Common legal terms when renting property

published Friday Friday, September 20, 2013

For even the most experienced of tenants, the myriad of legal terms which are discussed and raised during the process of renting a property can be extremely confusing; and the less experience of renting properties a person has, the more daunting those terms can sound.


Although many estate agents and solicitors might be more than happy to explain what the various terms mean, the following may provide a start:



Also known as estate agents, Agents are responsible for all aspects of buying, selling and renting a property, from advertising the property to actually collecting rent.


Alternative Dispute Resolution Service (ADR):

Once a landlord has entered into a Deposit Protection Scheme, which they are legally required to do once accepting a deposit for a property, the ADR provides a service for tenant by which disputes can be settled. Both tenant and landlord must agree to use the ADR should a conflict arise and must abide by the regulation that their decision is final.



ARLA stands for the Association of Residential Letting Agents and are the professional body for letting agents in the UK. Membership is optional but is a good indication of a professional service.


Assured Tenancy:

Having an Assured Tenancy gives a tenant in England and Wales a degree of security as they enter into a tenancy. Protecting them from eviction without good reason, the rent under an assured tenancy also falls under the supervision of a Rent Assessment Committee giving the tenant the peace of mind that they will not be over charged. The tenant also has conditions under the agreement.



Covenants are the terms and conditions of a tenancy agreement, and may also be considered to be the rules governing the occupancy.


Custodial Deposit Protection Scheme:

Protecting both the landlord and the tenant, this scheme required landlords to pay deposits in within 14 days of receiving them. The deposits are then held safely and without charge until the end of the tenancy.



Consisting of one or two months' rent, a deposit is paid by the tenant once their application has been agreed and must be paid prior to moving in.


Fixed Tenancy:

As set out in an agreement prior to moving in, a fixed tenancy runs for a set period, normally six or twelve months.



A Guarantor is often required to assure that a rent will still be paid should the tenant be unable to do so. They may also take responsibility for any damage to the property.



A House in Multiple Occupation, which could include a house split into bedsits or one where each tenant has their own agreement.



The lease is the legal document which sets out the relationship between the tenant and landlord and the conditions of the agreement.



The legal term for a tenant.



The legal term for a landlord.



The charge for use of the property.


Tenancy agreement:

Also known as a rental agreement, this sets out all of the terms and conditions between the lessor and the lessee.



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