Real Estate Terms, Definitions & Dictionary (India)

Real Estate terms in India have evolved over time from local terms to more standard terminology. As the Real Estate industry is getting more and more professional, it is crucial that we keep our knowledge up to date every day.

Here is the most comprehensive glossary of real estate terms used in India. This glossary will be updated on a continuous basis.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M

N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Real Estate Terms India

A

Abatement Notice

A notice served on the owner(s) or occupier(s) of a property from which a private nuisance arises, warning them of the intention to enter on the land in order to abate the nuisance. It is a legal order to refrain from carrying out an activity that creates a statutory nuisance such as smoke or noise pollution, parking in unauthorized areas etc.

Absolute Title

Title to a property that is free of any encumbrances or deficiencies. Absolute title gives unequivocal right of ownership to the owner, and cannot be disputed or challenged by anyone else. This is opposed to titles with liens, attachments or judgements against them. It is also known as perfect title or clear title.

A title search will usually unearth any problems with regard to the title of a property. The search is well worth the cost when someone is considering buying real estate. A title search is usually conducted at the local registry office.

Acre

A unit of area equivalent to 43,560 square feet or 4,047 square meters approximately. It is a commonly used term for larger land parcels in India.

Accelerated Depreciation

A bookkeeping method that depreciates property faster in the early years of ownership.

Acceleration Clause

A clause in the loan agreement that allows a lender to require a borrower to repay all or part of an outstanding loan if certain requirements are not met. An acceleration clause outlines the reasons that the lender can demand loan repayment. The most common reasons for accelerating a loan are if the borrower defaults on the loan or transfers title to another individual without informing the lender.

Add-On Factor

The number of usable square feet divided by the number of rentable square feet in a commercial real estate lease. The result of this calculation will be 1 if the two numbers are identical, but it is usually slightly lower than 1 because some square footage in a building will be partly or totally non-unusable. Non-usable square footage includes space shared with other tenants (such as lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators and restrooms) or occupied by structural components (such as support poles and interior walls). In a poorly designed building, the usable area may be considerably less than the rentable area. Potential tenants can thus use the add-on factor to help them compare leases and determine which lease offers the best value.

Advance Payment

In a sale transaction, it is the amount paid by a buyer to the seller at the time of signing the Agreement to Sell (ATS) to secure the transaction. It usually ranges between 10% and 20% of the transaction amount. It is also known as earnest money. It is not same as token advance.

In a renting transaction, it is the amount paid by the tenant to the landlord before signing the rent agreement to secure the transaction. This amount is usually equivalent to one month rent which is adjustable against first month rent. Not to be confused with security deposit or token advance.

All Cash Deal

The transfer of a real estate property without financing or debt funding. The buyer would produce the appropriate funds at the time of closing; the seller would receive the entire selling price at closing.

There may be significant drawbacks to paying cash for real estate, including tax consequences resulting from no loan interest tax deduction or the loss of earning power on the money that is tied up in the purchase.

Affidavit of Title

A document provided by the seller of a piece of property that explicitly states the status of potential legal issues involving the property or the seller. The affidavit is a sworn statement of fact. For example, someone looking to sell a piece of real estate would have to provide an affidavit of title indicating that the property is truly owned by the seller, that the property is not being sold to another party, that there are no liens against the property and that the seller is not in bankruptcy proceedings.

An affidavit of title is designed to protect the buyer from outstanding legal issues that might be facing the seller. If an issue arises in the future, the buyer has a physical document made by the seller that can be used in legal proceedings.

Agreement to Sell (ATS)

An agreement between the buyer and the seller that details the price and terms of the transaction. Should not be confused with Sale Deed/ Conveyance Deed. It precedes the execution of Sale Deed and acts as the basic document on which a Sale Deed is drafted. Also referred to as Agreement for Sale.

Alternative User Value

The value of land and buildings which reflects a prospective use which is different from that of the current use.

Allotment Letter

A letter issued by the developer (private or state development agency) allotting a particular plot or unit in an under development or under construction project. It includes all details regarding the unit, payment options and any extra charges that the buyer will have to pay in case of maintenance or additional facilities. It also includes construction schedule, house plans, delivery date and other booking terms. This letter is important in availing loan from banks. It is generally superseded by builder-buyer agreement once that is signed.

Amenities

Features of real property that enhances its attractiveness and increases the occupant’s or user’s satisfaction e.g. Parks, swimming pools, health-club facilities, party rooms, bike paths, community centers and other enticements offered by builders of planned developments.

Amortization

The loan payment consists of a portion which will be applied to pay the accruing interest on a loan, with the remainder being applied to the principal. Over time, the interest portion decreases as the loan balance decreases, and the amount applied to principal increases so that the loan is paid off (amortized) in the specified time.

Amortization Schedule

A table which shows how much of each payment will be applied toward principal and how much toward interest over the life of the loan. It also shows the gradual decrease of the loan balance until it reaches zero.

Anchor Tenant

One or more department or variety chainstores, or supermarkets, introduced into a shopping mall in key positions to attract the shopping public into the centre for the purpose of encouraging other retailers to lease shops in the mall. The larger the developments the more anchors required. Agreements with anchor tenants must be in place before most banks will finance the construction of a mall or shopping centre.

Annuity

A sum of money paid each year usually as a legal obligation under a contract or undertaking, as through a pension scheme. It may be paid in installments more frequently than once every twelve months.

Appraisal

A written report of the estimated value of a property prepared by a certified Real Estate appraiser or a valuer.

Appreciation

An increase in the value of a property due to changes in market conditions or supply and demand, etc.

Arbitration

A method of resolving a dispute in which a third party renders a decision.

As-is where-is basis

The term “As Is Where Is Basis” is mainly used by banks while auctioning foreclosed properties. It means that the buyer will inherit all of the physical and legal conditions of the foreclosed property, as is. After purchasing the foreclosed property, the buyer will become responsible for any repairs, liens, liabilities & legal disputes etc., associated with the property and auctioning bank will bear no responsibility.

Generally, all foreclosure properties are auctioned on “As Is Where Is” basis. Therefore, it is in the best interest of buyer to conduct thorough physical and legal due diligence before investing in a foreclosure property.

Asking Price

The listed price of the property but may not always be the selling price. The owner may be willing to negotiate.

Assessed Valuation

The valuation placed on a property for the purposes of taxation by an authority.

Asset

A resource with economic value that has the potential to provide future benefits. In simple monetary terms, an asset is something that can generate cash flow, regardless of whether it’s a company’s manufacturing equipment or an individual’s real estate producing rental returns.

Asset Valuation

A method of assessing the worth of a company, real property, security, antique or other item of worth. Asset valuation is commonly performed prior to the sale of an asset or prior to purchasing insurance for an asset.

Common methods for determining an asset’s value include comparing it to similar assets and evaluating its cash flow potential. Acquisition cost, replacement cost and deprival value are also methods of asset valuation.

Assignee

A person in whose name the rights and interests of a property are transferred.

Assignment

The transfer of a property interest, especially a lease, from one party to another by signing a deed of assignment.

Assignor

A person, usually owner, who transfers rights and interests of a property.

Auction

A public sale of a property or real estate that is sold to the highest bidder.

