Buy To Let Glossary: Ultimate List Of Buy To Let Definitions You Need To Know

    buy-to-let-glossary

    Buy To Let is one of the simple property investment strategies.

    As much simple strategy it is so many people get it wrong, be it either property challenges or tenant challenges.

    Even experienced investors, there will be something that we can learn.

    Bonus: Download a free version of this post in PDF. So you can view, print or share all of these glossary terms whenever you need.

    A

    ADR – ADR stands for ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’ and refers to independent adjudication services offered by Deposit Protection Schemes.

    APR

    Annual percentage rate (APR) is the official rate used to help you understand the cost of borrowing. It takes into account the interest rate and additional charges of a credit offer. All lenders have to tell you what their APR is before you sign a credit agreement.

    Arrears

    Money that is owed and should have been paid earlier. In case of property, it could either be rent or mortgage.

    Assured tenancy

    At the end of your starter tenancy by housing association homes, you may be offered an assured tenancy. An assured tenancy – meaning you can normally live in your property for the rest of your life

    Assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs)

    The most common form of tenancy is an AST. Most new tenancies are automatically this type.

    A tenancy can be an AST if all of the following apply:

    • you’re a private landlord or housing association
    • the tenancy started on or after 15 January 1989
    • the property is your tenants’ main accommodation
    • you do not live in the property

    A tenancy cannot be an AST if:

    • it began or was agreed before 15 January 1989
    • the rent is more than £100,000 a year
    • the rent is less than £250 a year (less than £1,000 in London)
    • it’s a business tenancy or tenancy of licensed premises
    • it’s a holiday let
    • the landlord is a local council

    B

    Bedsit

    A one-roomed unit of accommodation typically consisting of a combined bedroom and a sitting room with cooking facilities.

    Bridging Loan

    A bridging loan (or ‘bridge loan’) can be useful if you need to borrow money for a short period. It can help to ‘bridge the gap’ if you want to buy a new home before selling your old one. Bridging loans can also be used if you buy a property at auction, where you’ll need the money immediately but may not have sold your current property yet.

    BRRR

    Buy refurbish rent refinance

    Buy-to-Let Mortgage

    A buy-to-let mortgage is a mortgage sold specifically to people who buy property as an investment, rather than as a place to live. If you plan to rent out a new property, most lenders will prefer you not to finance your purchase with a standard residential mortgage.

    C

    Capital repayment

    Regular capital repayments are made over the term of the loan, usually monthly. Mortgages repaid in this way are known as repayment mortgages or capital-and-interest mortgages.

    Chain

    A number of linked property sales where exchange of contracts must take place simultaneously.

    Check out

    The process of checking a property after a tenant has vacated. Normally only done when an inventory was carried out at the start of the tenancy. The condition of the property and the contents is checked against the inventory and the report is used as evidence for the settlement of the deposit.

    Client Money Protection (CMP)

    The Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme provides compensation for landlords, tenants and other clients when agents misuse or misappropriate their rent, deposit or any other client funds.

    Closing Date

    The date set for submission of offers when more than one party show interest in the property

    Completion Date

    Completion of the legal transaction with all monies and documents having been distributed. This is also when the seller’s solicitor will instruct the estate agent to release the keys.

    Council Tax Band – A council tax band indicates how much council tax will be paid; it is based on the value of the property. If you are marketing your rental property on an online platform, you should include the properties’ council tax band.

    Covenant

    A condition, contained within the Title Deeds or lease, that the buyer must comply with, which is usually applied to all future owners of the property. A restrictive covenant is one that prohibits the owner from doing something.

    D

    Deeds

    Legal documents assigning ownership of a property and/or land.

    Detached house

    detached home is a permanent dwelling, usually set on a separate lot and includes ownership rights to the land on which it is situated.

    Disbursements

    Fees, such as Stamp Duty, Land Registry and search fees on top of conveyancing which you normally pay via your solicitor.

    Deposit Protection Scheme(DPS)

    The Deposit Protection Service (DPS) is one of the three tenancy deposit protection companies set up by the government to protect tenants deposits. The DPS is the only ‘custodial’ scheme, and is completely free to use.

    Done Up Value(DUV)

    The property’s Done up Value (DUV) means the value of the property after your refurbishments. The loan to value (usually 75% in the UK) The mortgage interest rate e.g. 2.5% on the loan.

