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Scottish Lettings Jargon Buster

Being a landlord or tenant requires on occasion, reading through documents, filling out forms, and speaking to letting agents, and as a result, being met with a lot of jargon. This jargon however, is important, so knowing what it means is equally important. To assist you in getting to grips with the types of terms you will likely encounter, we have created a Scottish Lettings Jargon Buster, an A-Z overview of common terms we use in our relationships with our clients.

Please click here to see other important information about being a Scottish landlord.

Agency Agreement

A written contract between the owner/s (i.e. the landlord/s) of a property/ies and the letting agent (i.e. Rooks).

Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)

An EICR is -as the name implies-, a report into the condition of the electrical installation (see below) in a property and to highlight any safety shortcomings, defects or deviations from the current revision of the electrical regulations BS7671.

Electrical Installation

Also called “building wiring”. This is the electrical wiring and associated devices such as switches, meters and light fittings used in buildings or other structures. An electrical installation does not include electrical appliances such as cookers, heaters, TVs, dishwashers, washing machines etc.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. It also provides suggested ways in which its efficiency could be improved.

Financial Reference

A document that gives indication of the tenant’s financial standing and therefore their ability to pay the rent. At least one of the following will provide this information:

  • presentation of a salary/wage slips covering the last two months
  • presentation of the most recent bank statement showing salary payments or other regular income into the account
  • credible proof of savings or other independent financial means (i.e. bank statement)
  • a written reference from their current employer with details of the tenants salary included
  • name and contact details of a suitable guarantor. For example, this is required in the case of students, however may be accepted in other circumstances

Gas Safety Check and Certificate (CP12) (Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate)

A certificate -required by law-, to be held in the property to prove gas appliances, fittings and flues provided are safe for tenants. To maintain the certificate, this check must be done annually.

Housing in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Your property is defined as Housing in Multiple Occupation (HMO) if:

  • at least three tenants live there, forming more than one household*
  • there is a shared toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities with other tenants

*A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. A family includes people who are:

  • married or living together
  • relatives or half-relatives, eg grandparents, uncles, aunts, siblings
  • step-parents and step-children


Also referred to as a Schedule of Condition (see below). It is a complete and detailed report listing the contents and condition of a rental property.

Landlord Reference

A written document from a tenant’s previous landlord supporting their application that demonstrates their ability to care for the property and maintain rental payments, based on the experience of the previous landlord. We request that we are provided with the landlord details, so we can contact their previous landlord directly.

Lease Assignation

Assigning a tenancy is when a tenant passes on their tenancy and tenancy rights to another person, known as the assignee. Anyone with a Scottish secure tenancy, and who has lived in the property as their main home for at least six months, has the right to assign their tenancy.

Let Agreed

“Let Agreed” means that an offer has been accepted by the landlord on that particular property. Therefore, the property is no longer ‘on the market’ while the we take up appropriate references on the applicant/s.

Letting Protection Service (LPS) Scotland

All private landlords and letting agents taking tenancy deposits in Scotland are required to safeguard them with a Government approved tenancy deposit protection scheme. For example, Letting Protection Service Scotland (LPS Scotland) is free to use for all landlords, letting agents and tenants. Rooks are registered with LPS Scotland.

Long-Term Let

This usually refers to a tenancy in a property lasting from six months upward.

Non-Resident Landlord (NRL)

A landlord who owns a property in the UK and receives rental income from that property whilst living outside of the UK. Note: If this applies to you, make sure your are registered with HMRC.


A person who owns the home in which he/she lives.

Personal Reference

This reference is only required for tenants who have not had a landlord within the last five years. A Landlord Reference (see above) applies for those who have had a landlord within the last five years. The reference provider (personal referee) should be someone of professional standing or similar who is able to confirm (vouch for) the tenant’s ability to act responsibly and keep the rental property in good order. A personal reference should not come from a member of the tenant’s family. Acceptable referees include: previous employer, community leader, academic supervisor (i.e. university professor), professional friend/neighbour who knows the tenant well, to name a few examples.

Portable Appliance Test (PAT)

The name of a process by which electrical appliances are routinely checked for safety. The formal term for the process is “in-service inspection & testing of electrical equipment”.

Safety Compliance

For a property to be “safety compliant”, it must have had the required works to ensure it meets the health and safety regulations relating to rental properties.

Schedule of Condition

Also known as an Inventory (see above). It is a complete and detailed report listing the contents and condition of a rental property.

Short-Term Let

A tenancy usually lasting from one day, up to six months.

Short Assured Tenancy

Most residential lettings in Scotland made after 2nd January 1989 are Short Assured Tenancies. This is the most common type of tenancy, and offers some protection to landlords when letting their property. For comparison, the equivalent for England and Wales is known as an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.

Tenancy Agreement

A written contract between the tenant/s renting a property and the landlord/s. If Rooks manage the property, then we will sign the Tenancy Agreement on behalf of the landlord/s.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

A tenancy deposit scheme is a Government approved scheme provided by a third party organisation to protect tenancy deposits until they are due to be repaid (also see Letting Protection Service Scotland above). Three schemes are in operation across Scotland:

  • Letting Protection Service (LPS) Scotland – Rooks are registered with LPS Scotland
  • Safedeposits Scotland
  • my|deposits Scotland

The Association of Professional Inventory Providers (APIP)

The Association of Professional Inventory Providers (APIP) offers a recognised standard of inventory provision. Rooks are pleased to partner with Pinstripe.

Void Period

When a property is unoccupied (by anyone: tenant or otherwise) for an amount of time.

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