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B

Balloon Loan

A long-term loan, often a mortgage, that has one large payment (the balloon payment) due upon maturity. A balloon loan will often have the advantage of very low interest payments, thus requiring very little capital outlay during the life of the loan. Since most of the repayment is deferred until the end of the payment period, the borrower has substantial flexibility to utilize the available capital during the life of the loan. The major problem with such a loan is that the borrower needs to be self-disciplined in preparing for the large single payment, since interim payments are not being made. Balloon loans are often undertaken when refinancing or when a major cash flow event is anticipated.

Balloon Payment

An oversized payment due at the end of a property loan, commercial loan or other amortized loan. Because the entire loan amount is not amortized over the life of the loan, the remaining balance is due as a final repayment to the lender.

Bare Shell

Depicts the condition of any property after completion of construction activity and installations of basic building services. A bare shell includes basic flooring – tiled, mosaic, cement or granite and plastered walls. Apart from this, pantry and toilet facilities may also be operational in such condition.

Base Rate

Reserve Bank of India India replaced Benchmark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR) system with Base Rate system with effect from July 1, 2010. Base rate is the interest rate below which banks cannot lend. The Base Rate includes all those elements of the lending rate that are common across all categories of borrowers. Banks are allowed to determine their actual lending rates on loans and advances with reference to the Base Rate and by including such other customer specific charges as considered appropriate. All categories of loans are priced only with reference to the Base Rate.

Base Rent

A set amount used as a minimum rent in a lease with provisions for increasing the rent over the term of the lease.

Bayana (Token Amount)

An Indian term used to denote the token money given to the landlord to informally freeze negotiations on a particular property, after the initial terms and conditions have been formalized.

Best and Final Offer

In real estate, a prospective buyer’s last and highest offer. A best and final offer is typically submitted in response to a bidding war. A seller who has received several offers will ask either all bidders or the top bidders to submit their best and final offers. This type of offer presents the most favorable terms the buyer is willing to offer the seller for the purchase of the property. In some multiple offer situations, the seller will request that potential buyers submit only one offer that is their best and final offer.

BHK

Bedroom Hall Kitchen

Bidding War

A situation where two or more buyers are so interested in an item (such as a house or a business) that they make increasingly higher offers of the price they are willing to pay to try to become the new owner of the item. The bidding usually occurs at a fast pace, requiring potential buyers to make less thought-out decisions than they normally might. While a bidding war is a seller’s dream come true, it may cause buyer’s remorse.

Blockbusting

The attempt to induce someone to sell their home because someone from a protected class is rumoured to be moving into the neighbourhood. The classic example of this would be a real estate agent passing out her card to neighbours while telling them that a minority family is moving in down the block and they should sell now before the neighbourhood gets any worse. This is illegal.

Boot

Cash or other property given to make up any difference in value or equity between two properties in an exchange.

Breach of Contract

Violation of any of the agreed-upon terms and conditions of a binding contract. This breach could be anything from a late payment to a more serious violation, such as failure to deliver a promised asset. A contract is binding and will hold weight if taken to court; however, proof of the violation is imperative.

Bridge Loan

Bridge loan is a type of gap financing arrangement wherein the borrower can get access to short-term loans for meeting short-term liquidity requirements.

This type of financing allows the user to meet current obligations by providing immediate cash flow. The loans are short-term (up to one year) with relatively high interest rates and are backed by some form of collateral such as real estate or inventory.

Broker/ Dealer

A broker is a person or a company who acts as an agent, bringing two parties together for any type of transaction and earns a fee for doing so.

Brokerage

  1. Commission paid to a broker.
  2. The activity of a broker in bringing together two parties in a transaction.

BSP

Basic Sales Price. It can be arrived at by multiplying basic per square feet rate with the area of the property in square feet. To arrive at the final price of a property, the buyer should add all other charges such as parking charges, preferential location charges, registration charges, common area maintenance, EDC, IDC etc.

Building Bye Laws

Local authority control of building standards promulgated to regulate and control the usage of land, property and areas in cities and towns.

Building Code

Based on agreed upon safety standards within a specific area, a building code is a regulation that determines the design, construction, and materials used in building.

Building Contract

A contract between an owner or occupier of land and a building contractor, setting forth the terms under which construction is to be carried out, basis of remuneration, time scale, and penalties, if any, for failure to comply with terms of the contract.

Built-Up Area

Built Up Area or Plinth Area is the total covered area of the apartment or commercial property unit i.e. area within & including outside walls of the unit. It can be calculated by adding carpet area, areas of utility ducts within property unit and internal & external walls of the unit.

Bullet Loan

Any short-term, generally five to seven years, financing option that requires a balloon payment at the end of the term and anticipates that the loan will be refinanced in order to meet the balloon payment obligation.

These loans are riskier because the homeowner’s equity in the property doesn’t increase over time.

Business Centre

Commercial premises usable by the occupiers for a short period on a membership basis of the centre. Usually, a business centre charges for the full service accommodation, which is generally substantially higher than the rental of a standard office space and usually includes cost of HVAC, housekeeping, electricity, and security systems.

Buy Back Offer

An offer by the builder or developer to the buyer to buy back the property after a fixed period at a pre determined appreciated rate. Usually, the builder offers assured return of 10-15% per annum to the investor for the buy back period, usually two to five years from booking date.

Buyout Rate

In a buy back scheme, the buyout rate is the final appreciated rate at which the builder buys out the property back from the investor, taking into account the promised investment yield.

Buyer’s Market

A situation in which supply exceeds demand, giving buyers an advantage over sellers in price negotiations. Contrast with seller’s market.

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C

Call Option

An agreement that gives an investor the right (but not the obligation) to buy a stock, bond, commodity, real estate or other instrument at a specified price within a specific time period.

For a lender, acceleration clause is a form of call option.

Capped Rate

An interest rate that is allowed to fluctuate, but which cannot surpass a stated interest cap. For example, a 10-year loan may be issued to a borrower at 10%, but with a capped rate of 12%. The interest rate can thus fluctuate up and down, but can never go higher than the 12% capped rate. Capped rates are supposed to provide the borrower with a hybrid of a fixed and variable rate loan.

Capital Gain

An increase in the value of a capital asset (investment or real estate) that gives it a higher worth than the purchase price. The gain is not realized until the asset is sold. A capital gain may be short term (one year or less) or long term (more than one year) and must be claimed on income taxes.

Long-term capital gains are usually taxed at a lower rate than regular income. This is done to encourage entrepreneurship and investment in the economy.

Capital Loss

The loss incurred when a capital asset (investment or real estate) decreases in value. This loss is not realized until the asset is sold for a price that is lower than the original purchase price.

Capitalization

At a given date the conversion into the equivalent capital worth of a series of net receipts, actual or estimated, over a period.

Capitalization Rate (Cap Rate)

A rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the expected income that the property will generate. Capitalization rate is used to estimate the investor’s potential return on his or her investment. This is done by dividing the income the property will generate (after fixed costs and variable costs) by the total value of the property. In technical terms, it is the discount rate of a perpetuity. Also known as “cap rate”.

Capitalization Rate = Yearly Income/Total Value

Catchment Area

In Real Estate terms, it is the area which contains those people who can be expected to obtain goods, services, employment or other benefits from a particular property. More especially related to retail premises, where the success of forecasting depends on the accuracy of estimating the number of purchasers (catchment population) likely to be attracted from different parts of the area and the average expenditure which might be expected from them.

