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Real Estate Glossary and Inventory Vocabulary

All of our real estate/inventory content uses words specific to the industry. Because you may not be familiar with some of these words, we have created a real estate glossary. If you need more information on one or more words, don't hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to help.


Action Logement

Formerly called "1% logement", this organization is responsible for collecting the Participation des Employeurs à l'Effort de Construction (PEEC) to offer aid, loans or subsidies to tenants and owners. It provides:

  • Rental assistance: LOCA-PASS advance, LOCA-PASS guarantee, VISALE guarantee and MOBILI-JEUNE assistance
  • Real estate loans: Construction or acquisition loan for new housing, acquisition loan for old housing without work to be done, Accession+ loan to buy HLM or PSLA housing or Extension loan
  • Work loans: Improvement loan, energy performance improvement loan, extension loan, work loan to adapt the property to disabled people and damaged co-ownership work loan
  • Mobility aids: Financing of professional mobility and MOBILI-JEUNE aid
  • Housing assistance service: CIL-PASS ASSISTANCE.

Affordability Ratio

The affordability ratio corresponds to the sum of the rent and rental charges divided by the household's resources.

Agence Régionale de Santé (lit. Regional Health Agency)

This public administrative institution is in charge of enforcing health policies at a regional level.

Air Extractor Fan

An opening that allows the air in a humid room (kitchen, bathroom, washroom) to be drawn out by the fan.

Air Flow Rate

This is the amount of air that a device such as a fan or AC can handle. It is usually indicated in m3/h.

Air Vents

An opening in the ceiling of a dry room (living room, bedrooms, dining room). The outside air, filtered by the ventilation system, passes through this opening and then flows in the dwelling.


The Alur Law is a law that aims to facilitate and modify access to the housing market. It also improves the relationship between owners and tenants.

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Arbitration Commission

The arbitration commission operates when there is a dispute between the tenant and the landlord in order to find an out-of-court settlement. It can be requested by the owner or the tenant. The referral is free.


Legal officer who drafts authentic acts related to real estate and other matters.


A person with a mandate to act. This mandate is issued by a natural person or a legal entity.

Authenticated Deed

A document prepared and signed by a public official (bailiff, attorney or registrar) to certify the authenticity of a fact or an act.



A protection that is usually located between the countertop of a kitchen and the wall. This prevents stains.


It is a wall band used to protect its base and also cover the meeting point with the ground. It is usually made out of wood or stone.


A strip (made of plastic, felt or rubber) used to fill a hole or protect against impact. Usually attached to the edges of doors or windows.


Tool made of 2 blades (in different metals or alloys) used to measure temperature.


A boiler provides you with heating and/or hot water in your home. There are several types of boilers: standard boilers (gas, oil, wood or electric boilers), low-temperature boilers (operating at lower water temperature), condensing boilers (retrieving energy from smoke to heat the water in the pipes) or flue boilers (smoke needs to be extracted). A boiler can be fitted on a wall, but also on the floor.


Cable Gland

Device placed at the entrance of a product in order to guarantee its sealing.

Caisse d’allocations familiales (CAF)

The CAF (French: Family Allowance Fund) is a Social Security service in charge of family-related matters. It provides financial support such as Aide Personnalisée au Logement (APL) or Allocation au Logement (AL).

Calendar Day

The term "calendar day" means that all days in the calendar are counted, including holidays.

Call Option

In a real estate leasing contract, the buyer has an option: either he/she decides to buy the property or not. The use of this option means that the buying party decides to acquire the dwelling under the conditions of the contract.


French law that defines the floor area of a property when subtracting the space area of walls, partitions, stairwells, etc. The minimum floor to ceiling height must be 1m80.


The part of a property that borders its upper part.

Certified Letter

It is a letter with legal value. In other words, it provides a proof of the sending date and where it has been delivered. The registered letter is used for important mails.

Check-in Inventory

This is the document that confirms the condition of a property when the tenant moves in. If it’s missing, the condition of the property is considered good. This document must be made (preferably) on the day the keys are handed over, in the presence of both parties. It must also be signed by both parties. Its purpose is to prevent possible disputes in case of damage or loss.

Check-out Inventory

This inventory is done at the end of a rental period between the tenant and the landlord or their representatives. It is carried out at the end of the rental of a property when the keys are handed over. Its purpose is to outline any possible damages or defects of maintenance on behalf of the tenant.