    E

    EICR

    EICR stands for ‘Electrical Inspection Condition Report’ and should be carried out by a registered electrician once every 5 years in rental properties as a duty of care.

    Equity

    equity is the market value of a homeowner’s unencumbered interest in their real property, that is, the difference between the home’s fair market value and the outstanding balance of all liens on the property.

    Estate Agents

    real estate agent is a licensed professional who represents buyers or sellers in real estate transactions. A real estate agent usually works on commission, being paid a percentage of the property’s sale price.

    Exchange of Contracts

    The point at which the sale becomes legally binding from which neither party can withdraw without financial penalties – In Scotland see ‘Missives Concluded’.

    F

    FCA

    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has three operational objectives in support of its strategic goal—to protect consumers, to protect and enhance the integrity of the U.K. financial system, and to promote healthy competition between financial services providers in the interests of consumers.

    Fixed-term Tenancy

    At the end of your starter tenancy by housing association homes, you may be offered a fixed-term tenancy. A rental contract with a fixed start and end date. A  fixed-term tenancy – usually lasting for at least 5 years (your landlord will decide whether it’s renewed)

    Freehold

    The freeholder of a property owns it outright, including the land it’s built on. If you buy a freehold, you’re responsible for maintaining your property and land, so you’ll need to budget for these costs.

    Fully Managed

    A service level offered to landlords by letting agent. This is our comprehensive, hassle free service requiring minimum involvement from landlord. Whatever is required by landlord or the tenant, letting agent take care of it.

    Full Structural Survey

    This is the most comprehensive survey and is suitable for all residential properties. It’s particularly good for older homes or homes that might need repairs.

    Further Advance

    further advance is taking on more borrowing from your current mortgage lender. This is typically at a different rate to your main mortgage. This route can make sense if: Your lender’s further advance is competitive. You don’t want to remortgage or switch lenders.

    Flying Freehold

    Flying freehold is an English legal term to describe a freehold which overhangs or underlies another freehold. Common cases include a room situated above a shared passageway in a semi-detached house, or a balcony which extends over a neighbouring property.

    G

    Gas Safety Check 

    A gas safety check should be carried out annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. A record of the check should be given to tenants within 28 days of completion or at the start of their tenancy.

    Gross Rental Yield

    A value stated by calculating the percentage between yearly rental revenue and the price of the property.

    Ground rent

    As a legal term, ground rent specifically refers to regular payments made by a holder of a leasehold property to the freeholder or a superior leaseholder, as required under a lease.

    Guarantor

    More common amongst younger renters, having a someone as a guarantor means that the landlord can legally ask them to pay any rent due if the tenants fail to. There are also guarantor insurance policies now which can be used as an alternative.

    Gazumping

    The practice by a seller accepting a higher price than that previously agreed with someone else.

    Gazundering

    The practice by a buyer lowering his offer just before exchange of contracts.

    H

    Homebuyers report

    A HomeBuyer Report (or HomeBuyer Survey) is a survey to find and document any problems in a property that could cause damage and need future repairs, such as damp or subsidence. A HomeBuyer Report is carried out on homes that are in a reasonable condition and only checks for easily visible problems.

    The Homebuyer Survey includes a visual inspection of all major indoor features including ceilings, roof, walls, and bathrooms, as well as permanent outdoor buildings and features including roofing, pipes, gutters, walls, windows, and doors.

    Home Information Packs (HIPs)

    Under Part 5 of the Housing Act 2004 a Home Information Pack (HIP, on lowercase letters: hip), sometimes called a Seller’s Pack, was to be provided before a property in England and Wales could be put on the open market for sale with vacant possession.

    How to Rent

    How to rent is a guide produced by the Government to help tenants and landlords understand their rights and responsibilities. If you are a landlord, you need to provide tenants with an up to date version of this at the start of new tenancies. Download a copy here.

    I

    IFA

    Independent financial advisers (IFAs) are professionals who offer independent advice on financial matters to their clients and recommend suitable financial products from the whole of the market.

    IMRO

    Investments Managers Regulatory Organisation. Regulates investment managers.

    Instruction

    When a seller instructs an estate agent to market a property.

    Interest-only

    An interestonly mortgage allows you to pay just the interest charged each month for the term of the loan. You don’t have to repay the amount you’ve borrowed until the end of the term.

