Technical Jargon

Whether you are a property novice or a professional investor who has invested in the Glasgow property market for a number of years, there are a number of phrases and terms used in both legal and technical related paperwork specific to both the Glasgow and Scottish letting system which may confuse you.

Hopefully this list will provide you with some assistance.

Acceptance
When an offer on a property submitted by a prospective tenant is agreed by the landlord.

Agent
The person or company appointed by the landlord to manage the property on the owners behalf.

(The) Antisocial Behaviour Act of 2004 (Landlord Registration Act (Scotland) 2006)
This is a Scottish law which came into effect from 1st May 2006, requiring all landlords in Glasgow to register both themselves and their property with Glasgow City Council’s Private Landlord Registration Unit. The scheme which is part of a Scottish wide initiative requires the Council to assess the suitability of each applicant and property in respect of them being “fit and proper”.

Applicant
The person who has submitted a request to rent the property from the landlord.

AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy)
The English version of a SAT (the SAT or Short Assured Tenancy is used in Scotland).

AT5 Form
Form AT5 is a legal Notice issued under Section 32 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 to a tenant to ensure they are aware that the proposed Tenancy agreement they will be entering into is a Short Assured Tenancy as defined by Act.

AT6 Form
An AT6 Notice of Proceedings Form is a Notice to the tenant to confirm that you intend to take legal proceedings to recover the property if it is not vacated by the end of the tenancy period. In order to terminate a tenancy agreement in Scotland the landlord is required to serve a Notice to Quit, An AT6 Form and a Section 33 Notice.

BACS (Bank Automated Clearing System)
Bankers’ Automated Clearing Services”’) is a United Kingdom scheme for the processing of financial transactions electronically.

Backcourt
Glasgow term for a communal back garden area of a residential apartment block, typically with bin stores for domestic rubbish.

Break Clause
A clause in a tenancy document which allows either party to terminate the tenancy at a specifically defined point in time.

Broker
A professional advisor who acts on behalf of an individual to find a suitable mortgage product.

Building Insurance
A policy underwritten by a third party insurer which will recompense the insured party for loss occasioned by any matter covered by the policy document. The landlord is responsible for ensuring that a suitable policy is in effect for the duration of their ownership of the property.

The Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations
A guide to acceptable building practice defined by Scottish law.

BTL (Buy to Let)
A name given to a specific mortgage product where the lender offers a loan to a purchaser on a property which will be used for investment purposes.

CHAPS
A means of transferring money electronically from bank to bank.

Common Parts
The areas of the building which are shared and owned jointly by all the owners. The common parts of a building are typically the main entrance of a block of flats, the main access stair, rear garden area, refuse area etc.

Close
A Glasgow colloquial term also used throughout lowland Scotland to refer to the common area (including common stair) of an apartment block, traditionally used to refer to the common parts of a traditional tenement flat.

Company Let
A let where a limited company, corporation, institution or trust is listed as the tenant in the lease.

Consumer Unit
The term given to the main electrical fuse box within a property.

Contractor
A company used to carry out repair or maintenance works on behalf of the landlord.

Corporate Let
A let where the individual listed as occupying the property works for a limited company, institution or organization. The organization will frequently although not exclusively be listed as the tenant rather than the individual which therefore permits a degree of flexibility to the company in the administration of the lease and staff management.

Credit Check
A means of verifying through use of a third party agency that a prospective tenant has sufficient financial resources and experience to discharge their financial obligations in respect of the tenancy agreement. The credit check will also identify if the named person is on the electoral Register, has any registered financial defaults on file or Crown Court Judgements in their name.

Deeds
The legal documents associated with the ownership of a property.

Defect
A fault within the property or its fixtures or fittings which requires rectification.

Direct Debit
A direct debit is a payment made on a regular basis from a bank account.

Deposit
A deposit is a set amount of money which is paid by the tenant to ensure that the terms and conditions of the ease are satisfied throughout the course of the tenancy agreement.

Disbursements
The reasonable expenses legitimately incurred with a transaction or occasioned as a result of a purchase.

Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
A Law which regulates the safety of electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage ranges. The Regulations apply to most consumer electrical equipment designed for use within the voltage ranges 50 V ac to 1000 V ac and 75 V dc to 1500 V dc.

Emergency Repair
A repair which is necessary to make a property habitable without which there is no possibility of occupation in accordance with the requirements of the Repairing Standards. In all cases it is the stated objective of Berisfords to action any Emergency repair within 24 hours wherever reasonably practical.

Endowment
A repayment vehicle used to repay the original capital purchase cost of the property paid by the lender at the outset of a mortgage.

EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)
An Energy Performance Certificate is a document which demonstrates the energy efficiency of a property to a prospective tenant. The EPC should be displayed somewhere in the property for the duration of the tenancy and renewed every 10 years.

Equity
The difference between the actual value of a property and the total amount owed on it.