Circuit Breaker

A device that stops an electric current in the event that the event of failure.


A person who jointly owns property with others.


A building whose ownership is divided among several people.

Co-ownership Trustee

It is composed of the co-owners. It manages the common parts of the building and defends the interests of the co- owners.


Element that is used to cover the parts of a dwelling: walls, floor, ceiling (paint, tiles, plaster, marble, parquet, etc.).


Combustion is a chemical reaction that takes place when a flammable material (wood, coal, gas, etc.) is combined with oxygen. This reaction occurs when heat is used to maintain a dwelling at a set temperature.

Combustion Products

Combustion is a chemical reaction that takes place when a flammable material (wood, coal, gas, etc.) is combined with oxygen. This reaction occurs with a release of heat used to maintain a certain temperature level in the dwelling.


Action of compensating. It is the act of refunding or compensating a person for expenses, losses or damages by paying a sum of money.


Refers to the physical and functional integrity of a property or part of a dwelling.

  • New: which has never been used, which is new
  • Good condition: no damages
  • Used: Reflects normal, natural wear and tear
  • Out of Service: No longer in working order
  • Damaged : Which has one or more damages
  • Maintenance failure: Element not cleaned, not maintained
  • Not equipped: Not available in the room

Condition Precedent

It is a clause in the contract that states that the contract, or a right, will only be effective once an event has occurred.

Consumption Index

The quantity of energy or resource used, displayed on a meter (water, gas, electricity).

Court Bailiff

In the context of an out-of-court procedure (in the event of an inventory-related dispute), the work of a court bailiff is to draft neutral, objective and indisputable observations that describe what he/she sees.

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Damage Insurance

The damage insurance is subscribed by the person who builds a dwelling. It is compulsory in case of work that could cause damage to the building.


Damages are deteriorations which can be caused intentionally, or unintentionally by neglect. Damages are always the responsibility of tenants. The obsolescence, which comes from the normal use of flooring cannot be considered as a damage.

Decent Housing

A decent dwelling is one that does not lead to any health risks to tenants. It must also ensure their safety and comfort. It must meet the minimum energy performance criteria, i.e. properly insulated and with a ventilation system.

Déclaration d’utilité publique (DUP)

(French for Declaration of Public Utility) When a French official agrees to a public use order, this means that the expropriation project is recognized as being in the public interest. The expropriation procedure can therefore continue.

Declaration of Condominium

The condominium declaration sets the operating rules of the condominium. It specifies, among other things, the rights and duties of the co-owners of the building.

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These are costs that can be subtracted, removed. Usually from charges or taxes.

Direct Harm

A prejudice is direct when it results directly from an event. In other words, there is a direct link between the failure and the damage/injury suffered.

Door knobs

Round-shaped door handle.

Double-flow Ventilation System

Airflow system that allows the entry and the exit of air both ways. It is generally placed in living rooms or the bedrooms. It helps bring fresh air to the rooms and extract the humid air in rooms like a bathroom.


Dowel used to put together 2 pieces.


Short for Energy Performance Diagnosis (in French: Diagnostic de Performance Énergétique), it is mandatory since the November 1, 2016 Law for any sale of a property. Since July 1, 2007, it is mandatory for any rental contract of a property. It is a document listing the energy performance of a property. This document must be issued by approved professionals only.


It is the element used to plug sinks, bathtubs or other bidets.


A tank or basin into which wastewater is collected.

Droit d’usage (Right to Use)

The right of use assigned to someone means that he or she has the right to use the property. Only the owner of the property can assign this right to a person.

Droit de jouissance (Right to Use)

A right of use means that a person has the right to use the property. This use can be temporary or permanent.

Due Date Notice

It is a document by which one person is informed of the amount owed to another. It also mentions the date on which payment is due.



The owner of a piece of land has an obligation to do (or not to do) something for the benefit of another piece of land (example: right of way).

Electromechanical Meter

Older model with a wheel in the middle. The rotation of the wheel is proportional to the electricity consumption. There can be one display (for a basic price) or two displays (one for peak hours, e.g. during the day, and one for off-peak hours, e.g. at night). The electricity consumption is therefore calculated by the number of rotations made by the wheel.