    Inventory

    An inventory is a documentation of all the contents and condition of a property which is taken before a tenancy begins, this is then referenced at the end of the tenancy to document any changes in its condition. Taking a thorough inventory at the start of the tenancy and ensuring the tenant agrees with it can help avoid disputes at the end of the tenancy.

    J

    Joint Agency

    Where two estate agents work together to market a property.

    Joint Mortgage

    A mortgage where there is more than one individual named responsible for the mortgage.

    Joint Tenancy

    A joint tenancy is where two or more people rent a property together & are jointly responsible for the items within the AST.

    K

    Kerb Appeal 

    Kerb appeal refers to how good the exterior of a property looks. This can include things like the guttering, paint, front garden and windows. A property with good kerb appeal can make a better first impression with prospective tenants.

    L

    Landlord

    landlord is the owner of a house, apartment, condominium, land, or real estate which is rented or leased to an individual or business, who is called a tenant (also a lessee or renter).

    Land Registry

    The Government organisation that holds records of all registered properties in England and Wales.

    LAUTRO

    Life Assurance Unit Trust Regulatory Organisation.

    Lease

    lease is a contractual arrangement calling for the lessee (user) to pay the lessor (owner) for use of an asset. Property, buildings and vehicles are common assets that are leased. Industrial or business equipment is also leased.

    Leasehold

    With a leasehold, you own the property (subject to the terms of the leasehold) for the length of your lease agreement with the freeholder. When the lease ends, ownership returns to the freeholder, unless you can extend the lease.

    Letting Agent

    The letting agent is responsible for helping landlords and their tenants. Duties of a letting agent include managing rental properties, finding tenants and making sure rent is paid. A letting agent is responsible for managing properties for private landlords. Depending on the level of service acquired, the agent’s responsibilities can include finding tenants, collecting rent, and fully managing the tenancy.

    LIBOR

    LIBOR is the benchmark interest rate at which major global lend to one another. LIBOR is administered by the Intercontinental Exchange, which asks major global banks how much they would charge other banks for short-term loans. The rate is calculated using the Waterfall Methodology, a standardized, transaction-based, data-driven, layered method.

    Loan To Value(LTV)

    Loan-to-value (LTV) is an often-used ratio in mortgage lending to determine the amount necessary to put in a deposit and whether a lender will extend credit to a borrower.

    Local Authority Search

    An application made to the appropriate Local Authority requesting details of any planning or other matters which might affect the property being sold.

    Long Lease

    Leasehold means that you just have a lease from the freeholder (sometimes called the landlord) to use the home for a number of years. The leases are usually long term – often 90 years or 120 years and as high as 999 years – but can be short, such as 40 years.

    Long Let

    A long let generally refers to a tenancy term that lasts longer than 6 months.

    M

    Maintenance Charge

    A charge made towards the upkeep of a leasehold property.

    Missives Concluded

    Scotland only. The solicitors must agree on the written negotiations of the sale – the ‘missives’. This can only be done once a mortgage offer is received. When the missives are agreed, this is known as ‘conclusion of missives’. Both parties are now legally bound to the sale/purchase.

    Mortgage Deed

    A legal document relating to the mortgage lenders interest in the property.

    Mortgage Types

    The main difference between most types of mortgage products is the way interest is added to the loan.

    •  Fixed-Rate

    The interest rate is set for the initial period of the loan i.e. 1, 2, 3 or 5 years then reverts to the lender’s standard variable rate. Early repayment charges will often apply.

    • Tracker

    This will follow the Bank Base Rate usually with a percentage added or deducted. Early repayment charges will often apply.

    • Capped

    Follows the bank base rate like a tracker mortgage but has an upper limit to the rate. Early repayment charges will often apply.

    There are very few capped rates available currently

    • LIBOR Linked

    Follows the London interbank offered rate (the rate banks lend to each other at) with a percentage added or deducted.

    Early repayment charges will often apply. There are very few Libor Linked rates available currently

    • Standard Variable

    Follow the banks SVR but are not guaranteed to change when the Bank of England Base Rate or LIBOR rate changes. Often available without early repayment charges.

    • Discount rate

    Follow’s the bank’s SVR minus a certain percentage.

    • Flexible Mortgages

    These products may offer features such as additional borrowing facility, over and underpayments, payment holidays and current accounts.

    They vary from lender to lender but should usually have a daily interest calculation.

