Lettings Terms Explained

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Lettings terms can often be confusing.

Please find below an explanation of some jargon that is often used:

ABANDONMENT

The desertion of a property by the tenant with the intent of never returning or taking up possession in the future often without notice.

Accidental landlords

This is a landlord who has become a landlord without intending to do so. It normally happens when someone inherits a property or decides to let it. They normally try to sell the property but it may be that they are unable to do so.

Accelerated possession procedure

A way of gaining possession under an assured shorthold tenancy. It is normally provided by a section 21 notice when it is served and expired. The tenant must be the original tenant and the landlord must not be claiming any rent arrears.

Agent

Normally a letting agent who act on behalf of the landlord and deals with matters on their behalf. It may be an individual or it could be a specific person.

Arrears

This is normally where people have unpaid rent either in whole or in parts. This means the tenant hasn’t paid the rent under the terms of the tenancy agreement.

Assured Shorthold tenancy, commonly known as an AST

An AST is a type of tenancy under the housing Act 1988. These are all due to change shortly under the renters reform bill at the moment they can be on a fixed or periodic basis. They give the tenant limited security on a periodic ie a month to month basis. But if it is a fixed term then the tenant will be there for a fixed period.

Bedroom Flat

This is normally a description from the agent when they are putting the property back on the market.

Buy-to-Let commonly knows as BTL

This is a property bought by a person with the intention of letting it out rather than living there. Usually done by a landlord looking for a buy to let mortgage to purchase for this purpose.

CONTENTS INSURANCE

An insurance taken out by the tenant for the contents of the property. The landlord does not cover contents of the property or your own furniture, just the building.

There are many other terms in relation to lettings of which we have not been able to make an endless list here however, please don’t hesitate to ask for a property valuation if required.

Council Tax Bands

This indicates how much tax you will need to pay. This is normally based on the value of the property and depends on sometimes the amount of bedrooms etc. Council tax is normally paid by the tenant unless the tenancy agreement states different.

Client money protection, commonly known as CMP

CMP schemes protect client money (such as rent and deposit monies) which is received by agents. Their schemes make sure landlords and tenants are compensated if an agent cannot repay their money, for example if an agent goes into administration.

Deposit protection scheme.

This is where landlords in England must protect their tenants deposit in a deposit protection scheme. The scheme will protect the funds and resolve any deposit disputes at the end of the tenancy. There are three different schemes in this regard.

DEPOSIT

A fixed sum of money taken at the start of the tenancy as security for the landlord for any damage or arrears at the end of the tenancy.

Dilapidations.

Dilapidations means “disrepair” or “damage”. It is usually dealt with by a letting agent as it is their role to assess dilapidations at the end of the tenancy. Allowances must be made for fair wear and tear. These costs can be put forward to the deposit protection service to raise a deposit dispute.

Estate Agents

Estate agents could be a letting agent as well letting property they could be selling it. It is often the case that estate agents do both lettings and sales.

Electrical installation condition reports commonly known as EICR’s.

An EICR is an assessment of the properties electrical safety. It is now law that properties in England must have a valid EICR in order to be let out. The inspection itself involves a qualitied engineer/electrician to assess the properties electrical wiring. They will identify any potential hazards and repairs to take place. Landlords must organise an electrical report every five years or sooner if the engineer specifies.

Energy Performance Certificate commonly known as EPC.

An EPC is a certificate measuring the energy efficiency of a property. These are rating from A all the way through to G. However, as of now privately owned property must have at least a rating of E. These will be changed over the next few years.

Fixed term tenancy.

A fixed term tenancy is a lasting amount for the tenancy itself whether it is 6 months or 12 months or it can be in between or even more. They cannot be ended early in this regard.

Fully furnished.

This would mean that the property comes with full furniture not part. It is normally listed out on the advert to let tenants know exactly what is included within the property.

Great location

This is normally a description within an advertising where the letting agent may put the property is in a great location in their opinion. This can be anywhere near a school, train station or various different areas.

Gas Safety Record.

The gas safety register is a trade organisation for registered gas fitters. Replacing corgi regulation in 2009. All rental properties must have a gas safety check and be carried out every 12 months. This has to be served on the tenants within 30 days of the report being taken out.

GUARANTOR

A person who signs a legal document agreeing to pay the rent in the event that the tenant defaults. They will also be responsible for covering any costs relating to any damage caused by the tenant. A guarantor is usually a parent or family member.

Good size, living room, Studio flat – letting terms in property descriptions

These are letting terms in property descriptions and are often used when dealing with an advert.

Holding deposit.

