal aspects/
of buying and selling homes.
The full terms and
conditions set out in a tenancy agreement, which govern the property for the
duration of the tenant’s residency.
Custodial Deposit Protection Scheme
Landlords who use
custodial deposit protection schemes are obliged to pay deposits collected from
tenants into such schemes no later than 14 days after collecting the funds. The
scheme is offered at no charge to the landlord or the tenant – the deposit is
released in full at the end of the tenancy agreement.
The ‘deed’ on a
property is a legal document that specifies who has legal ownership over it. A
deed is used to transfer ownership of a property, signing it over from one
individual to another.
The vast majority of landlords and letting agents require deposits from tenants before allowing them to enter into tenancy agreements. It is a legal requirement for deposits to be formally protected and for landlords to ask for sensible deposits – usually to the value of one or two months’ rent.
One or more aspects
of a property (or a property as a whole) that is in poor condition and requires
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Performance Certificate (EPC) indicates the energy efficiency of a building or property.
The combined assets
(possessions and property) of a deceased individual.
An established and
registered professional (or group thereof) specialising in the listing,
letting, selling and buying of properties.
Exchange of Contracts
exchange of documents to transfer legal ownership of a property from one
individual to another.
Formal proceedings enforced to
remove tenants and their possessions from rented properties.
action taken against another party (initiated by a landlord or a tenant) must
be supported with sufficient evidence and formal documentation. Examples of
which may include tenancy agreements, photographs, receipts, overdue bills,
witness statements and so on.
A buyer who intends
to buy a property for the first time.
refers to a tenancy agreement that is valid for a finite period – typically six
months or one year. A fixed tenancy agreement may be renewed at the end of the
term if both parties are able to reach a suitable agreement.
of property and land.
First – Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber)
Appeal body that
handles objections to rent officers’ registered rents.
In the case of an
Assured Shorthold Tenancy, the landlord reserves the right to repossess the
property after the initial agreed period (typically six months, in accordance
with the Housing Act 1988).
An individual who guarantees the rent payments on behalf of
the tenant, should the tenant be unable to fulfil their obligations set out in
the tenancy agreement. The guarantor may also be held liable for costs incurred
due to damage, theft and other issues that arise during the tenant’s period of
price of a property at the time it goes to market.
A House in Multiple Occupation, which may be as follows:
- a single property split into multiple smaller bedsits
- a shared home where separate tenancy agreements are issued to each
- a hostel used for general residency, rather than vacation stays
- a bed and breakfast used for general residency
The UK’s Health and
Safety Executive is responsible for ensuring that businesses and service
providers make reasonable and demonstrable efforts to reduce health and safety
risks to their employees and members of the public alike.
Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
The Housing Health
and Safety Rating System refers to an official procedure for monitoring and
measuring health and safety risks in residential properties in England and
Wales. The register incorporates a total of 29 different hazards, which give an
indication of the overall safety or otherwise of the property.
A habitable property is a property that is fit for purpose and considered safe to occupy. It is the legal obligation of the landlord and/or letting agent to ensure that their properties are habitable.
Insurance Based Deposit Protection Scheme
The Insurance Based
Deposit Protection Scheme requires all landlords to register deposits collected
from tenants no later than 14 days following collection. In this instance, the
landlord retains the funds throughout the tenancy, though is legally obliged to
return the deposit in full at the end of the term if the tenant is entitled to
Applies when two or
more people own or rent a property together.
The individual or business that owns a
property and rents it to another individual, individuals or business.
Leasing a property is similar to
renting a property, in that a temporary rental agreement (usually lasting six
months or one year) is entered into and can be renewed at the end of the term
It is illegal for landlords or letting
agents to lock their tenants out of their properties as a method of self-help
eviction. All types of DIY eviction without proper legal process are
Applies when a person shares a property
with its owner as a paying tenant.