Carpet Area

The actual usable area of an apartment/office unit/showroom etc. minus wall thickness. Simply put, it is that area within the walls where you can actually lay a carpet.

Cash on Cash Return

A rate of return often used in real estate transactions. The calculation determines the cash income on the cash invested. Calculated as:

Cash on Cash Return = Annual Cash Income/ Total Cash Investment

Eg. When a Buyer purchases a rental property with 20% downpayment, the cash on cash return will be calculated on annual rental income in relation to the downpayment.

Central Business District (CBD)

Commercial area and its immediate radius of 2 – 3 kms, typically located towards the city centre, which forms the hub of all major commercial activity in a city. Most of the larger corporate entities, large retail outlets and financial institutions would be located in this area. The Real Estate prices here would be the highest compared to all the other locations in the city.

Chain of Title

The official record of ownership of a property or asset. The chain of ownership gets its name from its sequential nature; a chain of title traces historical title transfers from the current owner back to the original owner. Due to their critical importance in establishing ownership of a property or asset, rigorous and accurate title records are generally maintained by a centralized registry or system.

CIBIL

Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL) is India’s first Credit Information Company (CIC) founded in August 2000. CIBIL collects and maintains records of an individual’s payments pertaining to loans and credit cards. These records are submitted to CIBIL by member banks and credit institutions, on a monthly basis. This information is then used to create Credit Information Reports (CIR) and credit scores which are provided to credit institutions in order to help evaluate and approve loan applications.

Circle Rate

The minimum value of a property at which the registration of a property is done.

Clearance Area

An area which is to be cleared of all buildings. Generally promulgated by way of a government declaration, which is normally followed by the acquisition of the land and the clearance of the area.

Clear Title

A clear title is a title without any kind of lien or levy from creditors or other parties and poses no question as to legal ownership. Also known as “clean title,” “just title,” “good title” and “free and clear title.”

Closing Costs

The expenses, over and above the price of the property that buyers and sellers normally incur to complete a real estate transaction. Costs incurred include loan processing fee, title searches, surveys & site visits, taxes, stamp duty, registration charges and credit report charges.
Also known as “settlement costs.”

Co-Borrower

A party or individual who cosigns a mortgage loan. Co-borrowers are jointly liable with the other borrower for the balance of the loan period. Often the co-borrower will also receive a portion of the ownership in the asset in exchange for assisting with the loan. However, it is not necessary to be a co-owner of the mortgaged property in order to be a co-borrower.

Collateral

An asset (such as property or car) that guarantees the repayment of a loan. The borrower risks losing the asset if the loan is not repaid according to the terms of the loan contract.

Commercial Property

Real estate property that is used for business activities. Commercial properties fall into many categories and include office space, retail shopping centers, or even vacant land.

Commission

A proportion (usually a percentage) of the sale price of a property paid to a real estate agent/ broker for negotiating a real estate transaction.

Common Areas

Common areas are the undivided parts of the commonly owned premises. The areas such as the parking lot, lawns, swimming pool, community centers, corridors, lobbies, elevators, etc are not owned by a single individual owner. The responsibility for upkeep and maintenance of these areas is collective.

Common Area Maintenance

The contribution or fee paid collectively by the owners of individual units for the maintenance and upkeep of the common areas of a real estate complex. These areas are generally managed and maintained by Residents’ Welfare Association or an outsourced Facilities Management Company.

Comparable Sales

A valuation technique in which a recently sold asset with similar specifications is used to determine the value of an asset. This technique is often used in real estate to determine the initial sale price of a property.

Completion Certificate/ Statement

A certificate/ statement issued by the local development authority certifying that all necessary works have been completed and that the property is fit for occupation. In case of private development, such certificate can be given by the builder to individual unit owners at the time of possession. Owners require a completion certificate to claim tax benefits.

Condominium

A large property complex that is divided into individual units and sold. Ownership usually includes a non-exclusive interest in certain “common properties” controlled by the condominium management. An individual owner may sell or encumber his/her own unit. In India, the terms condominium, apartment and flat are used interchangeably.

Construction Loan

A loan borrowed to finance the construction of a home and typically only interest is paid during the construction period. Once the construction is over, the loan amount becomes due and it becomes a normal loan. The money is advanced incrementally by the lender during construction, as construction progresses.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures changes in the price level of a market basket of consumer goods and services purchased by households. Annual rental increase is linked to CPI in many lease agreements so as to account for inflation.

Contiguous Space

Multiple suites/spaces within the same building and on the same floor which can be combined and rented to a single tenant.

Conveyance

The act of transferring an ownership interest in real property from one party to another. Conveyance also refers to the written instrument, such as a deed or lease that transfers legal title of a property from the seller to the buyer.

Cooperative Housing

Cooperative Housing is a form of housing scheme promoted by most states in which the land is purchased, developed and constructed by a Cooperative Housing Society. A group of people can form a cooperative housing society by registering with the state government department and apply for land. Land is generally allotted to the cooperative housing society by the state development agency on a first come first serve basis at concessional rates. Once, the land is allotted to a society, it appoints a construction contractor and upon completion of construction, individual flats are allotted to society members based on a draw system.

Co-ownership/ Joint ownership

When there are more than one owner for an immovable property, the status of the property is known to be of the Co-ownership or Joint Ownership type.

Co Tenancy Clause

A common clause in retail lease contracts that allows tenants to get a reduction in rent from landlords if key tenants or a certain number of tenants leave the space. A large or key tenant (anchor tenant) is a big draw for traffic, especially in malls, and is often one of the major reasons a tenant chooses to locate in a specific mall. A co-tenancy clause provides the tenant with some form of protection in the form of reduced rent to compensate for loss of traffic.

Covenants

Terms, conditions and restrictions noted on the title. A covenant may affect future plans or resale of the property.

Covered Area

Same as Built Up Area

Cover Note

A document issued by an insurance company giving temporary insurance until a formal policy is issued.

Credit History

A record of an individuals current and repaid debts which is usually used by a lender to assess the risk of a potential borrower. In India, credit history is managed by CIBIL.

Credit Repository

An organization that gathers, records, updates, and stores financial and public records information about the payment records of individuals who are being considered for credit. Eg. CIBIL in India.

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D

Debt Service Coverage Ratio

The relationship between the annual net operating income (NOI) of a property and the annual debt service of the mortgage loan on the property. Both Lenders and Investors calculate this ratio to assist them in determining the likelihood of the property generating enough income to pay loan payments. From the lender’s viewpoint, the higher the ratio, the better.

Deed

A legal document conveying title to a property.

Deed of Assignment

A legal document which affects transfer of a property interest, especially a lease, from one party to another.

De Facto Possession

The actual physical possession of the property.

Default

Failure to make payments on time or comply with other requirements of the agreement.

De Jure Possession

Also called Juridical Possession, it means possession in the eyes of the law. This may not be accompanied by Defacto Possession. Even when the property is lying locked, the Dejure possessor is the Defacto possessor of the property.

Demand Letter

A letter sent to the buyer by a builder requesting due payment. Also, a letter sent to the borrower by lender requesting an overdue payment.