Electronic Meter

More modern, it is generally white with a single dial with blue buttons. The consumption is displayed and the buttons help access different information (basic price, peak/off-peak hours...).


This is an agreement between the parties involved to modify a standard contract or a contract that has already been drafted, dated and signed by them. For example, this may involve adding a clause to the contract or additional information.


Handle to close a window.


This is a procedure that allows a public authority (State, local authority, etc.), called the expropriator, to force an individual or a legal entity, called the expropriated, to sell their property and rights (usufruct, easement, etc.). In return, the expropriated person will receive compensation.

Expropriation Order

In the context of an expropriation procedure, this order has the effect of legally transferring the ownership of the property from the expropriated party to the expropriator, as well as his/her real estate rights.


The action of extending, i.e., postponing the expiration of a contract, agreement, etc., to extend its validity.


A device that removes smoke or air for example, from the room where it is placed in.



It is the exterior surface of a wall, designed to remain exposed. It is also called wall covering.


Object that can float on the surface of water.

Force Majeure

It is an exceptional, unforeseeable and unstoppable event that cannot be prevented, such as a storm.

Formal Notice

An act by which a person is informed that the time limit for fulfilling their obligation has expired. However, he or she will be provided with a new deadline to fulfill it. After this period, the person must go to court.

Furnished Rental

All the rooms of the rented accommodation are equipped with the furniture and equipment necessary for the tenant's daily life in good conditions. Article 2 of the decree n°2015-981 lists the elements that must be present in the accommodation.

Furniture Inventory

Document listing all the furniture and equipment of a furnished accommodation.


Alloy wire that stops the electricity the current if the current is too high.


Garantie Visale

The Visale guarantee (Visa pour le logement et l'emploi) is a guarantee system for unpaid rent granted by Action Logement to a tenant. Action Logement pays the landlord the amount of the unpaid rent as tenants cannot do so because of their financial situation. Then, the tenants will have to payback Action Logement for the amounts paid on their behalf.

Gas ventilation system

The gas-powered ventilation system works in the same way as a single-flow ventilation system. However, it allows to evacuate not only stale air but also the combustion products of a boiler or from a gas water heater.


In case of unpaid rent, the landlord must first send a payment order to the tenant. If the tenant is unable to do so, the landlord can then reach out to the guarantor to get payment of the unpaid amounts.


A person who guarantees the payment of rent in the event that the tenant cannot pay.


A person who stands security for another.


Heat Exchanger

A device allowing the transfer of heat between two fluids through a wall without mixing them. Indeed, the heat transfer is possible by the temperature difference between the two fluids. This transfer is always from the hottest to the coldest. In other words, the cold incoming flow is heated by the hot outgoing flow. The latter therefore comes out colder.


Metal part allowing a door or a window to pivot.


Movable 2 parts joined together on the same axis which can turn.

Home Insurance

Home insurance allows a person to be insured against rental risks such as water damage or fire. In most cases, the law requires the tenant to be insured against these risks.


The buyer is the person who is in the process of acquiring a property. This term is used for the stakeholder, other than the owner, signatory of a real estate leasing contract. Also known as "rent-to-own".


Renting a home to several people.

Humidity-controlled Ventilation System

A humidity-controlled ventilation system will automatically run depending in the humidity level of the room. The airflow is not continuous.


Indirect Harm

A loss is indirect when it results from the aggravation of a direct loss or when the latter leads to a new loss.

Individual Installations

Individual installations are installations used for heating, hot water production and water distribution across the property.

Individual Lease

It is a document that outlines the terms of the lease for the entire house-share. The term "individual" is used because the landlord has one lease signed for each roommate and not a global lease for all the roommates.


Insulation protects a house from external influences (noise, heat and cold). There are two types of insulation: soundproofing and thermal insulation.

Inventory Expert

Person who has expertise in carrying out an inventory, both check-ins and check-outs.


Joint Lease

It is a document that outlines the terms of the lease for the entire house-share. The landlord has only one lease signed by all the roommates, and not one per roommate.

Justice Mediator

The mediator's mission is to find an out-of-court solution to a dispute between the landlord and the tenant. In no case can he/she impose a decision on these parties. Referral to the justice mediator is free.



Everything related to property, whether it has a construction on it or not.

Land Registry Service

This service is in charge of all the administrative formalities on real estate and real estate rights. Thus, any person who’s looking for information on a property can contact this service to get it.


