Jargon Buster

No need to be bamboozled by legal jargon and phraseology, not when you have our jargon buster on hand to explain everything in plain English.

A

Abandonment

Where the tenant has apparently left the property and not informed the landlord. A landlord cannot assume that their property has been abandoned and must act carefully in these circumstances.

Accelerated Possession Procedure

This is a quicker way to get back possession of your property and can be used if your tenant has a written assured shorthold tenancy agreement. You will need to have served notice on your tenant to vacate at the end of the fixed term of their tenancy agreement or at the end of a period of their periodic tenancy.

This procedure is quicker as it does not usually require a court hearing.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy

A form of assured tenancy that allows the landlord to regain possession at the end of the fixed term or any time thereafter.
To regain possession of the property the landlord must serve the tenant with a Notice under section 21 Housing Act 1988 giving the tenant two months to vacate the property. If the tenant fails to vacate in accordance with the terms of the Notice the landlord can obtain an order for possession from the courts.

Assured Tenancy

A tenancy under which a property is let as a separate dwelling to the tenant for them to use as their home. An assured tenancy will generally allow the tenant to occupy the property indefinitely provided they comply with the terms of the tenancy.

B

Bailiff

An officer of the court who is used to enforce judgments of the courts. Bailiffs can be used to evict tenants who have not vacated your property in accordance with orders for possession.

Break Clause

A clause in a tenancy agreement giving the landlord or tenant or both the right to terminate the tenancy before its end date.

C

County Court Judgment

A judgment made by the court. The judgment may grant you possession of your property, the money owed to you by the tenant (e.g. unpaid rent) and your costs of taking court proceedings against your tenant.

County court judgments are recorded for six years unless the debtor pays the full amount owing within one month. A county court judgment can make it difficult for tenants to get credit e.g. a mortgage, loan or credit card.

D

Deposit

It is common for landlords to insist that tenants pay a deposit at the start of the tenancy. The deposit is normally held by the landlord or letting agent and provides security for the landlord in the event that the tenant damages the property or fails to pay their rent.

If the deposit was paid to the landlord after April 2007 it will need to be protected in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme (see below).

Dilapidations

Dilapidations are the damage to the property and contents caused by the tenant which go beyond fair wear and tear.

To reduce disputes regarding dilapidations it is advisable to agree an inventory with the tenant at the start of the tenancy and again at the end.

F

Fixed Term Tenancy

This is a tenancy with a fixed start and end date.

G

Guarantor

A guarantor is a third party who agrees to meet the obligations of the tenant in a tenancy agreement if that tenant fails to do so e.g. to pay the rent

H

High Court Enforcement Offer

High Court Enforcement Officers, like bailiffs, can be used to recover money owed by tenants and can seize and sell the judgment debtor's goods.

P

Peaceable Enjoyment

The tenant’s right to enjoy the property without interference from the landlord

Periodic Tenancy

If a fixed term tenancy is not brought to an end then it will automatically convert to a periodic tenancy. The periodic tenancy will be based on the rent payment period e.g. weekly or monthly. The periodic tenancy will continue until either the landlord or tenant serve notice to bring it to an end.

Prescribed Information

The tenancy deposit protection legislation requires the landlord not only to protect the deposit in a government authorised scheme but they must also provide prescribed information to the tenant explaining how the deposit has been protected.

The landlord must supply the tenant with all the information that is required by The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007. The certificates which the government authorised schemes provide are not sufficient on their own .

S

Section 8 Notice

A notice given by the landlord to the tenant seeking possession of the property during the fixed or periodic tenancy when the tenant has breached the terms of the tenancy e.g. failed to pay the rent. The notice period that must be given to the tenant varies depending on the reason why the Landlord is seeking possession of the property.

Section 21 Notice

A notice given by the landlord to the tenant where the landlord is seeking possession of the property at the end of the fixed term or at the end of a period of the periodic tenancy. The landlord must give the tenant at least two calendar months’ notice.

T

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

All deposits paid by tenants to landlords for Assured Shorthold Tenancies have to be protected by the landlord in a government authorised tenancy deposit scheme. The three approved schemes are:

  • Deposit Protection Service (DPS)
  • MyDeposits
  • Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)

Any deposits paid after 6th April 2012 must be protected in an authorised tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receipt and the landlord must supply the tenant with the prescribed information relating to the protection of the deposit within 30 days of receipt as well.

Term

The term of the tenancy is the length of time that the landlord and tenant have agreed that the fixed term of the tenancy will run for. Upon expiry of the fixed term the tenancy will automatically convert in to a periodic tenancy.


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