A holiday deposit is paid by the tenant to secure a rental property. The deposit cannot be more than one weeks rent and will be paid as soon as the tenant wishes to take the property off the market. The holding deposit as long as the tenant progresses through to taking the property is normally taken off the first months rent in this regard.

House in multiple occupation commonly known as a HMO.

HMO is any residential property occupied by three or more people with shared facilities such as bathroom or kitchen or form two or more households. However, this can change from council to council as they often have different requirements.

How to rent guide.

The how to rent guide is a document produced by the Government that outlines the rights and responsibilities of the tenants. Landlords must give the guide at the beginning of every tenancy and to be acknowledged by the tenant.

INVENTORY

A condition report of the property to include all fixtures, fittings and cleanliness. Used as evidence of the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy. This is to determine whether the tenants have caused any damage during the tenancy above normal wear and tear.

NOTICE

Written communication by either the landlord or the tenant of their intention to end the tenancy. The tenancy agreement includes the length of legal notice required.

Notice period

This is in relation to the amount of notice a landlord must give their tenant at the end of the tenancy and visa versa. The current rules are two months for landlords and one month for tenants.

NOTICE TO QUIT

The date by which the Landlord needs to serve notice on the tenant in a fixed term tenancy. This date is normally two months before the end of the tenancy.

PCM Rent

This abbreviation means per calendar month and is commonly used in adverts for rental properties.

Permitted occupier

A permitted occupier is a person that can live in a rental property maybe on the tenancy agreement but doesn’t have any rights. They are not required to pay rent and have no legal rights to the property, they are permitted to be there.

Portal Appliance Testing commonly known as a PAT test

This is a test of electrical equipment performed by a registered electrician to ensure that they are safe to use. Landlords should have electrical appliances PAT tested annually for students and every 2 years for residential.

RENT

The monthly payment by the tenant to the landlord for use of the property.

Right to rent.

A landlord must legally ensure that the prospective tenant has a right to rent before they can enter the property in the England. This involves a right to rent check in which the landlord checks the tenants documents such as passport, photo ID.

Section 8 notice.

This legal notice is used by landlords to end the tenancy early, in circumstances where sections of the tenancy agreement have been broken and there are various different grounds.

Section 21 notice.

This a notice served by the landlord on a tenant when they require the property back.

SURRENDER

The giving up of your tenancy and handing back possession of the property to the landlord.

SWAP OVER

The legal transfer of the tenancy from one person to another. Only certain tenants have the right to do this. Most tenancies will exclude tenants from assigning the lease.

SUB-LETTING

Where the tenant rents/leases all or part of the property to a third party.

TENANCY AGREEMENT

The contractual agreement between the landlord and tenant containing terms and obligations for both parties in regards to the house to let.

WEAR AND TEAR

Loss, damage, or depreciation resulting from ordinary use and exposure over time. Damage that naturally and inevitably occurs as a result of normal wear or ageing.

