A comprehensive list of housing terms, as part of Shelter’s house style.

Here are a few of the more commonly used compound terms in the housing sector, punctuated as we would like. If you’re dealing with a term which isn’t listed and need guidance, just email editorialallusers@shelter.org.uk.

For definitions of digital terms, read our digital glossary.


Abatement Order

access to justice

advice duty

agricultural tenancies

allocations scheme

assured shorthold tenant/tenancy

Attachment of Earnings Orders

Attendance Allowance


bed and breakfast accommodation/hostels/hotels (B&B thereafter)

Bedroom Standard

boundary dispute

break clauses

budgeting loans


call centre staff

case management system

cash-incentive schemes

cause-related marketing

childcare services

children’s services plan

choice-based lettings

Civil Procedure Rules

Clearance Orders

Closing Orders

cohabitation agreement

commonhold ownership

community care assessment

community care grants

community care legislation/scheme

Community Legal Service

Community Service Order

Composition Orders

Comprehensive Spending Review

conflict resolution procedure

control area/control area coverage


corporate citizenship

corporate social responsibility




Decent Homes Standard

Deduction-from-Earnings Orders

default notice

deposit guarantee schemes

devolved government

direct access centre/housing/projects

Disability Living Allowance

discretionary grounds

Discretionary Housing Payment

drop-in centres

duty to protect belongings


eligible rent

eligibility for assistance

environmental health department/group (capitalise if referring to a specific department)

excluded occupiers


fair rent

family access centre

fixed-term occupier

fixed-term tenancy

floating support

front-line staff

full-duty applicant


general possession procedure

grounds for possession


habitual residence test

hard-to-let schemes

health care provision/services

holding deposit


home ownership

homesteading schemes


House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

housing advice centre

Housing Aid Centre (please avoid ‘HAC’ when writing for the general public)

housing association properties

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit Pathfinder areas

housing investment trusts

housing support worker


implied term

improvement notice

Incapacity Benefit

intentional homelessness

interim payment

Interim Possession Order


Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

joint assured shorthold tenancy

joint assured tenancy

joint secure tenancy


large-scale voluntary transfer

leasehold enfranchisement

leaving-care policy

litigants in person

local authority housing/departments

local connection disputes

local connection referrals

Local Government Ombudsman

Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

local housing group/solutions

Local Rent Reference (LRR)

lodgings schemes

low-cost housing


marriage value

matrimonial property

McKenzie friend

meaningful-occupation schemes

mental health service

mesne landlords

minute for recall

mobility aids

mortgage indemnity insurance

moveable structure

multi-agency working

mutual exchange


no right to occupy

nominee purchaser

non-dependent deduction

Non-Molestation Orders

non-mutual housing association


Occupation Orders

occupiers with basic protection

one-stop drop-in

outreach teams

Outright Possession Order



Parliamentary Ombudsman

Part 7 tenancies

Part 8 procedure

Pathfinder plans

Pathway plans

payment-protection insurance

peer review audit

periodic occupiers

personal-safety initiatives

practice development programme

Pre-Budget Report

pre-tenancy determination

primary health care

priority need

prison advice project

private rented accommodation/housing/sector

private rented sector schemes

private sector housing

private tenants’ group

Property Adjustment Order

public order offences


Quality Mark awards


redemption penalties

registered social landlord (RSL)

regulated tenancy

Rent Assessment Committees

rent deposit schemes

rental purchase

Residents’ Association meeting

respite care

restricted contract

right to assign

Right to Buy (when referring to scheme itself)

right to buy (when referring to a person’s right to buy)

right to manage

rural housing crisis/need


secure tenancy grounds

security of tenure

service delivery methods

service evaluation procedure

service user groups

settled accommodation

sexual-health services

sex-work projects

shared ownership housing

sheltered housing

short assured tenancy

Single Room Rent (SRR)

Single Room Rent restrictions

sinking funds

social fund payments

social housing provider

social rented housing

social services department/provision

specialist hostel

Spending Review

Starter Home Initiative

statutory homelessness

statutory nuisance

statutory sector agencies

strategic development costs

Street Homeless Project (SHP)

support service provider

supported accommodation

Supporting People

Suspended Possession Orders


tenancy relations officer

tenancy sustainment services

tenant-direct payment

travellers’ rights

tenancy transfer

Tenants’ Association

Time Orders

trailblazer status

trust deeds


uncontrolled tenancies

unitary authorities

Universal Credit

user consultation

user participation


variation of lease

voluntary sector agencies/group

vulnerability assessment process


works in default


Young Persons Team

young single homeless people

Other glossaries

Learn the housing acronyms

Learn the language of digital working in our digital glossary