Another name for the rental agreement. It is a document with the terms and conditions of rental of a property.

Lease Renewal

At the end of the lease, if the owner and/or the tenant do not come forward, the lease is automatically renewed under the same conditions.

Lease Renewal

At the end of the lease, one of the two parties requests that the lease be renewed, but on different terms than the expired lease.

Lease Termination Letter

It is a notice given by the lessor, or the lessee, to the other party to terminate the contract between them.

Legal Entity

It is a company or an organization. A legal entity has rights and duties.

Legal Precedent

Legal precedent refers to all the decisions from courts on a given subject. It erves as a reference for other judgments.


When renting a real estate the owner leases the property to a tenant. Here the owner is also known as the lessor.

Liability Insurance

Civil liability insurance allows a person to insure against the risks of bodily injury, material or immaterial damage caused to others.

Light Tube

Type of electric lamp producing light thanks to an electric shock.

Linky Meter

A new generation of (smart) meter, it is a yellow box. The electricity consumption tracking can be done online or directly by using the buttons. Very easy to use.


Disagreement between two parties, usually the landlord and the tenant. One party disputes the exercise of a right by the other.

Local Health Regulations (Règlement Sanitaire Départemantal)

This defines the local minimum sanitary requirements.

Lot Survey

The purpose of a lot survey is to set a list of parcels to be expropriated for public interest. The owners of these lots can share comments during this investigation. The final list will be set once the investigation completed.


Main Residence

Dwelling occupied on a regular basis and as a main residence by one or more persons.


It is an official notification of a court decision or a summons to appear in court, written and transmitted by a bailiff.

Minimum Energy Performance Criteria

Legal French requirement. A dwelling is decent if it meets the minimum energy performance criteria. In other words, it must be protected against unwanted air infiltration (in force since January 1, 2018) and allow sufficient ventilation (in force since July 1, 2018).

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It is a right granted to a creditor on a property as a guarantee for the payment of a debt by its owner. The latter still retains possession of the property.

Mortgage Statement

The mortgage statement is a document listing all the inscriptions published at the Service de la publicité foncière of a property.


Ornament of cabinet making or architecture with hollow relief, the aim is to highlight an element.


Natural Person

It is a person with rights from birth to death.

Natural Ventilation

Natural ventilation works without the need for a mechanical device (fan). The air passage is done through low and high vents. The air renewal depends on the wind and the thermal draught.


Negligence is an unintentional fault of a person causing damage to the dwelling. This damage is caused by either lack of maintenance or lack of care.


The condition of a dwelling or part of a dwelling that has not yet been used.

Notice Period

Prior notice that the tenant, or the landlord, must give to the other to notify them of their intention to terminate the rental agreement.



The state of wear and tear or damage resulting from time or normal use of the materials and equipment of which the dwelling is made.

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Occupancy Allowance

The amount paid to the landlord in return for occupying the property. It is not a rent because there is no contract between the two parties.

Official Report

A document drafted by a legal authority reporting a fact or an offence.


This is an obligation to pay a certain amount for each day of delay as mentioned in a contract.


Ornament of cabinet making or architecture with hollow relief, the aim is to highlight an element.


Depending on the number of tenants, the dwelling must have a minimum surface area, defined by article D542- 14-2° of the French Social Security Code. It is considered over-occupation when the minimum surface area per individual is not observed.

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It refers to the person who owns the property being rented.



A clause in a contract that sets the cost of an item such as recoverable expenses at an unchanging amount.

Participation des Employeurs à l’Effort de Construction (PEEC)

This is an Action Logement scheme corresponding to a tax paid as a direct investment by some employers to facilitate access to housing for their employees.

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People living together without being married or in a civil union.

Permanent Unsanitary Order

This type of order is issued when there is no technical means to solve the unsanitary condition of the dwelling or when its reconstruction is less costly than carrying out work to bring it up to standard. This order comes always with a definitive ban on occupying the unsanitary dwelling. This prohibition is effective at the end of the period fixed in the order, which cannot be longer than 1 year.

Pièces humides (lit. Damp rooms)

The so-called damp rooms are the kitchen, bathroom and toilet areas of a dwelling.

Pièces sèches (lit. Dry rooms)

The so-called dry rooms are the living room or the bedrooms of a dwelling.