Deposit

A sum of money given to bind the sale of Real Estate or a sum of money given to ensure payment or an advance of funds in the processing of a loan. Deposit could also be the deposit paid to a landlord as part of a rental transaction.

Depreciation

A decline in the value of property brought about by age, physical deterioration, functional or economic obsolescence, etc.

Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Analysis

A valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of an investment opportunity, whereby future inflows and outflows of cash associated with a particular project are expressed in present-day terms by discounting. The most widely used forms of DCF are the internal rates of return (IRR) and net present value (NPV). The techniques may be used for such purposes as the valuation of land and investment, the ranking of projects or their components.

Discount Rate

A compound interest rate used to convert expected future income into a present value income.

Disposable Income

Money left over after all expenses have been met.

Distraint

Seizure of a tenant’s property or other goods by the landlord in order to obtain payment of rent or other money owed.

Downpayment

The part of the purchase price of a property that the buyer pays in cash and does not finance with a loan.

Drawdown

The disbursement of loan funds provided by the Bank.

Due-on-sale provision

A provision in a loan agreement that allows the lender to demand repayment in full if the borrower sells the property that serves as security for the loan.

Developer

An entrepreneur or company that initiates and sees through the development of a property. The main activities carried out by a developer include land acquisition, procurement of relevant approvals, fund raising, design, construction and marketing of the project.

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E

Earnest Money Deposit (EMD)

A deposit made to a seller showing the buyer’s good faith in a transaction. Earnest money allows the buyer additional time while seeking financing. Earnest money is typically held jointly by the seller and buyer in a trust or escrow account.

Easement

The right of one party to use the property of another party. A fee is paid to the owner of the property in return for the right of easement. Easements are often purchased by mobile companies to erect mobile towers or by utility companies run pipes either above or beneath private property.

Economic Rent

The market rental value of a property at a given point in time, even though the actual rent may be different. Also known as “market rent”.

Effective Age

A Real Estate appraiser’s estimate of the physical condition of a building. The actual age of a building may be shorter or longer than its effective age.

Effective Gross Income

Term used for an income-producing property, derived from the potential gross income, less a vacancy factor and a collection loss amount.

Effective Rent

The gross rent payable per month by the occupiers which includes the base rent, maintenance charges, imputed costs of loss of interest on security deposit and rental advance. The effective rent indicates the total cash outflow of an occupier every month on account of leasing any property.

EMI

Equated Monthly Installment (EMI) is a fixed payment amount made by a borrower to a lender at a specified date each calendar month. Equated monthly installments are used to pay off both interest and principal each month, so that over a specified number of years, the loan is fully paid off.

Encroachment

A situation in real estate where a property owner violates the property rights of his neighbor or the public land by building something or by allowing something to hang over onto the neighbor’s property.

Encumbrance

A claim against a property by another party. Encumbrance usually impacts the transferability of the property and can restrict its free use until the encumberance is removed. The most common instances of an encumbrance occurs in real estate such as an outstanding loans, unpaid property taxes or easements.

Encumbrance Certificate

A report issued by Registrar of Assurances or Sub-Registrar’s office after due verification of the relevant documents certifying that the property in question is free from all encumbrances such as loans, leases, easements or restrictions.

Equity

The amount of an asset actually owned. Equity is the difference between the market value of the property and the loan amount still owed on its mortgage.

Escalation Clause

Specified in lease agreements wherein renewals of lease period are built in. It involves an increment in the base rent at every renewal of a lease agreement and is generally a percentage rate that is either pre agreed or negotiated before the renewal of the lease agreement.

Escrow Account

An escrow account is a temporary pass through account held by a third party during the process of a transaction between two parties.

Estate

The total of all the real estate and personal property owned by an individual at the time of death.

Eviction

The lawful expulsion of an occupant or tenant from real property.

Exclusive Authority

A written contract that gives one real estate agent the exclusive right to sell a property in a specified time period.

Executor

A person named in a will to administer an estate. The court appoints an administrator if no executor is named.

External Development Charges (EDC)

A type of Infrastructure Development Charges, external development charges (EDC) are levied by some states by the state development agency to the developer/ colonizer in order to provide better public infrastructure facilities at the town level. External Development Works include water supply, sewerage, drains, necessary provisions of treatment and disposal of sewage, sullage and storm water, roads, electrical works, solid waste management and disposal, slaughter houses, colleges, hospitals, stadium/sports complex, fire stations, grid sub-stations etc. and any other work which the development agency may specify to be executed in the periphery of or outside colony/area for the benefit of the colony/area. The developer further passes on these charges to the property buyers.

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F

Facility Management

Facility management or facilities management is an interdisciplinary field devoted to the coordination of space, infrastructure, people and organization, often associated with the administration of office blocks, arenas, schools, convention centers, shopping complexes, hospitals, hotels, etc.

Fair Market Value

The price that a given property or asset would fetch in the marketplace, subject to the following conditions:

  1. Prospective buyers and sellers are reasonably knowledgeable about the asset; they are behaving in their own best interests and are free of undue pressure to trade.
  2. A reasonable time period is given for the transaction to be completed.

Given these conditions, an asset’s fair market value should represent an accurate valuation or assessment of its worth.

Farmhouse

A building appurtenant to the agricultural land. A farmhouse may be used for dwelling purposes, or as a storehouse or an out-house.

FERA

Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973. An act to regulate certain payments dealing in foreign exchange, securities, the import & export of currency and acquisition of immovable property by foreigners. Under Section 31 (1) of the Act, it is mandatory for foreign corporations, which are not incorporated in India to obtain permission from the Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) to acquire, hold, transfer or dispose off in any manner (except by way of lease for a period not exceeding five years) any immovable property in India.

Fiduciary

A person legally appointed and authorized to hold assets in trust for another person. The fiduciary manages the assets for the benefit of the other person rather than for his or her own profit.

Fire Certificate

A certificate covering matters of safety required under the legislation for hotels, boarding houses, factories, offices shops and railway premises, excluding those buildings containing less than a minimum number of employees. In order to obtain a fire certificate,one must apply to a fire officer, who then inspects the building and issues a list of requirements (eg. Fire escape doors/stairways). Once the fire officer is satisfied that those requirements have been met he will issue the fire certificate. It enables fire officers, in the event of an emergency, to have prior knowledge inter alia of the permitted number of people on each floor. It also informs officials if any authorized inflammables /explosives materials are found on the premises.

Firm Commitment

A lender’s agreement to make a loan to a specific borrower on a specific property.

Fitouts

Interior permanent furnishings required in a property including HVAC ducting, fire protection system, establishment of workstations and telephone/computer cabling among others, in order to make the property fit for usage.

Fixed Interest Rate

An interest rate on a loan that remains fixed either for the entire term of the loan or for part of the term and does not increase or decrease with market fluctuations.

Fixed-o-floaty Interest Rate

An interest rate that is fixed for a predetermined period after which it gets converted to floating interest rate.

Fixtures

Personal property that becomes real property when attached in a permanent manner to real estate.

Flex Space

A building providing its occupants the flexibility of utilizing the space. Usually provides a configuration allowing a flexible amount of office or showroom space in combination with manufacturing, laboratory, warehouse distribution, etc.

