Jargon Buster

33 results found

Absent Landlord

A Landlord who cannot be contacted is defined as 'absent'. Consequently, Legal recourse is available to acquire the right to manage property.

Absorption (1)

The water absorbed by a brick, concrete, etc., as a percentage of its dry weight. Engineering bricks in Britain are boiled for five hours to measure their absorption. Absorption below 7% usually indicates good frost resistance but some bricks with 12% absorption resist frost well (BRE Digest 164). Brick damp courses are made from engineering bricks.

Absorption (2)

In acoustics, absorptive materials reduce echoes (reverberation) within a room, but have little effect on the passing of sound through a wall or floor, except insofar as they reduce the sound within the room. Soft partition or wall surfaces, being more absorptive than hard, may or may not improve acoustics but they will reduce the reduce the reverberation period. So will the fitting of windows, or other openings in the walls, and the presence of people.

Abstract of Title

A document prepared by the Vendor's solicitor which relates to unregistered land proving the Vendor owns the land, and that any previous mortgages have been paid settled.

Abstracting (q.s.)

The process, before drawing up a bill of quantities of assembling and adding similar tasks in the contract which will be paid for at the same price under one item. The items are arranged in trades to make billing easier.

Acquisition Date

The Acquisition Date identifies the starting date for the Right to Manage Company's assumption of the legal responsibility for the running of the designated property.

Additional security fee

An upfront one-off fee paid to the lender, in order to protect them against the borrower defaulting on the loan. Also known as a Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee.


The person appointed by the courts to manage the affairs of a deceased person who died without specifically naming someone in their will to carry out that work.

Admixture, additive

In concrete, mortar or plaster, a substance other than aggregate, cement, plaster or water, added in small quantities to alter the properties of the mix or of the hardened substance. Admixtures, especially in plasters, require the written permission of the designer, though masonry cement (BS 5224) contains an air-entraining agent (C) and sometimes other substances, but chlorides are forbidden. See BS 5075, also mortar plasticizers.

Air conditioning

Bringing the air in a building to a desired temperature, purity and humidity, often by washing with cold water and then heating or cooling the air, which is blown or sucked in as required. See air change, air washer, modulated control plenum system, unit air conditioner, and BS 5643.

Ancient covenant

A restrictive covenant preventing certain work to a property which may have been imposed hundreds of years ago. It can be possible to take out insurance against such a covenant being enforced.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The total cost of a loan, which includes the costs, interest charges, and arrangement fees.

Anti-slip paint

A paint containing sand, cork dust, asbestos fibre, or similar material, used for finishing wood floors or decks.


A judgement of quality


One who designs and supervises the construction of buildings. He prepares drawings and specifications, inspects sites, obtains tenders, and handles legal negotiations needed before work can start. His functions now extend into town planning and the study of the social and work activities that need buildings. The Architects (Registration) Acts 1931 to 1969 protect the title 'architect' in the United Kingdom so that only those who are registered with the Architects Registration Council must pass an architectural examination of university degree level as well as one in professional practice.

Architect's Certificate

A certificate provided by an architect, which confirms their overseeing of the construction of a building. Building societies are unlikely to lend on a new-build house in the absence of either an architect's certificate or an NHBC Guarantee.


A shaped moulding which frames door and window openings


The Association of Residential Letting Agents.


The Association of Residential Managing Agents.

Arrangement fees

Where a special interest rate is to be used, an additional fee is also charged for the arrangement of the loan.


A mineral crystal, consisting of thin tough fibreslike textile, which can withstand high temperatures without change when pure. See sprayed mineral insulation.

Asbestos and health

Health risks from machining of asbestos may be severe, but if the asbestos is wetted, especially when drilled or sawn by hand tools, the risk is less. It is not yet proven that glass, ceramic and other substitutes for asbestos, which also yield fine fibres that enter the lung, are completely harmless. BS 3958 specifies materials for thermal insulation, including preformed sections for covering pipes. If in doubt refer to the Health and Safety Executive's publications or the Asbestos Regulations, 1969. Sawing or drilling should be done at floor level; sweepings should be disposed of in sealed bags.

Asphalt roofing

Roofing with bitumen felt or with mastic asphalt (C) laid in two or three coats.


The transfer of ownership of an insurance policy or lease


A room next to the roof with a ceiling (if any) following the roof slopes.


The sale of a property to the highest bidder, provided the amount exceeds any reserve. Buyers are required to sign a contract and pay a deposit immediately.

Condensation (3)

An electric extract fan of 150 or 200mm (6 or 8 in.) diameter over the cooker, vented to the outside air, removes much of the steam from the kitchen. Condensation on cold pipes can usually be prevented by moulded insulation or other efficient lagging. Occasionally the heat of a small refrigerator will keep a wall surface warm enough to prevent condensation on it. In laundries, cold stores or other places where condensation must at all costs be prevented, the most expensive solution may be needed - de-humid


The term used to describe the transfer of title in the context of a property transfer

Allocation questionnaire

A form used as part of the county court process to determine under which track a claim should be heard


A physical change to a building, usually used in the context of a structral change to a property that a lease might stipulate first requires landlord’s consent


An alternative means of granting rights over a property, infering rights of use but not rights of ownership, ie, a car parking space could be alllcoated for the use of Flat 15 but not demised to it. An example of the difference being that if a car parking space is demised by virtue of ownership the owner may be able erect a barrier on it, paint it, park an untaxed car in it .... unless any transfer/lease or document or grant outlaws such activities. This being opposed to an allocated space of which the ownership may lie with the Freeholder or Management Company who would have the rights to set the standards on such matters.

Accounting system

Accounts package designed to hold information in respect of individual leaseholders and landlords. Records all financial aspects of the company.

Article 4 Directions

Under Article 4 of the General Permitted Development Order, Camden can take away permitted development rights. This is a short summary of the Article 4 directions made by Camden. Full details are available from the Duty Planner.