Body that can be electrically polarized by mechanical pressure.


A moving element within a tube that conveys pressure.

Power of Attorney

A document by which a person authorizes another person to act on their behalf.

Pre-let Agreement

This is a pre-let agreement by which the seller reserves a property for a person with a deposit. The amount of this deposit cannot be greater than 5% of the property price. The seller must send this contract to the first-time buyer by certified letter with return receipt requested. The buyer then has 7 days to withdraw from the contract from the day after receiving the letter.

Preemptive Right

Person who has been granted an advantage by law or by a contractual provision allowing them to take the place of the buyer of an asset or a right to acquire it for them under the same conditions.

Prêt Social Location-Accession (PSLA)

A loan granted to legal entities such as social housing organizations (HLM in France) to finance the acquisition or construction of new dwellings. The latter must be rented as a principal residence. The tenants are subject to income conditions revised on January 1st of each year.

Private Deed

A deed prepared and signed by the parties involved without the intervention of a public officer (bailiff, attorney or registrar), unlike an authenticated deed.

Private Law

Private law refers to all the legal rules governing relations between individuals, whether a natural person (individuals) or a legal entity (companies, associations, etc.). This law includes different areas such as social law, commercial law or competition law.

Project Manager

A person or company (architect, engineering firm, etc.) in charge of the design and monitoring of the work carried out in the dwelling by contractors.

Property Income

All income from real estate rentals.

Provision on Charges

Estimate of expenses included with the rental (electricity, water, etc.). The provisions on charges are defined when signing the lease.

Public Consultation

The purpose of a public consultation is to inform the public on a project. Everyone can share their observations, criticisms and suggestions for the project. The decision to proceed with a project will be made after the inquiry.

Public Entity

There are two main categories of public entities. The first category includes those who have regulation power over the administration of the territory and the population, i.e. the State and local authorities (cities, counties and regions). The second category includes public entities in charge of a specific domain: public institutions.

Public Law

Public law refers to the body of law that governs relations between public institutions or between private persons and public institutions.

Public Service

This service corresponds to an activity carried out directly by a public entity such as the State or a local authority, or under its control. Their purpose is to meet the demands of the general public. Examples of public services: health, education, social security, etc.

Public utility

The law does not precisely define the notion of public utility. A project is considered to be in the public interest when:

  • it is fully justified,
  • it cannot be avoided (all other possible solutions have been tried, such as out-of-court settlement or preemptive right)
  • the damage to the property of the expropriated party, the financial cost of the operation and the social disadvantages or the damage to other public interests, are not excessive in relation to the desired objective. In other words, the benefits must outweigh the drawbacks.


Wheel rotating around an axis whose rim is set up to receive a flexible link in order to allow the transmission of a movement.


Real Estate Leasing

Also known as "rent-to-buy" or "leasing", is a contract by which a lessor commits himself/herself towards a person, named buyer, to transfer him/her the property of a real estate. This transfer is made at the end of a rental term and in return for the delayed or instalment payment of the sale price.

Real Estate Management

Property management differs from rental management in that it represents the entire management of real estate assets. An owner entrusts an agent with the management of his/her real estate assets.

Real Estate Rental

A person or entity makes a property available for rent.


A certificate from the landlord to the tenant mentioning that payment of a due amount. In our case, the rent.

Recoverable Expenses

Another term for rental expenses for to the tenant. These are rental expenses initially paid by the landlord, but which he/she can require the tenant to pay back for.

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The price of renting a property. It is set in the contract and can be revised (increased or decreased) depending on some criteria.

Rent Expenses Regulation

Comparison between the total provisions paid by the tenant for the payment of rental charges and the expenses actually incurred by the lessor during the lease period. This adjustment must be made at least once a year. If the provisions are lower than the actual expenses, the tenant must pay the landlord the difference. If not, the landlord will pay back the overpayment to the tenant.

Rent Regulation

Areas where housing prices and rents are high and regulated. There is also a tax on vacant dwellings and a possible increase of the housing tax. Check if your property is in a rent regulation area.

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Rental Agreement

Also known as a "lease agreement" or "lease", it is a contractual document between a landlord and a tenant defining the terms and conditions of a rental property.

