Property Management and Rental Terms Glossary

Posted by Jordan Muela in Property Management Articles

Whether you are interesting in entering the real estate field, or have just entered into the industry, it is extremely helpful to understand the various terms associated with different transactions. These terms are relative to property management and rental situations. Read through this comprehensive glossary to ensure that you understand the meaning of each term. For further information, click on the links that are provided.

Affordable Housing: This type of housing is that of which a federal or state agency governs in an effort to offer assistance and control the rent to those who meet a certain predetermined criteria.

Amenities: Intangible and tangible features that are included in or on a property that enhance the desirability or value of the property.

Apartment: A multi-family building that is designed to house separate individuals or groups of families within the same building.

Broker: A real estate professional who purchases and sells property for others in order to receive a commission. This professional must be licensed and eligible to practice in the state he resides in.

Condo/Condominium: A multi-unit building that allows for individual units to be owned by its dwellers. The common elements of this type of building are owned by all owners within the condominium.

Conventional Housing: This type of housing adheres or conforms to the market rate, or acceptable standards, of the area’s housing.

Co-Signer: An additional signer on a lease or mortgage that is used in order to verify the identity of the principle owner or to provide a certain level of surety to the lender or landlord.

Duplex (House): A house that was designed to house two separate individuals or families within the same house. For instance, a house that has an upstairs for one family and a downstairs for another family is considered a duplex.

Equal Housing Opportunity: The opportunity for all citizens in America to be able to live in various housing communities regardless of race, gender, age, nationality, familial status or disability.

Escrow Account: The account that a broker establishes during a real estate transaction in order to hold onto the funds until the transaction has been completed or cancelled. This assures that the purchaser has the money that is needed to successfully complete the transaction upon approval.

Ethics/Professionalism: A system of rules and moral principles that come into play when conducting professional behavior.

Eviction: A process through legal means in an effort to remove a person from their home due to a violation of the agreement, whether the dweller has not paid rent/mortgage or if they have violated another form of the agreement, such as noise disturbances.

Fair Housing Act: This law is of a federal status and was put in effect to stop the discrimination that occurs in housing because of race, age, color, handicap, sex, religion, national origin and familial status.

Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contracts (PDF): The HAP contract is used so that those under the voucher program are able to receive section 8.

House: A residence in which people reside.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD): The mission of HUD is to increase the access to housing that is affordable without discrimination; support the development of the community; and increase the homeownership rates.

Income Levels: These are limits as defined by the government that are used to establish tax credit limits and other types of affordable housing.

Lead Based Paint Disclosure: Requirements that became effective as of 1996 to ensure that families and individuals are made aware of homes that contain lead-based paint.

Lease: An oral or written contract that is developed between a landlord and his tenant that provides the tenant with the right of exclusive possession of the home for a specific amount of time. Generally speaking, for leases that are longer than one year, the agreement must be in writing.

Lease Option: An agreement that allows the tenant the option to purchase the property they are leasing at the end of the lease term, or some time during the term of the lease.

Lease Renewal: The renewal of a lease once the term of the lease has expired.

Lease Term: The amount of time that is agreed upon between the landlord and tenant in which the tenant will occupy the property.

Leasing Agent: A licensed real estate agent who leases property and has the authority to sign on the behalf of the lessor.

Lessee: The tenant who has agreed for the term of the lease.

Lessor: The landlord who has agreed for the term of the lease.

Low Income Tax Credit (LITC) Properties (PDF): These types of properties provide the owner with a certain amount of tax credits in exchange for renting to eligible tenants as designated by the Justice department, HUD and the IRS.

Maintenance: The upkeep and care of a property.

Market Rate: The current rate of the real estate market.

Persons With Disabilities Act: An act that guarantees equal opportunity for those with disabilities.

Pre-Qualification- This is the first stage in the bidding process where the maximum loan amount for the applicant is determined.

Property: A piece of real estate as well as the permanent fixtures, such as buildings, that are attached.

Property Management Agreement: The agreement between the landlord and the management company that discusses the details on how the property will proceed with being managed. This agreement also includes other details that pertain to criteria and payments to the management company.

Property Manager: This is the person who manages a piece of real estate that belongs to another person in exchange for compensation. Some of the duties as a property manager include keeping up with all of the accounting details, maintaining the property and collecting rent from the tenants.  For example, see property managers in Phoenix.

Proration: Prepaid expenses or those that are paid in arrears at the signing of the lease. These expenses are divided between tenant and landlord or the seller and buyer at the closing of a purchase.

Real Estate: A piece of land that may or may not have permanent fixtures attached to it.

Real Estate Agent: A licensed agent that deals with selling and leasing real estate.

Realtor: A professional that is a member of the National Association of Realtors.

Rent: A period payment that is set at a fixed amount that is made by the tenant to the landlord.

Rent Schedule: A statement that proposes the rental rates. This document is put together by the property manager, owner or both.

Rent to Own: A lease agreement that provides the tenant with an option to purchase the property.

Rental Discount: A discount that is given to the tenant by the landlord if the tenant pays the rent by a certain day.

Repairs: Improvements to a property that fixes something that is broken or outdated, or something that simply enhances the value.

Sales Agent/Salesperson: A person who works with a licensed broker of real estate and performs real estate activities.

Section 8: A voucher program that increases the amount of choices that are available to families who are considered to be in the low-income category. This allows them to choose homes that are privately owned.

Security Deposit: A payment that a tenant makes to the landlord as a security in the event that there is damage to the property.

Single Family House (SFH) : A place of dwelling that is designed for one family to live in.

Subsidy/Subsidized: Assistance that is granted to a group or person by the government.

Tenant Damages: Damages that are considered outside of normal wear and tear is done during the term of the lease.

Townhouse: A row of houses that are simply joined together by sidewalls.

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