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google-review Review
Cat Westmacott
Cat Westmacott
17:57 10 Jun 24
Generally helpful for Lettings. As with any company, sometimes need a push for a response, but often easier to speak on the phone than email. Feeling hopeful for the next year’s contract with Harringtons🤞.
Kirsty Turner
Kirsty Turner
20:50 04 Jun 24
Great experience. Everyone is so lovely and helpful over the phone at Harringtons! The best experience we have had with a letting agent in Brighton, none of the other agents in Brighton have been bothered to keep in touch and help us find a property as much as these guys. A special shoutout to the lovely lady who showed me around the flat (Georgie I believe -sorry if I got that wrong), great at answering all my questions and been very lucky in securing the first property we viewed with her (an amazing spacious flat that has everything we need - including nice storage space for our paddleboards!) Looking forward to moving into our seaside home. Thank you!
Shadan B
Shadan B
23:31 30 May 24
Great experience, very helpful staff and friendly. I wish you all the success. Thanks for your care. 💐😊
Rachel Roberts
Rachel Roberts
21:13 30 May 24
Best experience I've had with a letting agent!
Charley Besant
Charley Besant
10:25 30 May 24
So far the process with Harringtons has been amazing. We viewed 3 properties with Georgie and each time she was so informative and kind, she gave us the time we needed in each property to look around, take videos and ask questions about everything. The whole process has been easy so far and I can now happily say we found our property thanks to Georgie and the team at Harringtons.
Ainhoa Negro
Ainhoa Negro
09:15 30 May 24
Georgie at Harringtons Lettings in Brighton has been exceptional throughout my rental process. From the very beginning, her professionalism and friendliness stood out. She provided clear and prompt communication, ensuring all my questions were answered thoroughly. Georgie made the entire experience seamless, from viewing properties to finalizing the paperwork. Her attention to detail and genuine care for my needs made me feel confident and supported. I highly recommend Georgie and Harringtons Lettings to anyone looking for a top-notch rental experience in Brighton.
PRBL1
PRBL1
09:11 30 May 24
Joel Starcross
Joel Starcross
15:22 29 May 24
Beth has been an excellent agent, great communicator and enthusiastic member of the team. Highly recommended!
Jess Pond
Jess Pond
13:16 29 May 24
Had an absolutely awful experience with this company. Told me one thing on the phone and then told me another thing on email. Very mixed messages. Left 7 students homeless by putting the house back on the market with only 24 hour notice. Will never use them again. AVOID!
Roisin Lilley
Roisin Lilley
11:42 24 May 24
I recently had some problems with my previous agent and came to Beth for help! She took over the correspondence for me and sorted everything out for me! I can’t thank her enough for her patience and help!! I’d highly recommend her to other landlords that need help!
Chris Lilley
Chris Lilley
11:26 24 May 24
I’ve been a tenant with Harringtons Lettings for a while, they are great, they always sort out any issues I have quickly and efficiently, Beth in particular is really helpful and I’ll be going to her for my next rental property when I look to move in September!
Georgina Palzeaird
Georgina Palzeaird
11:21 24 May 24
Beth Roberts was a huge help when I needed to switch to a new letting agency. She was friendly and efficient and I’ve always felt I’m in safe hands.
Eliya Halim
Eliya Halim
10:26 24 May 24
Top service
Maryana Atiya
Maryana Atiya
10:20 24 May 24
Rees Harper
Rees Harper
17:53 21 May 24
Lauryn Keller
Lauryn Keller
15:20 03 May 24
Georgie was great on our viewing - super lovely, informative and honest. Thank you!
Sammi Richmond
Sammi Richmond
09:16 24 Apr 24
Well, they just contacted me via email asking for a review for money... so here, I guess.Does 3 stars get me that tenner? Probably not. Nothing terrible to say, but never had any issues with the property really. Don't enjoy that they were willing to pay for reviews though, seems sketchy.UPDATE: As the business has finally replied to my review 6 years later, I thought I would mention that I indeed have the email still as proof. Offer of £10 for a review, and to mention Rachel Erridge in the review. Also a prize of £200 to one lucky winner. The email was sent from the Harrington's admin email address. I can email the proof to whoever requests it.
Jayden Charles-Frempong
Jayden Charles-Frempong
01:20 18 Apr 24
Every interaction I've had so far with Harrington has been positive with workers responding to calls very quickly and addressing any queries efficiently.
severin severinov
severin severinov
10:05 11 Apr 24
It is very good that they do their job professionally and take care of the customers.
kate quick
kate quick
13:15 09 Apr 24
I am very happy and extremely grateful to have found Harringtons lettings and the beautiful flat that I am now living in. Not only is the flat perfect for me, ticks all the boxes and is in a great location; the whole communication/admin process was so fast and efficient. I spoke to many of the team, but the two main contacts initially were Georgie and Beth. Great personalities, friendly and fast at replying to emails and phone calls. It was all turned around very quickly and everyone at Harringtons seems to appear to really be happy in their jobs. Great letting agent and I would recommend them to others looking for a new home.
Michael Hollamby
Michael Hollamby
12:32 09 Apr 24
Having worked with many many lettings it has been refreshing to deal with such a dynamic and energetic team. From start to finish the team have outstanding. Special mention to Beth who has been fantastic. I can thoroughly recommend using Harringtons.
Celyn James
