When it comes to housing and contracts in any circumstance, some terms are thrown around in letters, phone calls, and in person. For this reason, we have put together a jargon buster for those who may not understand the ins and outs of getting a tenancy when homeless. It will also be useful for those who have received post informing them of a development in their application but do not know what they are trying to say.
Assured Shorthold Tenancy – a contract between tenant and landlord for a fixed period, usually 6 or 12 months.
Allocations – The process of a landlord choosing who can move into the property.
Allocations Policy – The rules that the landlord sticks to for allocations.
Choice Based Lettings – Applicants bid for the properties that they chose.
Code of Conduct – The guidelines stating the expectations on landlords, tenants, and applicants to behave in a certain way and how to do this.
Data Protection/Data Protection Act – Anyone that holds information about you must look after it and they must show it to you on request.
Decent Homes Standard – A target to get all social housing homes into good quality accommodation.
Disability Discrimination Act – Provides for the equal access of people who are disabled without discrimination.
Equal Opportunities – This means treating all people equally, and not being prejudiced or discriminating against someone because of their ethnic origin, religion, sexuality, disability, gender or age.
Foyer - Accommodation for young homeless people. As well as housing they provide training and educations as well as life skills.
HMOs - Houses in Multiple Occupation – A property that is shared by unrelated people.
Hostel - Hostels provide temporary accommodation for the homeless.
Housing Association (HA) – Housing for low income people or families and those with particular needs.
Housing Benefit – Money paid to the landlord on behalf of the tenant.
Housing Officer – Works with the tenants to manage cases and participation.
Independent Housing Ombudsman (IHO) – Investigate complaints about housing associations.
Introductory Tenancies/ Starter Tenancy – A tenancy that lasts for one year which changes to a secure tenancy if the tenant upholds their responsibilities.
Joint Tenancy – More than one person live in the property.
Local Housing Company (LHC) – A not for profit company set up to manage homes.
LSP - Local Strategic Partnership – A body that brings together local organisations to get them to work together.
Monitoring – Checking that everything works as it should.
Management Committee – Those who make sure everyone follows the rules.
NCVO - National Council for Voluntary Organisations – Works with charities and organisations to give advice and guidance.
Needs Allowance – How much the government says a person needs to live on each week.
Neighbourhood Management – Joins up local services to make them more useful to you.
Neighbourhood Warden/ Street Warden – Works closely with the local police to make sure the area is safe and clean.
NHF National Housing Federation – Makes guidelines for housing associations.
Not for Profit – A charity that does not make any profit.
Possession Order - A legal document obtained from a magistrates court by a landlord to gain possession of a property from a tenant.
Quiet Enjoyment – All tenants have the right to be undisturbed by their landlord apart from repairs and inspections which must be prearranged.
Rent Money – Money paid to the landlord weekly or monthly.
Rent Arrears – Falling behind on the money that you need to give to the landlord.
Registered Charity – A registered organisation with charitable aims and objectives.
RSL - Registered Social Landlord – A social landlord who is registered.
Scrutiny Committee/ Scrutiny Panel – A group that scrutinises decisions to make sure they are fair.
Service Delivery – How the service works in reality.
Shared Housing – Private bedrooms but share some rooms like bathroom or kitchen.
Sheltered Housing – For individuals who need help in emergencies.
Short Life Housing – A property that is only for a short time until a long term home is found.
Social Exclusion – Government wording for those who live in the worst housing estates.
Service Charge – Money that needs to be paid towards services (cleaning in shared hallways).
Social Housing – Cheaper housing when compared to the local housing market.
Social Landlord - Provider of social housing such as a local authority or registered social landlord.
Tenancy Agreement – A contract between the tenant and landlord that lets everyone know what is expected of them.
Tenant – Person who lives in a property.
Supported Housing – Housing with paid staff to support the tenants care needs.
Tenant Satisfaction Surveys – A form that asks how satisfied the service user is with the service.
Tenant’s Handbook - Book with the important information given to new tenants.
Voids – Properties that are waiting for someone to move into.
Warden/Warden Controlled – Paid staff within the building look after those with specific care needs.
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