Excess
A initial amount stipulated in an insurance policy or cover which the policy holder must cover in the event of any claim.

Factor
The managing agent of the building.

Fixed Rate Mortgage
A loan raised on a property which has a set repayment amount every month for a defined period.

Fixtures and Fittings
The term used to describe the items in a property not forming part of the structure of the building itself but which form an integral part of it. Examples of fixtures and fittings include kitchen units and appliances, built in wardrobes, gas fires etc.

Furnished
A property which is offered to the rental market with furniture included in the rental price. There is no definitive description for this term so all tenants and landlords alike should be clear at the outset of the tenancy exactly what fixtures and fittings are included in the contract.

Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988
This is a law which requires the cover fabric and filling material of upholstered furniture to be made from fire resistant material. The item in question must be able to pass the ‘smoldering cigarette’ and ‘match flame’ resistance test and to carry a label to confirm their compliance.

Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
A law which requires all gas appliances in a rented property to be safe for use and tested on an annual basis. A Certificate to demonstrate this must be left in the property.

Guarantor
A guarantor is an individual or company who provides a legally binding written financial undertaking on behalf of a tenant where the tenant is unable to meet the financial obligations of the lease. An example of this would be parents acting as a guarantor for their son or daughter attending University.

Handover
The process of moving a tenant into a rented property.

HMO (House in Multiple Occupation)
A property which is licensed by Glasgow City Council to accept 3 or more persons who are not related under a single tenancy agreement.

Instruction
The formal request made by a landlord to an agent to market the rental property.

Inventory
A detailed schedule of the items within a property together with the condition of these items and the details of the property condition itself.

Joint tenancy
A tenancy which is written to include more than one person renting the property from the landlord.

Joint and several liability
Generally speaking where there is more than one person named on a tenancy agreement, each person will have “joint and several” liability for discharging the obligations identified within the tenancy agreement. This means that if there is a default such as damage or outstanding debt then both tenants are responsible for the full amount of the default regardless of who is at fault. The landlord is therefore entitled to pursue either party for the full recovery of any losses.

Landlord
The owner of a rental property who enters into a legal agreement to allow a named party to occupy his premises in return for payment.

Landlord Registration Act (Scotland) 2006
A law which came into effect from 31st March 2006 requiring all private landlords letting properties in Scotland to apply for registration in the register of landlords. The aim of Landlord Registration Act is to ensure that all
private landlords in Scotland are ‘fit and proper’ persons to be letting residential property. The legislation is aimed at helping local authorities to remove disreputable landlords from the market and protect tenants and their neighbors from the impact of antisocial behavior and mismanaged property on the wider community.

Lease
A legal contract which describes the framework for someone to take occupation of a property or land for a set period in return for an agreed payment.

Leaseholder
The party to the contract in a lease who has agreed to rent the land or property from the owner.

Lender
A company or individual (usually a bank or building society) who supplies money to an individual (borrower) to purchase a property or asset.

Maintenance Contract
An written agreement between a property owner and a company whereby the company agrees to carry out repair and or maintenance work to an appliance or property in return for a specified payment.

Mews
A building which was once used for keeping horses and is now used as a house. (Cambridge International Dictionary of English).

Mortgage
A loan made by a bank or financial institution to an individual for the purchase of a property.

Negative Equity
A term used to describe when the owner of a property owes more money on the property than its current value.

Notice to Quit (NTQ)
A Notice to Quit (NTQ) is a written document served by either a managing agent or landlord on a tenant or by the tenant on a landlord, which has the effect of bringing the contractual tenancy between them to an end.
In order for a NTQ served by a landlord to be valid in Scotland it must contain specific information otherwise the tenancy will continue until a valid NTQ is served. A valid NTQ must comply with the following:
• Be in writing,
• Give a period of notice after which it will become effective,
• Make it clear that, even after the period of notice given has run out, the landlord must get an order for possession from a court before the tenant can lawfully be evicted,
• Explain that the effect of NTQ is that the contractual assured tenancy will be brought to an end at the end of the period specified in the notice but that it will at once be replaced by a statutory assured tenancy, and that the landlord will be able to propose new terns for the tenancy or a different rent, or both.

Offer
Intimation of an interest in renting a property in an identified amount.

OMV (Open Market Value)
The current price that a prospective purchaser would be willing to pay if the property was to be offered for sale.

PAT (Portable Appliance Test)
A Portable Appliance Test is a safety test carried out by a suitably qualified electrician on all portable electrical equipment within a property to ensure that the equipment is safe for use. The Test is required annually.
The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) define a portable appliance as ‘any electrical item which can or is intended, to be moved whilst connected to an electrical supply.’
The IEE Code of Practice gives additional guidance on the various equipment types:
“Portable appliance: An appliance of less than 18kg in mass that is intended to be moved whilst in operation or an appliance which can easily be moved from one place to another, e.g. vacuum cleaner, toaster, food mixer, etc.”