Celyn James
17:08 27 Mar 24
Great experience, Georgie was so knowledgeable and kind with any enquiries I had. Really put me at ease while house hunting, amazing service thank you so much!!
Madison Harris
Madison Harris
14:29 27 Mar 24
Georgie was so helpful and really kind very appreciative x
Amber-Rose Cook
Amber-Rose Cook
08:58 22 Mar 24
easy to use and navigate as a first time user
Buffy Vaughn
Buffy Vaughn
18:06 21 Mar 24
Harringtons have been so helpful so far. Everyone we’ve spoken to on the phone including Georgie have been so warm and receptive and easy to communicate with. As a couple renting together for first time me & Danny couldn’t have found better people to help us out, they’re clear and concise. We discovered them through Rightmove and would highly recommend anyone to use their services to rent with.Thanks guys!Buffy & Danny
Sajan Raja
Sajan Raja
01:48 21 Mar 24
Kerryn Johnson
Kerryn Johnson
16:58 18 Mar 24
Georgie was absolutely amazing! Very helpful, easy to talk to and all in all an absolute sweetheart. Made the process of renting and finding a property less stressful. Always happy to help and lovely to chat to!Thank you again for everything!
Julia Reinstein
Julia Reinstein
11:22 18 Mar 24
5/5 - Everyone I’ve spoken to on the phone has been so friendly and patient with our move in documents. We found Harringtons through Rightmove, and have been really happy with our interactions. The team respond to queries efficiently and are happy to answer any and all questions.
Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown
07:09 15 Mar 24
A really excellent agency, who are very easy and friendly to deal with. Highly recommended.
Rob Rainbird
Rob Rainbird
18:04 13 Mar 24
Lovely staff and all round positive experience - Georgie is an absolute diamond and a credit to the team!
Tori Tor
Tori Tor
11:15 08 Mar 24
Harringtons have been really helpful and very swift with their responses. Georgie was very proffesional and really friendly when she did the viewings with me and Beth on the phone was again really helpful and gave me hope when I was explaining my eagerness to find somewhere new to live. Thanks Harringtons!
christos papanicolaou
christos papanicolaou
09:33 07 Mar 24
Staff were brilliant. Very helpful
Yasmin Bright
Yasmin Bright
20:54 01 Mar 24
I'm in a difficult situation at the moment with my landlord wanting to sell the flat that myself and my 3 children have been living in for 7 years. I came across Harringtons Viewings by applying to view some properties outside of my area.Unfortunately I haven't been able to sort anything with Harringtons, however I wanted to write this to say that they have been nothing but kind, warm and very understanding of my situation. I've been really impressed by their customer service (namely Georgie & Beth) and hope that they are able to find me something eventually!Thanks so much.Yasmin
Tegan
Tegan
17:30 22 Feb 24
Have been very accommodating and helpful when calling agents. They have been very helpful in being able to secure a house for students.
TheFlyingCrocodile
TheFlyingCrocodile
16:42 21 Feb 24
Went above and beyond to get things sorted for me
Brittany Stace
Brittany Stace
11:18 24 Jan 24
Harringtons have been incredibly helpful and supportive of us as new renters and they have been super efficient in getting all of the documents sent through and signed in such a short period of time. Thank you!
Georgie Prebble
Georgie Prebble
20:36 05 Jan 24
Jade Innes
Jade Innes
10:24 04 Jan 24
So far the service has been good. The staff are very friendly and quick to respond to any questions and requests.
Polly Smith
Polly Smith
11:17 28 Dec 23
we chose this letting agents as they chose a good bills company that is much cheaper than other agents. When viewing houses the staff were very friendly and have been very helpful in answering our questions and making the process as easy as possible.
Emma Howe
Emma Howe
16:06 14 Nov 23
I would rate Harringtons Lettings a 5/5. Very lovely on the phone and very quick and easy to communicate with via email. Any problems have been resolved in no time at all. So far so good!I found Harringtons via Rightmove.
Akwisitions Feedback
Akwisitions Feedback
16:25 30 Oct 23
Very responsive and super helpful throughout the process. Highly recommended!
Chloe Ballard
Chloe Ballard
17:28 02 Oct 23
Although I have only been renting with Harringtons for a short period of time, I have had nothing but a positive experience. From viewing to admin updates. The admin team especially are very polite and quick to respond and I have no doubt that the rest of my tenancy will run smoothly. I would recommend to anyone considering renting in brighton.
Matthew Ball
Matthew Ball
11:46 19 Sep 23
Professional communication with tenant although entirely impersonal. There was a bigger disconnect in their communication with the landlord in most cases, which seemed to be either slow or non-existent (discovered after contacting the landlord directly).Property was full of spider webs on day 1 despite apparently being professionally cleaned. Took a day off of work to clean it on move out day, leaving it cleaner than when it received but still had to pay part of the deposit for professional cleaning.It has been a while since I have rented, but I'll avoid letting agencies completely now if this is anything close to the average renting experience.
Ronan SK
Ronan SK
12:38 12 Sep 23
Great professionalism/communciation from the start up until the end of my tenancy. Definitely set the standards for what agencies should be like. Highly recommend to those within Brighton.
Daniel Sutton
Daniel Sutton
10:29 24 Aug 23
I have rented with Harringtons Lettings before and have always found the agents to be quick, efficient, friendly and helpful. I loved their service so much I have chosen to rent with Harringtons again. Faultless 😊
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