Flipping

A short-term real estate investment strategy in which an investor purchases properties with the goal of reselling them for a profit. Profit is generated either through the price appreciation that occurs as a result of a hot housing market and/or from renovations and capital improvements. Investors who employ these strategies face the risk of price depreciation in bad housing markets. It is similar to trading in stock market.

Floating Interest Rate

An interest rate that is allowed to move up and down with the rest of the market or along with an index. Also known as variable market.

Floor Space Index (FSI)/ Floor Area Ratio (FAR)

Floor Space Index or Floor Area Ratio is the ratio of the combined gross floor area of all floors (excepting areas specifically exempted under regulations) to the total area of the plot. It varies from locality to locality depending on the surrounding infrastructure to support the development. Higher FSI or FAR tends to indicate more urban (dense) construction.

Force Majeure

A force, which cannot be resisted, in other words, something beyond the control of the parties involved. It includes acts of God and acts of man, eg. Storms, floods, fire, riots, strikes, arson. In many contracts and insurance policies, specific provision is made for damage or injury arising from force majeure.

Foreclosure

A situation in which a homeowner is unable to make principal and/or interest payments on his or her property loan, so the lender, be it a bank or building society, can seize and sell the property as stipulated in the terms of the loan agreement.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

Investment made by a foreign individual or company in productive capacity of another country. Eg. investment made either to buy a factory or to construct it.

Freehold Property

A property where title paramount has conveyed the property in favour of the purchaser by conveyance/ sale deed with no restriction on the right of the holder of the property to further transfer the property. Record of ownership of the freehold property can be ascertained from the office of the sub-registrar. It can be transferred by registration of sale deed.

Frontage

Frontage is the full length of a plot of land or a building measured alongside the road onto which the plot or building fronts.

Full Service Lease

A Lease where the tenant pays rent to cover everything including utilities.

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Gazumping

Where a seller agrees to sell to one buyer but then either sells to another buyer or raises the price when two or more buyers show interest.

Gearing

The ratio of your own money and borrowed funds for investment.

General Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes another person—called an agent—to act on behalf of the person who created the power of attorney—known as the principal—in the event that the principal cannot make those decision his or herself. A general power of attorney gives broad authorizations to the agent. The agent may be able to make medical decisions, legal choices, or financial or business decisions. Also check special power of attorney.

Graduated Lease

A type of long-term, typically for commercial property, lease in which the payments are variable and adjusted periodically to reflect changes in the property’s appraised value or changes in a certain publicized benchmark rate, such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The terms of a graduate lease can state that the payments automatically increase by a specified percentage or amount at regularly specified time intervals.

Grantee

The person to whom an interest in real property is conveyed.

Grantor

The person conveying an interest in real property.

Greenfield Site

An area of land, usually in the edge of a town or city or away from substantial urban areas, hitherto undeveloped but for which development is now proposed.

Gross Lease

A type of commercial lease where the landlord pays for the building’s property taxes, insurance and maintenance. A gross lease can be modified in a number of ways to best meet the needs of a particular building’s tenants (for example, a gross lease may or may not require the tenant to pay utility bills).

Gross Leasable Area

A term generally used in commercial lease, gross leasable area is defined as the total floor area designed for tenant occupancy and includes the tenant’s pro rata share of the building’s common areas, elevators, common bathrooms, stairwells, and other portions of the building that the tenant doesn’t actually occupy. It is equivalent to Super Built-Up Area of the unit. Also, check net rentable area.

Guarantor

A person who agrees to indemnify the holder of a loan for all or a portion of the unpaid principal balance in case of default by the borrower.

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Hard Costs

Hard costs are direct costs incurred in relation to a specific construction project. Hard costs may be directly related to construction, including labor, materials, equipment, basic building services, shell features, interior enclosures, fit-out costs, mechanical services and electrical services. These costs are often borne directly by the project owner. Contrast to soft costs.

Heir

The person who is the lawful obvious inheritor of an estate or a property.

High Rise

The term generally refers to buildings higher than 7 or 8 stories. In the Central Business District, this could mean a building higher than 25 stories above ground level.

Hold Over Tenant

A renter who remains in a property after the expiration of the lease. If the landlord continues to accept rent payments, the holdover tenant can continue to legally occupy the property. If the landlord does not accept further rent payments, the tenant is considered to be trespassing if he does not promptly move out, and eviction may be necessary to force the tenant to leave.

Holding Deposit

An initial (goodwill) sum of money given to register interest in or bind the sale of real estate before the full deposit is paid. Also known as token amount.

Home Loan Insurance

Home Loan Insurance is like any other life insurance term plan. The difference is that, in case of death of the borrower, instead of paying the nominee, the insurer settles the claim with the bank to close the loan on the policyholder’s behalf. Most home loan insurance plans provide a reducing cover. That is, the cover size is linked to the outstanding loan amount and the sum assured reduces along with the liability as one repays the loan.

Housing Scheme (Awaas Yojna)

A scheme announced and implemented by various state housing development agencies from time to time in which residential flats or plots are allotted to the general public based on a draw system. Generally, only those who do not have a house in a particular town or city in their name can only apply. Since, prices of flats or plots offered in such schemes are well below market rate, number of applications in such schemes far outnumber the number of units on offer.

HVAC

Refers to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system installed in a building to regulate temperature.

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Immovable Property

Includes land, buildings, hereditary allowances, rights to ways, lights, ferries, fisheries or any other benefit to arise out of land, and things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything which is attached to the earth, but not standing timber, growing crops or grass.

Improvements

Generally, physical changes which enhance the capital value of land or buildings. These may include additional buildings, extensions to existing buildings, installation of new services, eg. central heating and air conditioning and infrastructure works. On the other hand, mere replacement by a modern equivalent if something worn out would normally be regarded as a repair rather than an improvement. The distinction has legal and taxation consequences.

Indian Stamps Act, 1899

A legal statute, which provides for the payment of stamp duty in case of all real estate transactions to duty to the local government. The value of the stamp duty depends on the rental payable and the lease term or the sale value as the case may be. This duty is paid by purchasing non judicial Indian Stamp Paper, on which the lease/sale agreements are documented.

Industrial Property

Any property used for a manufacturing purpose. Areas where industrial activity may be carried out are specified by the respective local authorities.

Infrastructure Development Charges (IDC)

Infrastructure Development Charges are levied by the state government to the developer of a real estate project in order to the state infrastructure. The developer further passes on these charges to the property buyers.

Institutional Investors

Investors taken to include banks, pension funds, insurance companies, unit trusts and investment trusts, which are together commonly referred to in the investment field as “institutions”.

Internal Rate of Return (IRR)

The discount rate often used in capital budgeting that makes the net present value of all cash flows from a particular project equal to zero. The higher a project’s internal rate of return, the more desirable it is to undertake the project. As such, IRR can be used to rank several prospective projects considered for investment. Assuming all other factors are equal among various projects, the project with the highest IRR would probably be considered the best and undertaken first.

Inventory

Inventory or stock refers to the real estate area in square feet or number of property units that a company or individual holds for the ultimate purpose of selling or leasing.

Investment Property

A property that generates income or is otherwise intended for investment purposes rather than as a primary residence. It is common for investors to own multiple pieces of real estate, one of which serves as a primary residence, while the others are used to generate rental income and profits through price appreciation.