    • Offset

    With an offset mortgage, you hold a savings account with the lender and pay no interest on the part of the mortgage that is offset by your savings.

    So, if you borrow £100,000 and have £20,000 in savings you will only pay interest on £80,000 of the mortgage which is tax-efficient and they may be available with a fixed or variable rate of interest.

    • Low Start

    Low start mortgages either offer a greatly reduced rate in the initial years or switch from an interest-only basis to capital and repayment.

    Multi-Agency

    The selection of two or more estate agents to act on the seller’s behalf, usually incurring a higher fee than if the sale is completed by a sole agency.

    N

    Negative Equity

    When the value of a property is less than the outstanding sum owed on a mortgage.

    Notice Period

    This is the amount of time that the landlord or tenant must give the other party to end the tenancy.

    Non- Resident Landlord (NRL) scheme

    The scheme that sets the rules for how overseas landlords pay tax.

    O

    Occupancy Rights 

    These rights are included within the tenancy agreement and give tenants the right to occupancy of the property.

    Ombudsman

    Independent professional bodies who investigate complaints on behalf of customers against estate agents, solicitors and insurance companies.

    Offer

    A bid made by a prospective buyer, this is not legally binding.

    Offers Over

    Offers are invited above the price shown.

    P

    Part-furnished

    A property let with some furnishings, usually white goods.

    Part-possession

    The term used when a property is being sold, where a tenant has legal right of occupation.

    PAT 

    PAT stands for ‘Portable Appliance Testing’ which is an examination of electrical equipment to ensure it’s safe to use, this should be carried out by a registered electrician. Most professionals recommend that landlords have electrical equipment PAT tested annually or at a change of tenancy.

    PCM

    PCM stands for ‘Price per Calendar Month’ and relates to the cost of renting the property on a monthly basis.

    Portfolio

    property portfolio is a collection of property investments owned by an individual, a group or a company. There are many benefits to owning a property portfolio as opposed to either owning no properties or owning just one investment property.

    Portfolio Gearing

    Gearing is a term used to describe the overall equity levels within a portfolio of properties and gives an indication of the level of debt against the portfolio value. If a portfolio has a high gearing there is very little equity in the overall portfolio.

    Private Treaty

    The way in which most house sales are completed in England and Wales.

    Protected Tenancy

    A protected tenancy is one which is regulated by the statutory code set up by the Rent Act 1977.

    This applies to most tenancies which started before 15 January 1989 (when the new code set up by the Housing Act 1988 came into force).

    R

    Remortgage

    Remortgaging is the process of switching your existing mortgage to a new deal, using the same property as security.

    Rental yield

    Rental yield is the return a property investor is likely to achieve on a property through rent. It is a percentage figure, calculated by taking the yearly rental income of a property and dividing it by the total amount that has been invested in that property.

    Return On Investment(ROI)

    Return on Investment (ROI) is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. … To calculate ROI, the benefit (or return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment. The result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio.

    Right To Rent

    Before landlords can legally rent to a prospective tenant, they must check that they can legally rent in England, this is called their ‘right to rent’. Find out more about carrying out right to rent checks here.

    S

    Sale Agreed

    A verbal agreement from the seller.

    Searches

    Checks of local council records for planning applications and restrictions, etc.

    Local Authority Search – A local authority search will provide you with detailed information about your property and the surrounding areas. This will give you peace of mind before going ahead with the purchase of your new home and ensure you avoid any nasty surprises in the future.There are two parts to a local authority search, a LLC1 result and a CON29 result.

      Water, drainage and other property searches – A water and drainage search carried out by your conveyancer will also highlight the proximity of the property to public sewers and whether the property has a sewer running within the boundaries of the property.  

      Environmental search – Environmental search will highlight issues including, Landslips, Subsidence, Contaminated land due to historic landfills and waste sites, The risk of flooding from nearby rivers or seas.

      Commons registration – If a property border with common land, village green or is in a rural area a search is recommended in accordance with the Commons Registration Act 1965. This property search should also be carried out when purchasing agricultural land.

      Mining search – A mining search is required if the property is situated in an area of previous or current mining history and is at risk of being built on unstable ground. This search is largely carried out for the benefit of the mortgage lender.

      Land charges – This is a search that should be taken when dealing with unregistered land, detailing any bankruptcy proceedings attributed to the owner of the land. It will also highlight if there are any restrictions on the use of land, estate contracts and mortgages.