PCM (Per calendar month)
The cost to rent a property expressed as a monthly figure.

Periodic Testing Report
An electrical test which verifies that the fixed wiring system and electrical installation is in compliance with IEE guidelines.

Private let
An agreement between tenant and landlord usually made in writing where the tenant is an individual not associated with a company or organization.

PW (per week)
The cost to rent a property expressed as a weekly figure.

RCD (Residual Circuit Device)
An electrical device used to protect users and equipment from fault conditions in an electrical circuit by isolating the electrical supply. Unlike an older style fuse board or MCB where only the live feed is isolated an RCD isolates both the live and neutral feeds under a fault condition.

References
A written document which confirms that in the opinion of the writer, a person(s) or organization is fit and proper to rent a particular property.

Release clause
A clause in a tenancy document sometimes referred to as a break clause which allows either party to terminate the tenancy at a specifically defined point in time.

Relocation Agent
An individual or company employed to assist someone in moving from one area to another.

Rental Agreement
A written contract between tenant and landlord which sets out the terms and conditions under which a property is loaned by a landlord to tenant for a prescribed period. In Scotland the written contract is referred to as an SAT or Short Assured Tenancy.

Repairing Standard
The Repairing Standard under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 came into effect on 3rd September 2007. The act puts together in one place the obligations of a landlord for ensuring that their property meets the standards defined within the act at the start of and for the duration of the tenancy. Either at the start of the tenancy or earlier (and before the tenancy is signed) the landlord is obliged to notify the tenant about the effect of the Repairing Standard and Private Rented Housing Panel arrangements on the tenancy. This is usually done by the issue of a Standard Letter which can be found in the download section of this website.

Repayment mortgage
A loan provided by a bank or financial institution where both the interest and the original capital amount borrowed are paid back to the bank on an agreed basis normally monthly over a 25 year period.

SAT (Short Assured Tenancy)
Nearly all tenancy agreements signed in Glasgow today are Short Assured Tenancies. A Short Assured Tenancy is a legal agreement created for the benefit of both landlords and tenants; they afford the owner of the property the right to gain possession of the property at the end of the tenancy providing a valid notice to Quit is served on the tenant. The minimum legal period of a Short Assured Tenancy in Scotland is 6 months. There is no maximum period however most mortgage companies require a maximum SAT of one year in order that the property can be sold quickly if there is any default on the part of the borrower.

Section 11 Notice
This Form is used when notifying Glasgow City Council of intention to raise legal proceedings for the possession of a property. From April 1st 2009 all Glasgow landlords and agents have a new duty under Section 11 of the Homelessness etc (Scotland) Act 2003 to notify Glasgow City Council when they raise legal proceedings for possession.

Section 33 Notice
In order to terminate a tenancy agreement in Scotland, the managing agent or landlord is required to serve a Notice to Quit, An AT6 Form and a Section 33 Notice in writing to the tenant. Section 33 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 sets out a specific procedure which will enable recovery of possession of a property which has been let under a Short Assured Tenancy. Whilst there is no standard format required for a Section 33 Notice, the issuing of a written notice is required in terms of this section telling a tenant that the landlord wishes to recover possession of the property.

Sole Agency Agreement
A written document which requires the landlord to commit themselves to using only one property management company in respect of finding a suitable tenant for their property.

(SVR) Standard Variable Rate
The default interest amount charged by a bank or institution in respect of the repayment of a loan.

Standing Order
A standing order is a payment made from a bank account for a set amount every month. Generally all rental income is paid by our Glasgow tenants by standing order.

a. (The) Performance of Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2008
Click here

b. (The) Plugs & Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994
Click here

c. Tenancy Agreement
A tenancy agreement is a written agreement between a tenant or resident and a lessor, agent, provider, owner or manager.

d. Tenancy Deposit Scheme
Tenancy deposit protection schemes ensure that deposits paid to landlords are kept safe and that a tenant gets their deposit back at the end of the tenancy, so long as there hasn’t been a breach of the tenancy agreement, such as unpaid rent or charges or damage to the property.

e. Tenant
A person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord.

f. Title
A title is a bundle of rights in a piece of property in which a party may own either a legal interest or equitable interest.

Tenement
A Glasgow / Scottish term referring to a traditional block of flats usually built between the 19th and early 20th centuries, normally 4-5 stories in height and constructed from sandstone.

Unfurnished
A property which is offered to the market without furniture. The property will still have all items required to ensure compliance with the Repairing Standard requirements.

Utilities
A company which supplies gas, electricity, telephone services or similar to a consumer.

Under Offer
When a commitment to rent a property from a prospective tenant is acceptable to a landlord but where the legal contract or SAT has not yet been signed.

Valuation
An estimation as to the likely purchase or rental price that a prospective tenant will pay for a property when advertised on the open market.

We hope that this list is helpful. If you have any other technical terms which you do not understand then please contact us and we can add them to our list.