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Joint Agent

One or two or more agents jointly instructed by a principal to act on his behalf. In the case of estate agents this is normally on the basis that if any one of the agents effects the sale or letting, other joint agent(s) will share the remuneration in agreed proportions. None of these agents would be entitled to a commission if the transaction is concluded as a result of someone else’s introduction.

Joint Sole Agent

One of two or more agents jointly instructed as the only agent entitled to represent the principal. It is customary for the joint agents to share any commission earned on an agreed basis, irrespective of which agent effects the sale or letting.

Joint Ownership

When there are more than one owner for an immovable property, the status of the property is known to be of the Co-ownership or Joint Ownership type.

Joint Tenancy

A type of property right where two or more people rent a property together, each with equal rights and obligations, until one owner dies. Upon an owner’s death, that tenant’s interest in the property passes to the survivors without the property having to go through probate.

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Key Tenant

A major or primary tenant in an office building or shopping centre. Generally such a tenant leases a significant amount of the available space.

Kickback

Payment made to someone for referral of a customer or business. Generally speaking, kickbacks are illegal because, unlike a commission, a kickback is made without the customer’s knowledge.

Kick-Out Clause

A clause in a sales contract allowing a seller to accept one buyer’s contingent offer then back out without penalty if a second buyer makes a better offer.

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Landlord

A landlord is the owner of a house, apartment, condominium, land or real estate which is rented or leased to an individual or business, who is called a tenant (also a lessee or renter).

Lease

A written agreement between a landlord and a tenant granting a period of tenancy of a property under specific terms and conditions.

Leasehold Property

A property “bought” for a certain period of time. The “owner” of such a property will have “bought” the property from the original landlord and is entitled lawfully to rent, lease or “sell” the property to a third party during the period of leasehold. After the leasehold period, the property goes back into the original landlord’s possession.

Lessee

A person leasing a property.

Lessor

The owner of a property that is leased to another person.

Leverage

The amount of debt used to finance the purchase an asset. Use of more debt than equity is considered to be highly leveraged.

Letter of Intent (LoI)

A letter of intent (LOI) is a document outlining an agreement between two or more parties before the agreement is finalized.

Liability

An obligation of an entity arising from past transactions or events, the settlement of which may result in the transfer or use of assets, provision of services or other yielding of economic benefits in the future. Debt is a form of liability.

Lien

A legal claim against a property that must be paid off when the property is sold.

Liquid Asset

An asset, cash or otherwise, that can be converted into cash.

Listing

A written contract between an owner and a real estate agent, authorising the agent to perform services for the principal involving the owners property.

Listing Agreement

An agreement between the owner of a property and a real estate broker giving the broker the authorization to attempt to sell or lease the property at a certain price and terms in return for a commission, set fee or other form of compensation.

Loan Processing Fee

A fee paid to a lender (bank) for processing application of a loan. This fee is charged by the lender to cover its administrative and other application related costs. Also known as loan application fee or establishment fee.

Loan Eligibility

The amount of loan an individual is eligible based on the net salary he earns.

Loan Servicing

Loan servicing is the process by which a company (mortgage bank, servicing firm, etc.) collects interest, principal and escrow payments from a borrower.

Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV)

The amount of the loan financed as a proportion of the property value, expressed as a percentage.

Long Term Capital Asset

A capital asset held by an assessee for nothing less than thirty six months immediately preceding the date of transfer.

Long Term Lease

In most markets, this refers to a lease whose term is at least three years from initial signing until the date of expiration or renewal option.

Lock-in Period

When a buyer books an under construction property with a builder, some builders put the lock-in clause which means that the buyer cannot sell the property for a particular time period or till the handover. Such time period is known as lock-in period.

Low Rise

A building with fewer than 4 stories above ground level.

Lump-Sum Contract

A type of construction contract requiring the general contractor to complete a building or project for a fixed cost normally established by competitive bidding. The contractor absorbs any loss or retains any profit.

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Maintenance Charges

Charges payable by the owners / occupants of a development (apartment complex / commercial complex / plotted development etc) towards upkeep & maintenance of all common areas and facilities. It is normally a monthly charge and the amount payable is dependent on the kind of amenities that are part of the project. Also called Common Area Maintenance (CAM) charges.

Market Value

The price at which a seller is happy to sell and a buyer is willing to buy. This assumes that there is sufficient activity in the marketplace to generate enough buyers and sellers so that neither party controls the price.

Market Rent

Market rent is described as what a willing landlord might reasonably expect to receive, and a willing tenant might reasonably expect to pay for the tenancy, in comparison with rent levels for similar properties in similar areas.

Master Plan

A Master Plan is the long term perspective plan for guiding the sustainable planned development of a city, an area or an infrastructure project. This document lays down the planning guidelines, policies, development code, layouts and infrastructure & space requirements for various socio-economic activities during the plan period.

Mid-Rise

A building with between four and eight stories above ground level although in a Central Business District, this might extend to buildings up to twenty-five stories.

Mixed-Use

Space within a building or project providing for more than one use for eg. a loft or apartment project with retail, an apartment building with office space, an office building with retail space.

Mortgage

A written instrument creating an interest in real estate and that provides security for the performance of a duty or the payment of a debt. The borrower (i.e., mortgagor) retains possession and use of the property.

Mortgagee

The lender in a mortgage agreement.

Mortgagor

The borrower in a mortgage agreement.

Mutation

Mutation is the recording of a transfer of title of a property from one person to another in the revenue records. The documentation procedure to be followed and the fee payable vary from State to State. The mutation in the municipal records is for the purpose of payment of property tax, and it does not mean a legal title for the person in whose name the property has been mutated in the municipal records.

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N

Negative Gearing

Borrowing money to buy an investment asset without receiving enough income from the investment to cover the interest expenses and other costs inolved in maintaining it.

Net Income

Income after taxes are deducted.

Net Rentable Area

A term used in commercial lease, net rentable area is the actual square footage of the tenant’s space without including common areas of the building. It is equivalent to carpet area of the unit. Also check gross leasable area.

Net Worth

Net worth is the total assets minus total outside liabilities of an individual or a company. Put another way, net worth is what is owned minus what is owed.

Net Present Value (NPV)

In a time series of cash flows, the difference between the present value of cash inflows and the present value of cash outflows. NPV is used in capital budgeting to analyze the profitability of an investment or project.

Nominee

A person in whose name title to property is held but who is not the actual proprietor or holder.

No Objection Certificate (NOC)

A certificate issued by the concerned local authority that the plans are in order and conform to the guidelines and rules in force. In other words, the authority concerned has NO OBJECTION to the commencement of construction.

Non Conforming Use

The use of a property which does not conform to the allocation of the area for planning purposes. Such a property may have been built in conformity with the planning requirement at the time and a policy change ensued; more usually, the property was constructed before planning control was introduced.

Notice of Default

A formal written notice to a borrower by the lender that a default has occurred and that legal action may be taken. If the borrower does not pay, the lender may initiate foreclosure process by issuing public notice of default followed by notice of sale for the property.

In case of a lease, a formal written notice to the tenant conveying the default in rent payments or breach of agreement terms and that further legal action may be taken by the landlord.

Notice to Quit

A written notice to a tenant to vacate the property.

Null and Void

That which cannot be legally enforced, as with a contract provision that is not in conformance with the law.

