Glossary of Terms

Assured tenancy
As most tenancies are assured, this will normally provide tenants with more rights and the landlord would need a court order to evict them.

Bedsit
It normally refers to a room with a bed in it and you would have to share the bathroom and kitchen with others.

Contents Insurance
If you have expensive gadgets such as laptops, iPads, and mobile phones it’s wise to insure them with content insurance. This insurance protects your gadgets from destruction and theft. Just remember to mention that you live in a shared accommodation.

Deposit
It’s normally a fixed sum arranged in advance to cover the tenancy against any damages or arrears with rent payments. It’s taken by the landlords and its value is normally a month’s rent. Weekly deposits are more common in shared type of accommodation.

Flatmate
Refers to someone who shares a flat with others. The person will also share the bathroom, kitchen and dining area.

Garden flat
This is a purpose build structure build in the garden to accommodate a single person or a couple. Some houses who have larger gardens may decide to build a studio like building at the back of their garden to earn an extra income.

Housemate
This is when someone shares a whole house with others. You will also be sharing the kitchen, bathroom, lounge and a garden.

HMO (house in multiple occupation)
Refers to a building that is occupied by more than two people to form a household. The following properties can be classified as HMO:
- Shared Houses
- Hostels
- Lodgings
- Accommodation for employees
Please note that different legislation applies to HMO properties and you may need to be licenced by the local authority.

Lodger
Is normally a person who has been given a bedroom in someone’s property. A lodger does not have exclusive right of the room and have to share common areas such as bathroom, kitchen and a lounge with the other people in the household.

Lodgings
This is when you rent a room and the homeowner is living in the property.

DSS
This refers to those people who receive state benefits to cover living expenses. Generally DSS tenants are seen as people with poor credit history and risky for paying the rent. However, this shouldn’t put you off as they should be treated like any other tenant.

Rent a Room Scheme
The scheme allows you to generate tax free income of up to £4,250 per annum when taking in a lodger.

Roommate
Is someone who shares a bedroom with somebody else.

Subletting
Subletting happens when the current tenant leases some or all of the property to somebody else. Instead of paying the rent to the landlord, a subtenant pays it to the tenant.

Tenancy Agreement
An agreement between a tenant and a landlord that stipulates the terms and condition of a tenancy.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme
From 2007 onwards all deposits taken by the landlords have to be put into one of the Government approved schemes.

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