      Chancel repair liability –  All parochial church councils in England and Wales were given until October 2013 to identify and register any land-bound to chancel repair liability. This information is kept by the Land Registry and stored on the Title Register database, so if you buy or inherit property and you live within the parishes of the church, it is worth checking if you are liable to contribute towards the cost of repairs to the church.

      Disadvantage area relief – Disadvantage area relief on Stamp Duty was phased out by HMRC in April 2013 as evidence showed that this “relief” did not encourage people to purchase a property. Up until this date, anyone that purchased a property valued over £125,000 or did not exceed £150,000 was exempt to Stamp Duty in they lived in a designated disadvantaged area.

    Section 21

    A section 21 notice is the notice a landlord must give a tenant to end the tenancy, this can only be used after the fixed tenancy term ends of if there isn’t a fixed end date. Landlords must always give tenants at least 2 months’ notice to leave the property.

    Semi-detached house

    semidetached house (often abbreviated to semi) is a single-family duplex dwelling house that shares one common wall with the next house

    Sole Agency

    The seller chooses a single estate agent to act on their behalf, incurring a lower fee than multi-agency.

    Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

    The stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is the tax imposed by the UK Government on the purchase of land and properties with values over a certain threshold. This tax is payable to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and must be remitted within 30 days of the completion of the purchase.

    Starter tenancy

    New housing association tenants may be offered a starter tenancy. These usually last 12 months and are like a ‘trial’ period.

    You become an assured or fixed-term tenant after 12 months unless your housing association has either:

    • started action to evict you
    • extended your starter tenancy

    Studio flat

    The studio apartment is an apartment with a single room. They are also known as single-room dwelling places or studio flats

    Subject to Contract

    When a property is sold subject to contract, this means an offer submitted by a buyer has been accepted by the seller, but the paperwork is not complete. It should also mean both parties are working towards an exchange of contracts. This term is used to specify that a contract is not yet lawfully binding.

    Sub Let

    Sub-letting is where a tenant rents out the property or part of the property they are renting to another tenant. If you are a tenant, you will need approval from your landlord before you can sub-let.

    Sub-prime mortgage

    subprime mortgage is a type of loan granted to individuals with poor credit scores.

    T

    TDP/TDS – TDP or TDS stands for ‘Tenancy Deposit Scheme’ and is a Government-backed scheme that ensures tenants get their deposits back so long as they meet the terms of their tenancy agreement, don’t damage the property and pay the rent and bills. You can find out more about tenancy deposit protection schemes here.

    Tenant

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

    Tenancy Void

    A ‘void‘ can be defined as a property, which does not have a legitimate tenant.

    Tenant Find

    A service level offered to landlords by letting agent. We find you a tenant and organise a tenancy agreement, leaving you with the day to day running of the let.

    Tenant Reference

    tenant reference is used to evaluate a potential tenant’s suitability to rent a property. A tenant reference check provides the landlord with a clear and accurate snapshot of the applicant’s ability to pay the rent, as well as their recent renting history.

    Tender

    The process whereby the seller asks for written offers on a property usually with a set closing date. When a property is sold by tender, the buyer pays the fees.

    Tenure

    The conditions under which land or buildings are held or occupied.

    Terraced houses

    Terraced houses are distinguished by properties connecting directly to each other in a row, sharing a party wall.

    Title

    The ultimate record of ownership of a property, the evidence of which is found in the title deeds.

    Transfer Deeds

    The Land Registry document that transfers legal ownership from seller to buyer.

    U

    Under Offer

    When the seller has accepted an offer on the property but contracts have not yet been exchanged.

    Unfurnished

    A property let with no furnishings.

    V

    Variable Interest Rate

    An interest payment that changes depending on market interest rates.

    Vendor

    A person or company offering something for sale,

    Viewings

    Viewings are the tenant’s opportunity to come and take a look around the rental property before deciding whether or not to rent it.

    W

    Wear and Tear

    Wear and tear is damage to the property caused by day to day living such as worn carpets or small scuffs on the wall. Wear and tear is not allowed to be deducted from deposits.

    Writ

    Mode of commencing legal proceedings

    Y

    Young Professional 

    The term ‘young professional’ is generally used to describe an individual who is in their 20 – 30s working in a white-collar job.

     

     

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