Glossary of Real Estate Terms
A Residential Lease is the written contract or agreement entered into between Landlord and Tenant specifying the amount of rent to be paid and duration of time for which the parties are agreeing to or bound.
A Long-Term Residential Rental Lease is an agreement for one year or more. This common type of lease locks the rent at the agreed rate for entire term. In other words, the rent cannot be raised within that timeframe.
A Short-Term Residential Lease is an agreement to rent a residential property for a term less than a year such as 4 months or 6 months. This short term may be suited for an individual hired to work in the area for a limited but specific amount of time. The rent amount cannot be raised within that short timeframe.
A Month-to-Month Lease or "Tenancy" is an agreement between Landlord and Tenant that may be either written or oral. This type of lease allows the Tenant to reside in the apartment or rental property one month at a time. The lease automatically renews each month provided both parties agree to renew. In other words, the Tenant may continue living in the apartment month after month as long as the Landlord agrees. The Tenant may move out of the apartment after any month providing the Landlord with the agreed amount of notice to vacate. Notice is usually at least one month. The Landlord has the right to raise the rent or terminate the tenancy after any month as well providing the Tenant with the agreed notice.
A Studio Apartment is a small apartment consisting of one main room or even two rooms. A One-Room Studio combines the Living Room, Bedroom and Kitchenette into one room. A Two-Room Studio can consist of a Living Room and separate kitchen or it can consist of a Living Room with a small Kitchenette along one wall and a separate Bedroom. A Studio Apartment is commonly thought of as being one room short of a full One-Bedroom apartment.
A Two-Family home is a house with an apartment on the 1st floor and an apartment on the 2nd floor. Sometimes the two apartments are side by side instead of one over the other. The two units are rented individually.
Multi-Family housing is a house or a residential building consisting of three or more individual apartments. A Three-Family home, a "Garden" Apartment Complex, an Apartment Building...these are all examples of Multi-Family housing.
A residential Condo or Condominium is a type of ownership. It is a privately owned real estate property or apartment with shared common areas. It may be located within a multi-unit complex or building. There is a governing association or board of managers. In the case of a Condo rental the owner/Landlord rents the individual unit to a Tenant.
A Co-Op or Co-Operative is a unique type of ownership. The owner of a Co-Op, in simple terms, is actually a shareholder in a corporation that owns the property. As a shareholder, they are entitled to exclusive use of a housing unit in the property. This housing unit or Co-Op apartment may then be rented out to a Tenant.
A Duplex is an apartment with two levels of rooms connected by a staircase. A common example of a duplex apartment provides the Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen and perhaps the Bath on the first floor with the Bedrooms and Bath upstairs on the second floor.
Townhouse or Town-home describes the design of a condo. It is a fashionable two-story, attached unit within a "complex". A Townhouse is typically higher in price since it features modern amenities. An owner/Landlord may rent the individual Townhouse to a Tenant.