Rental Expenses

They are the "day-to-day" expenses from using the private and/or common areas. The lessor and the tenant define these expenses in the lease and define a payment method.

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Rental Management

When a person owns one or more properties that he/she wants to rent, he/she can mandate a professional to manage them. The purpose of a rental manager is to take care of the following services:

  • Tenant search and selection
  • Sending out of due notices
  • Management of rent collection and sending rent receipts
  • Checking mandatory documents such as home insurance certificates
  • Everything related to the rental property (management of small works, unpaid bills...etc)

Rental Repairs

The following qualifies as rental repairs: routine maintenance and minor repairs, including the replacement of elements similar to the said repairs, resulting from the normal use of the premises and equipment for private use.

Rental Value

This is the income generated by the rental of a property.

Right to Access

Another name for the landlord's right of access. In other words, the owner of a rented dwelling has the right to access the dwelling in some cases: work, re-rental or sale. In these cases, the tenant has to allow the landlord access to the property.

Right to Visit

The right of the owner of a rented dwelling to access it in some cases: work, re-renting or sale. This is not a right to visit, but rather a right to access. In these cases, the tenant has to allow the landlord access to the property.


A thin straight bar, usually made of wood or metal.


A person who rents a property with other people under a house-share agreement. Married or civil union partners cannot be roommates.


A payment to be made at specified times.

Rules and Regulations of the Shared Apartment

Also known as the "roommate's rules", are a set of rules for living together. It is not mandatory but strongly recommended. The rules must be attached to the lease and signed by each of the parties involved. They will receive a copy and another one will be available in the apartment.



Saltpetre is a layer of nitrates that forms on old, damp walls.


The act of setting aside a part of one's income to not spend it.

Secondary Residence

Dwelling occupied on an occasional basis (weekends, vacations, leisure, etc.).

Security Deposit

This is the amount paid by the tenant when renting a property. It is generally equal to one month's rent excluding charges (in the case of an empty rental). The purpose of the security deposit is to protect the owner in case of damages. If everything goes well, it must be returned within one month following the inventory.

Self-adjusting Ventilation System

A self-adjusting airflow system. This airflow will be the same independent from weather conditions, humidity levels or the number of tenants.

Service Communal d’Hygiène et de la Santé (SCHS)

(French for Communal Hygiene and Health Service) This service acts to protect against public health failure and to fight against harmful pollutants. It ensures the protection of the population in terms of hygiene and health by applying national and local regulations.

Settlement Plan

A planning, decided by mutual agreement between the owner and the tenant, to pay for the unpaid rents.


It can be either a duct (air duct) or a covering to protect something (protective duct).

Single-flow Ventilation System

A single airflow system with air going only in one direction. The air is thus sucked out of the building, removes humidity and odors from bathrooms and kitchens.

Social Order

The social order is the behaviour of a people living in the same territory.

Solidarity Clause

A clause in the lease agreement specifying that the tenants are jointly responsible for the obligations of the lease agreement. For example, if rent has not been paid, the landlord can sue the other tenants for payment. Similarly, repairs to any damage to the unit must be done by the tenants, whether or not they are responsible for the damage.

Solidarity Lease

This is a scheme whereby a landlord makes their rental property available to a state-approved organization. The latter then sublets it to low-income households. However, it is the organization that remains the tenant. Thus, it is responsible for paying the rent and must also ensure the good maintenance of the rental property.


Soundproofing protects a home from outside noise. It limits noise pollution.

Split Hinges

It is a metal part that fixes the hinge which allows a window or a door to pivot.

Stack Effect

The stack effect is the natural renewal of the air within a dwelling. It is air movement caused by the difference in temperature between the inside and outside air of the dwelling. The hot air rises and escapes through the upper vents letting fresh air flow in through the lower vents.

Stale Air

Stale air is the humid and foul-smelling air present in some rooms of a dwelling (bathroom, kitchen and washroom).

Structural Work

The structural work includes all the parts of a construction that contribute to its stability and sturdiness. For example, the frame or the floors are part of the structural work.

Surety Bond

It is a contract by which a person, the guarantor, agrees to pay the lessor on behalf of the lessee if the latter is unable to do so.



A person who takes a property for rent under a lease agreement.

Terminate a Lease

The owner and/or the tenant decide to terminate the contract between them.

