Glossary – S

Schedule of Condition – A record of the condition of the property at the start of the lease, usually used to limit tenants liability at keeping the property in the same condition as the evidence given in the schedule.

Schedule of Dilapidations – A list of prospective repairs and maintenance items that have accrued under the terms specified in the lease. The tenant is obliged to carry out the work listed or pay representative damages to the landlord.

Section 8 Notice – Section 8 refers to a notice under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. This notice seeking possession of an assured or assured shorthold tenancy can be served on the tenant at any time during a fixed term or periodic tenancy. This is a breach of contract notice which must use one of 17 reasons (grounds) for possession set out in the Act. Some of these grounds give a mandatory possession order (e.g: 2 months in rent arrears) and some are discretionary – i.e, the judge decides whether a possession order is issued or not.

Section 13 Notice – refers to a notice under section 13(2) of the Housing Act 1988. This is a rent increase procedure to be used where the landlord and tenant of an Assured or and Assured Shorthold Tenancy cannot agree a rent increase. It can only be used for a periodic tenancy (i.e., only after the fixed term has ended), and can only be used once every 12 months.

Section 18 Notice – Section 18(1) of The Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 has the effect of limiting or defining the amount of damages that a landlord is able to recover for breaches of the tenant’s repairing covenants. Section 18(1) contains two limbs: (1) Damages for a breach of a covenant or agreement to keep or put premises in repair during the currency of a lease, or to leave or put premises in repair at the termination of a lease, and (2) no damage shall be recovered where at termination the landlord intended to demolish or refurbish such that would render valueless the repairs covered by the covenant or agreement.

Section 21 Notice – To terminate an Assured Shorthold Tenancy in England or Wales, the landlord or agent must serve a Section 21 Notice (Notice Requiring Possession) giving a minimum of two months’ notice. Two types of Section 21 Notice exist under the Housing Act 1988: (1) a notice served during the fixed term – Section 21(1)b, and (2) a notice served during a statutory periodic tenancy – Section 21(4)a. Possession during the fixed term period can only be obtained if a breach of contract is proved and for this a Section 8 Possession Notice should be used.

Section 25 Notice – The Section 25 Notice relates to commercial tenancies under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 Part 2 and is used to inform the tenant either of proposed terms for a new lease or to oppose renewal. This notice must be served not more than 12 and not less than 6 months before the landlord wants the present tenancy to end which will be after the expiry date of the existing lease.

Section 26 Notice – The Section 26 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 sets out a procedure under which tenants can end or renew their business (commercial) tenancy. The section 26 notice sets out the information a tenant must give his landlord in order to propose a renewal or to surrender the commercial lease.

Section 48 Notice – Section 48 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 refers to the furnishing of an address at which tenants of residential tenancies can serve notices upon their landlord. Landlords in England and Wales who fail to do so, either in their tenancy agreements or by this notice will be unable to enforce claims for rent, rent arrears or service charges.

Section 213 Notice – Section 213 of the Housing Act 2004 refers to a notice under section 213 of that act which must be served on an Assured Shorthold Tenant after taking and protecting a deposit. The notice must be served on the provider of the deposit no less than 30 days after taking it. This notice provides the tenant with all they information they need about where the deposit has been protected and the rules of the deposit protection schemes being used.

Security Deposit – A sum of money paid by the Tenant, usually equal to 6 weeks rent that is held for the duration of the tenancy in case of any damage or disrepair to the property.

Security of Tenure – The right of a tenant at the end of their lease to continue to occupy a property unless the landlord obtains a court order for possession of the property or termination of the tenancy agreement. The protection is by part II of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954.

Semi Detached – A house that is joined to another house by a neighbouring wall.

Service Charge – A charge payable by a tenant for services provided by the landlord for the repair of common parts such as reception areas, lifts or managing agent fee’s.

Solicitor – A legal professional registered with the Law Society who are qualified to deal with conveyancing or purchasing a property.

Stamp Duty Land Tax – Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is generally payable on the purchase or transfer of property or land in the UK where the amount given is above a certain threshold. Most UK land and property transactions must be notified to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on a Stamp Duty Land Tax return within a certain time limit – even if no tax is due.

Statutory Obligation – There are three statutory provisions which can affect the landlord’s responsibilities and liability to compensate others for death or injury: (1) statutory nuisance or the premises are prejudicial to health, (The Environmental Protection Act 1990), (2) Occupiers Liability (The Occupier’s Liability Act 1957), and (3) Defective Premises (The Defective Premises Act 1972).

Sub-letting – When a tenant leases the current property to another occupier for an amount of time less than the tenant’s lease with the landlord.

Sui Generis – Certain uses do not fall within any use class and are considered ‘sui generis’. Such uses include: theatres, houses in multiple occupation, hostels providing no significant element of care, scrap yards. Petrol filling stations and shops selling and/or displaying motor vehicles. Retail warehouse clubs, nightclubs, launderettes, taxi businesses, amusement centres and casinos.

Superior Lease – The lease given by the freeholder of that particular land or property.


Surrender – A legal process where a lease can be ended before its contractual expiry date.