We have just finished the glossary of terms for the new Property Management Guide book, which is a helpful list of the sorts of phrases and references you come across in the world of property management.

Some of these are more obvious than others, plus some are a little more helpful, too. I have therefore just noted my personal top-ten favourite ones below in italics. These are chosen a little at face value, and be aware of what immediately comes to mind as particularly good or unusual ones; or maybe the sorts of terms that have more meaning than you first think.

1. Adverse Possession

The right of people occupying property to eventually take ownership of it. This sounds too good to be true, but if you occupy land and property long enough you could theoretically end up owning it!

2. Alienation

Transferring a lease interest from one tenant to another often by assignment, subletting or sharing occupation. This seems strange, but it’s all to do with how you pass a lease to someone else, and it is therefore extremely important for a tenant to have this flexibility and for a landlord to keep an original tenant on the hook, so to speak.

3. Asbestos

A certain material used in older building now known to potentially cause illness to people when disturbed, therefore it is a legal requirement for those in control of properties to have the materials first surveyed through as Asbestos Survey, and then a system agreed of removing or controlling through as Asbestos Management Plan. An area, in fact, that most people have heard of, but always misunderstand and either over-panic or underestimate what the effect of the material and breach of duty really is.

4. Cash and Bank Reconciliations

Where monies in bank accounts are cross-checked with actual transactions on an accounting system to ensure they are correct. This sort of detail is so often not even thought about or is underestimated by non-accounting people within property management, but can cause huge issues with accurate figures and delays later on if not done correctly.

5. Enfranchisement

For residential long lease hold interests - the rights of tenants to purchase the freehold of the property individually or as with Collective Enfranchisement on a joint basis with other residential tenants in the same property. A grand phrase meaning the right of residential long-lease owners being able to buy the freehold of the property - particularly helpful for those in occupation who want to literally own the land.

6. Health & Safety

General reference to considering people’s health and safety at properties under various legislation, and regarding files of information prepared for new buildings and works. A very general term thrown around, which actually boils down to lots of different areas of compliance and a general rule-of-thumb of having common sense and being reasonable.

7. Lift

Both reference to a provision in a building to move passengers and goods to different floors, but also the Lift cost referred to by businesses removing refuse – or the cost for removing one bin’s waste. An interesting double meaning; the first you imagine as moving between floors within a property, although with various obligations and costs regarding, the other with how refuse businesses price up their removals.

8. Marriage Value

When a residential long lease holder purchases the freehold and the value paid takes into account the additional value of the interests coming together. An unusual reference to that extra value in two interests coming together, and two plus two not only always equalling four but creating an extra mutually-beneficial value as well.

9. Party Wall

General reference to a wall between two areas, and more specifically through the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 regarding proposed works to a wall by one owner and how they need to involve and communicate with other owners benefiting from this. This is not just a general reference, but can have devastating effects if one side of the wall starts tinkering with it without formally notifying other interests.

10. The 1954 Act

Referring to legislation called the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 which is the main piece of legislation regarding commercial property leases with the focus on how they are ended and extended through rights of tenants to continue. The bedrock legislation of business property leases and how landlords and tenants deal with them at the end of the natural end date. This favours the tenants, therefore landlords in particular need to be aware of potential costs and delays in this.

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