Termination Clause

A clause in the lease agreement specifying that the lease will be automatically terminated if either party fails to meet their obligations, as defined in the contract.

Termination Notice

Deed terminating the lease (prior to the notice period).

Thermal Insulation

Thermal insulation protects a home from cold and heat. It reduces the transfer of heat between the outside and inside of a dwelling in summer, and vice versa in winter.

Thermodynamic Ventilation System

A humidity sensitive ventilation system has a heat pump connected to it to make the heat transfer generated by the heat exchanger more efficient. This pump helps cooling the house in summer and heating it in winter.

Third-party Guarantee

In case of unpaid rent, the landlord does not have to send a payment order to the co-tenant. The landlord can reach out to the guarantor from the first unpaid rent.

Transfer of Ownership

Transfer of ownership means that the property no longer belongs to the same person. There is a change of ownership, a new owner.

Transferability Order

During an expropriation procedure, this order lists transferable parcels.


A person elected by co-owners. He/she executes the decisions and ensures the technical, accounting and financial management of the building.

Type of Damage

Defines the type of damage on a good or part of the dwelling.

  • Scratch: The surface is slightly notched
  • Dent: Presents dents or indentations
  • Breakage: The element is broken
  • Crack: The element is cracked
  • Chipped / Broken: The element has missing fragments
  • Missing part: A part, a piece of the element is missing
  • Stain/Mark: Surface has dirty marks
  • Mould: Fungi
  • Hole: Has one or more holes

Unfit Housing

Set of conditions that make a dwelling unworthy for people to live in decently.

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Unfit Housing Rate

The unfit housing rate is used to measure the condition of a dwelling. The result is equal to the sum of the final scores of the evaluated criteria divided by the sum of the maximum possible scores of these criteria. The closer the unfit housing rate is to 1, the more dangerous it is.

Unpaid Rent

Rent that has not been paid by the date agreed upon in the lease agreement.

Unsanitary Housing

Housing that put tenants or the neighborhood at risk. Generally, the dwellings are unsanitary because of damages or unusual use of the dwelling.

Unsanitary Housing

Housing that put tenants or the neighborhood at risk. Generally, the dwellings are unsanitary because of damages or unusual use of the dwelling.

Unsanitary Order

This type of order is issued when technical means can put an end to the unsanitary condition of the property. This order outlines the work to be done and the time limit for carrying it out. The tenant is forbidden to occupy the unsanitary dwelling for duration of the works.

Urban Planning Rules

The urban planning rules define and list the work that can be carried out within a dwelling, whether it be construction, demolition, installation, renovation or development work. There are general town planning rules (construction limits, national town planning and local regulations and).

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It is the right to use property owned by another and to receive income from it.

Utility Expenses

They are the expenses of private and/or common areas. The lessor and the tenant define these expenses in the lease and define a payment method.



A moving element that regulates the flow of a fluid, in one direction only.

Venetian Blind

Movable shutter with blades to let in more or less sun rays.


Device to support air flow in a house.


Ventilation consists in bringing fresh air from outside to renew the air in the dwelling and extract stale air. It is also called aeration. Ventilation can be natural or mechanical, i.e. assisted by fans.

Ventilation System (VMC)

VMC is short in French for Controlled Mechanical Ventilation. It is a device allowing for air renewal of a room or a building.

Vigic or Vigik

Control system at the entrance of residential buildings.


French for Ventilation Mécanique Répartie, works similarly as to the single-flow ventilation system. The difference comes from the position of the extractor, where each room (kitchen, bathroom, washroom) has its own, instead of having a global one on the roof.


Water Damage

Water damage refers to all damage to property caused by water.


To wax, to polish.

Wear and Tear

Describes the depreciation of a good after normal and repeated use.

Winter Ban on Tenant Eviction

French Law prohibiting evicting a person from a dwelling, even a squatter, from November 1 to March 31. Exception made if the building in which the rental is located is subject to a peril or if the evicted tenant is rehoused.

Working Order

Whether it is an electronic device, an electrical outlet or a ventilation system, it is essential to check its proper functioning. This is what defines working order, it means that the device is in a state of normal operation, without any disturbance or obvious risk of failure.

Worn Out Condition

Describes the condition of a good damaged by time.


Young Couple

The term "young couple" refers to two people who are married or in a civil union or partners, without dependents, and whose combined age does not exceed 55 years.