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Jargon Buster

Jargon BusterTo cut through the red tape of the lettings process, Letslivehere has compiled a property jargon buster list made up of numerous words and terms along with their meanings.

Please get in touch if you have come across any other property jargon that you are unsure about, we are happy to help.

This list is a guide only and in no way forms any legal document. In addition, all information provided was correct at the time of writing.


Administration Fee

Standard letting agency fee to cover expenses and costs involved with the letting process. May also be referred to as a “tenant fee” or “set up fee”.

Bank Transfer

The transfer of money direct from one bank account to another.

Deposit or Tenancy Deposit

A sum of money taken from tenants and held as “insurance” to protect against any breaches of the tenancy agreement eg. damage to furniture or breach of tenancy. The amount is usually a minimum of one month’s rent and must be paid before the tenancy begins. The money is repaid at the end of the tenancy, less any deductions

Gas safety certificate (CP12)

Every rental property with gas requires an annual gas safety certificate (CP12) awarded each year subject to a satisfactory inspection. This is the responsibility of the landlord or managing agent. They should advise the tenant(s) of the date a Gas Safe registered engineer will visit to carry out the necessary checks.

Deed of Guarantee

A guarantor  is an individual, often a close relative, who agrees to take on the financial liabilities of the tenant if the tenant fails to do so. These can include rent arrears, damage to the property and other liabilities under the tenancy. These obligations are set out in the Deed of Guarantee but also the AST the tenant has signed.

Holding deposit

A holding deposit is an amount of money paid by a tenant to a landlord or letting agent to “hold” a property, off the market, so nobody else can take the property, whilst references are obtained and whilst the landlord decides to agree to the tenancy. It is usually non-refundable and demonstrates the tenant’s commitment to a tenancy before it has started.

House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

An HMO is a property with three or more tenants forming more than one household and who share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities. If the property houses five or more tenants, from more than one household and the property is over three floors, it requires a local authority licence. As a tenant, you do not need to do anything differently. All this means is that your landlord or managing agent has to comply with certain regulations in terms of safety and structure.

Joint and Several Tenancy

If a group of people rent a property, they need to sign a “joint and several” tenancy agreement. This means they are all equally responsible for the monthly rental amount, even though each pays their share on an individual basis. It also means they are jointly liable for all clauses and obligations within the tenancy agreement.


The owner (individual or company) of a property who rents out their property.

Landlord Reference

A reference supplied by a landlord for tenants moving to a new property with a different landlord.

Let only

Tenants deal directly with the landlord during their tenancy for both payment of rent and any maintenance issues. The lettings agency is only responsible for the initial viewings and paperwork in setting up the tenancy.

Managed Property

Tenants deal with the lettings agency for all matters during their tenancy. The lettings agency looks after the property on behalf of the landlord.


The person who looks after prospective tenants, from showing them round properties and sorting out the rental agreement to handing over the keys.

PCM (Per Calendar Month)

The rent calculated on a 12-monthly basis. This is the weekly rental amount, multiplied by 52 (number of weeks in the year) and divided by 12 (number of months in the year). This gives an equal amount for each calendar month. (This is not the same as multiplying the weekly rent by four, as this would only give 48 weeks of the year.)

PPPW (Per person per week)

The rent calculated on a weekly basis. This is the monthly rent multiplied by 12 and divided by 52 then divided by the number of bedrooms or people named on the agreement.


The agreed monthly amount to rent the property, usually paid by standing order, in advance, on a monthly basis.

Sign up

The payment of a holding deposit, completion of a standing order form and signing of a contract to secure a tenancy and remove the property from the market.

Standing Order Mandate

A form authorising a bank to pay a regular amount from a customer’s account to a recipient. In a tenancy situation, it authorises the tenant’s bank to pay the monthly rent to the landlord or lettings agency for the duration of the tenancy.

Tenancy Agreement (Assured Shorthold Tenancy)

This is the contract between a tenant and their landlord. It sets out the legal terms and conditions of the tenancy. The most common form of tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, also known as an AST or Shorthold Tenancy.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

All landlords and letting agents are required to use a Government-authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme so that deposits cannot be wrongfully used by landlords or letting agents. There are three schemes: Deposit Protection Service (DPS); My Deposits; and Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). letslivehere use the DPS for their managed properties. For let-only properties, it may vary. At the end of the tenancy, the deposit is returned, subject to an inspection.


The individual or group or individuals who rent a property.


The fun part of house hunting! The lettings agency or landlord shows prospective tenants around a property or selection of properties.

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