The Land Registry
of England and Wales is the formal register that contains information of land
ownership and deals with the transference of land ownership as part of any
Laws of Intestacy
Laws of Intestacy
determine who inherits a property in the event that its legal owner dies and
hasn’t prepared a formal will and testament.
The ownership of a lease.
An individual or
business that loans money over a specified period of time at an agreed rate of
interest. All major banks offering mortgages, personal loans and credit cards
are considered lenders.
Lender’s Arrangement Fee
charge imposed by the lender for setting up and authorising a loan agreement.
A person who leases
a property as a tenant.
A person who grants
a lease of property as a landlord.
General housekeeping and repairs required to keep a rental property in adequate condition.
The inclusion of a neutral third party
to help settle a dispute where the parties involved in the dispute are unable
to bring a matter to an amicable conclusion.
Applies when a
potential buyer makes an offer on a property, which is almost always lower than
the formal asking price.
Refers to the
purchase of a property that is under construction, or when construction work
has not yet commenced.
Oral Tenancy Agreement
Also referred to as
a Verbal Tenancy Agreement, this is a legally binding agreement between a
tenant and landlord reached verbally and without the use of a written contract.
term ‘peaceful enjoyment’ essentially guarantees no unnecessary disturbance or
intrusion on the part of the landlord. The tenant is assured that they will
have complete peace and privacy for the duration of their tenancy, without
applies when a tenancy agreement is issued in the form of a ‘rolling contract’.
The agreement could roll from month to month, or even from week to week.
Public Liability Insurance
for tenants or any other individuals in or around a property, in the event of
injury or death.
document that serves as formal evidence of a transaction or activity of any
kind. Examples of which include birth certificates, marriage certificates and
When a mortgage is
paid off in full.
Regulated or “Protected” Tenancy
A form of tenancy
(now largely outdated) that provides the tenant with a range of protections
against eviction and excessive monthly rent payments.
The amount of money
the tenant agrees to pay on a monthly or periodic basis to reside in the
Rent Assessment Committee
A Rent Assessment
Committee incorporates a lawyer, a property valuer and a lay person, who
together reach a decision on the fair rental price of a property, in accordance
with current market conditions and demand. If a tenant believes they are being
overcharged, the matter can be taken to a Rent Assessment Committee for formal
The legal document
that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both the tenant and the
landlord/letting agent, also known as a tenancy agreement.
The process of a
lender taking possession of a borrower’s home in the event that they fail to
meet their contractual obligations regarding repayment.
Section 8 Notice to Quit
on the part of a landlord or letting agent of the intent to regain possession
of a property
during the fixed term of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, in the event that
the tenant has failed to meet their contractual obligations set out in the
Section 21 Notice to Quit
on the part of a landlord or letting agent of the intent to regain possession
of a property at the end of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
Applies when one
agent alone takes responsibility for selling a property.
A form of taxation
payable upon the purchase of a property, calculated in accordance with its
Statement of Terms
A Statement of
Terms can be requested by a tenant in the event that a verbal or oral tenancy
agreement is entered into. The Statement of Terms serves as written proof and
formal evidence of the most important terms and conditions of the tenancy
The individual or
group thereof who assesses the general condition and state of repair of a
property, as part of the formal valuation process.
The legally binding
agreement entered into by the tenant and the landlord/letting agents, which
outlines all terms and conditions that must be met by both parties.
The period of
residency (always temporary) granted by a landlord or letting agent to another
person or persons.
Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme
Introduced as part
of the Housing Act 2004, the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme provides tenants
with certain protections to ensure they receive their deposits back if they are
entitled to them.
An individual who
has the legal right to reside in a property, having been granted tenancy on a
temporary basis by a landlord or letting agent.
The formal process
of evaluating the market value of a property, in order to ensure its value
covers the cost of a mortgage secured against it.
Verbal Tenancy Agreement
A legally binding
agreement between a tenant and landlord, entered into verbally with no written