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O

Occupancy Certificate

A certificate issued by the local development authority certifying that all necessary works have been completed as per the sanctioned plans and that the property is fit for occupation. The OC is issued after clearance from the water, electricity, sewerage, fire fighting authorities etc.

Offer

Conveyed intent by one party to form a contract, which may have conditions and stipulations, with another party.

Open Listing

A property listing that uses multiple real estate agents in order to sell it and get it off the market. With an open listing, the agent that sells the property collects the commission.

An open listing can also refer to an owner who sells his/her home or property on his/her own without paying a commission to a real estate agent.

Outgoings

Costs incurred by the owner of an interest in property, usually calculated on a yearly basis. Eg. management, repairs, rates, insurance and rent payable to the holder of a superior interest, as appropriate to his contractual or other liabilities. It is prudent to make annual provision for future items involving expenditure at intervals of more than one year.

Owner

Any person who has a valid and legal right, title and interest in the property.

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Patwari

Usually denotes the person appointed by a local government or land authority to maintain and update land ownership records for a specific area as well as to undertake the collection of land taxes.

Percentage Lease

Percentage Lease is a lease where the tenant has to pay base rent plus a percentage of the tenant’s revenue. It is a term used in commercial real estate. Percentage lease agreements can often decrease the base rate while simultaneously providing the lessor with additional upside potential.

Penal Rent

A financial punishment of a tenant for failing to honour his obligation to pay rent at the proper time, taking the form of a vastly higher figure being payable during the period of default.

Permitted Use

Colloquially, either

  1. A use authorised by a grant of planning permission or ,
  2. A use allowed by the deemed grant of planning permission under the local development control norms.

Plinth Area

Total covered area of the apartment or commercial property unit i.e area within & including outside walls of the unit. It can be calculated by adding carpet area, areas of utility ducts within property unit and internal & external walls of the unit. Same as built-up area.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes another person—called an agent—to act on behalf of the person who created the power of attorney—known as the principal—in the event that the principal cannot make those decisions himself or herself.

Pre Approval

An evaluation of a potential borrower by a lender that determines whether the borrower qualifies for a loan, or the maximum amount that the lender would be willing to lend. The process involves a thorough look into the income and expenses of the borrower, including a look at the borrower’s credit report and score.

Preferential Location Charges (PLC)

A PLC (preferential location charges) is an additional cost that a home buyer would pay for booking a housing unit which has an advantage over others in terms of location. A Preferred location within the apartment complex may mean an apartment that faces the park or is a corner plot near to the main road. The preferred location and the fee for it varies with project type, location of the city and climatic conditions, the floor number etc.

Pre Launch Property

A property in a project which is in planning stage and does not have all the approvals yet but is soon expected to get all approvals. Generally, in order to raise public funds, many developers offer huge discounts in the pre launch stage. However, investors should be cautious of the risks involved.

Pre Leased

Refers to space in a proposed building that has been leased before the start of construction or in advance of the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.

Pre Qualification

The process of determining how much money a prospective home buyer will be eligible to borrow before he or she applies for a loan.

Pre Payment

The satisfaction of a debt or installment payment before its official due date. A prepayment can be for the entire balance or for any upcoming payment that is paid in advance of the date for which the borrower is contractually obligated to pay it. Examples of a prepayment come in the form of rent or early loan repayments.

Pre Payment Penalty

Additional fee imposed by some loan agreements where a borrower retires a loan before its scheduled pay-off date. It is meant to compensate the lender for not realizing the anticipated interest income and for the possibility of reinvesting the loan amount at a lower interest rate. The penalty is usually based as a percentage of the amount pre-paid.

Premium Rent

A rent above the level which a property could reasonably be expected to command in the open market on normal terms. Sometimes a tenant may be particularly anxious about the property and hence may pay premium rent. Such rents may be justified in instances where the tenant receives a present or future benefit against the market. Eg. in inflationary conditions where upward-only rent reviews are normally required at three-yearly intervals, the tenant may be prepared to pay a higher rent if fixed for a longer period of say, 5 years.

Primary Market

Market of new properties. Investing in primary market would mean purchasing a property directly from the developer.

Principal

The amount borrowed or still to be repaid. The part of the monthly payment that reduces the balance of the loan.

Private Sale

The sale of a property by the owner without the services of a real estate agent.

Private Treaty Sale

A private treaty sale is a type of property sale, where an ‘Asking Price’ is quoted by an estate agent on behalf of the Vendor. This type of sale is normally preferred by a business that wants to sell assets but does not have the time or resources to handle the sale themselves. Many companies find the private treaty sale an ideal way to realize the maximum value of an asset without need to dedicate valuable resources to finding a buyer.

Promissory Note

A written promise to repay a specified amount over a specified period of time.

Property Insurance

Property insurance provides protection against most risks to property, such as fire, theft and some weather damage. This includes specialized forms of insurance such as fire insurance, flood insurance, earthquake insurance, home insurance, or boiler insurance.

Property Management

The administration of residential, commercial and/or industrial real estate. The property manager acts on behalf of the owner to preserve the value of the property while generating income. Managed properties include residential and vacation properties, commercial retail space or industrial warehouse space. Property managers are typically paid a fee and/or a percentage of the rent brought in for the property while under management.

Property Portfolio Management

The unified management of a group of properties which are held in one ownership. Decisions taken in respect of any issue are reached on the basis of achieving the maximum benefit for the owners, having regard to the effect on the portfolio as a whole rather than on an individual property.

Property Tax

A property tax is a levy on property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the local municipal body of the state in which the property is located. All states have different tax structures and rates.

Proxy

A person who represents another, particularly in some meeting. Also, the document giving to another the authority to represent.

Pugree

An Indian term used to describe an interest free security deposit given to landlords which is refundable at the expiry of the lease term to the outgoing tenant by the successive tenant.

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Qualified Covenant

A restriction contained in a legal document which limits the rights of a person having an interest in the land but, by its wording envisages the possibility of removing the limitation on terms agreed between the parties eg. a covenant by a lessee not to assign or sublet without the landlord’s written consent. In certain cases, such as the one quoted, statute law strengthens the applicant’s position by importing such words as “such consent not to be unreasonably with-held”.

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Rack Rent

A rent representing the full, or nearly the full, letting value of a property on a given set of terms and conditions

Rateable Value

The figure upon which property tax is charged in India. This value is determined by the tax authorities and thereafter the tax liability is charged to the owner(s) of the property on the basis of certain pre-determined tax slab rates.

Rate Lock

An agreement between a borrower and a lender that allows the borrower to lock in the interest rate on a loan over a specified time period. Generally, such locked-in interest rate is slightly higher than the floating market rate.

Raw Land

Unimproved land that remains in its natural state.

Ready to Move Property

A property which is ready to occupy i.e. which is complete in all respects including all utility connections and has received completion certificate.

Real Assets

Physical or tangible assets that have value, due to their substance and properties. Real assets include precious metals, commodities, real estate, agricultural land and oil.

Real Estate

Land and anything permanently affixed to the land, such as building, fences and those things attached to the buildings, such as light fixtures, plumbing and heating fixtures, or other such items that would be personal property if not attached. Real estate can be grouped into three broad categories based on its use: residential, commercial and industrial.

Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)

A security that sells like a stock on the major exchanges and invests in real estate directly, either through properties or mortgages. REITs receive special tax considerations and typically offer investors high yields, as well as a highly liquid method of investing in real estate.

Real Property

Any property that is attached directly to land, as well as the land itself. Real property not only includes buildings and other structures, but also rights and interests. Real property can be either rental or residential.

Realtor

A general term used for Real Estate professionals including real estate brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counsellors and other real estate professionals.

Realty

Real property: property consisting of houses and land

Redraw Facility

A loan where the borrower can make additional payments to reduce interest amount and then access those funds when required. There may be a minimum redraw amount.

Refinance

The process of paying off one loan with the proceeds from a new loan using the same property as security.

Refurbishment

Improvement and modernisation of a building falling short of rebuilding or redevelopment and thus not normally requiring planning permission (other than for alterations to the external appearance), except in the case of listed buildings.

Registration

A legal documenting and subsequent recognition of a transaction at the regional sub registrar’s office of the local municipal authority. Both rental and capital transactions can be registered after paying registration charges, which vary from state to state.

Rehab

An extensive renovation of a building or project which is intended to cure obsolescence of such building or project.

Rentable Area

The area of floor space for which rent is calculated even though other areas, within or outside the premise, are lawfully used by the tenant. For example, in an office building it is customary to exclude from the direct calculation of rent the space used for corridors, atrium and stairways.

Rent Act(s)

Legislation promulgated by various states in India, which regulates the terms and conditions of the rental market with a view to curb profiteering and hoarding. Though its restrictive nature has not allowed owners to enjoy economic returns from same categories of property, thereby allowing market inefficiencies.

Rental Advance

Comprises a lump sum payment to the landlord at the beginning of the lease term, which is thereafter adjusted in equal instalments over the lease term against the monthly base rental payable by the tenant. The advance amount generally ranges between 3 to 18 months depending on the city, type, location of property and the period of the lease.

Rental Yield

The rental income return on the investment. Usually expressed annually as a percentage based on the investment’s cost, its current market value or its face value.

Rent Free Period

An agreed period, usually for several weeks or months, during which a lessee is allowed to occupy the subject premises without payment of rent:

  1. in consideration for the tenant incurring expenditure on such matters as fitting out premises or carrying out repairs or improvements.
  2. to reflect market conditions which favour tenant eg. where the space available for letting exceeds the total tenant demand in that area or
  3. by virtue of both (1) and (2)

Renovation Loan

A renovation loan is a loan taken to cover the repairs and/or renovation of residential property. It is primarily disbursed to carry out civil work like plumbing or doing up the kitchen or painting of the flat.

Repayment

Refund. The act of returning money received previously.

Representation Agreement

An agreement between the owner of a property and a real estate broker giving the broker the authorization to attempt to sell or lease the property at a certain price and terms in return for a commission, set fee or other form of compensation.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

The formalized Request for Proposal represents a compilation of the many considerations that a tenant might have and should be customized to reflect their specific needs. Just as the building’s standard form lease document represents the landlord’s wish list, the RFP serves in that same capacity for the tenant.

Requisitions on Title

A process where the buyer requests additional information about the title of the property from the vendor.

Resale Property

Generally referred to an under construction property which is put in the market for sale by the investor.

Reserve Price

The minimum price which a seller will accept at auction.

Residential Property

Any property, which is used for residential purposes. These areas are specifically earmarked as such by the concerned local municipal body.

Retail Market

A market where sellers sell goods or services directly to the end user.

Revenue Department

Revenue department of a state carries out diverse variety of functions including magisterial matters, revenue courts, issue of various statutory documents, registration of property, conduct of elections, relief & rehabilitations, land acquisition and various other tasks.

Reverse Mortgage

A type of mortgage (loan) in which a homeowner can borrow money against the value of his or her home. No repayment of the loan (principal or interest) is required until the borrower dies or the home is sold. This product is particularly useful for retired people who can convert the equity in their home into cash and use that cash to meet their expenses. The loan is called a reverse mortgage because the traditional mortgage payback stream is reversed.  Instead of making monthly payments to a lender, as with a traditional mortgage, the lender makes payments to the borrower.

Right of First Refusal

A provision in an agreement that gives a party the first opportunity to purchase or lease the property before it is offered for sale or lease to others.

Right of Survivorship

In joint tenancy, the right of the survivors to acquire the interest of a deceased joint estate.

Right of Way

A right of one property or the general public for access to or across another property.

Rise and Fall Clause

This clause may be contained in a building contract. It provides for an upward or downward contract price which correlates to the movement of prices, wages or other factors specified in the clause.

Row House

A style of medium-density housing where a row of identical or mirror-image houses share side walls. Also known as townhouse, linked house or terraced house.

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Sale and Leaseback

An arrangement whereby a freeholder or lessee sells his interest in a property for an agreed sum and takes back a lease on the whole or part of the property from the purchaser, generally either at a rack rent or at some lesser rent related to the price paid.

Secondary Market

A market where investors purchase properties from other investors, rather than from developers directly. Resale properties and ready to move properties are part of secondary market.

Secured Loan

A loan secured by collateral to reduce the risk associated with lending. For eg. Home loan is secured by house mortgage as collateral towards the loan. If the borrower defaults on repayment, the bank seizes the house, sells it and uses the proceeds to pay back the loan.

Security

In lending, security refers to the collateral given, deposited or pledged to secure the payment of the loan.

Security Deposit

A monetary deposit given to a lender, seller or landlord as proof of intent. Security deposits can be either refundable or nonrefundable, depending on the terms of the transaction. As the name implies, the deposit is intended as a measure of security for the recipient.

Seller’s Market

When demand for property is greater than supply. The result is greater opportunities for owners who may find someone willing to offer the asking price or even a figure greater than the asking price. Contrast with Buyer’s Market.

Serviced Apartment

Suites or rooms where the landlord provides a range of services within the individual premises extending beyond the traditional ones associated with the maintenance and management of the building itself or the operation and maintenance of the installation or plant therein eg. furniture, telephone, fax machine, room cleaning, and/or provides centralised specialised services, such as a receptionist and secretarial and communication facilities.

Servicing (loan)

Loan servicing is the process by which a company (mortgage bank, servicing firm, etc.) collects interest, principal and escrow payments from a borrower.

Setback

The distance from a curb, property line or other reference point, within which building is prohibited.

Settlement

Settlement (Closing) is the final step in executing a real estate transaction when final payment is made by the buyer, sale deed is signed, title is transferred to the buyer by registration of sale deed, loan documents come into effect, costs are paid and the new owner takes possession of the property.

Shared Office Space

Shared office space refers to fully equipped and furnished offices ready for quick setup for a branch office or entrepreneur who doesn’t want to work from home. Also knows as business centers and executive suites, these facilities provide mail, telephone and Internet services. Sharing office space can provide professional facilities at a lower cost than traditional office rents and even offer the possibility for outside input and referrals from others that utilize the same arrangement.

Site Plan

A drawing of an area of land, on a horizontal plane, showing the boundaries and physical extent of the land included in a particular parcel. It may also show any existing buildings or the proposed layout of a development.

Soft Cost

Soft Cost is a term used in construction for an expense that is not considered direct construction cost. Soft costs include architectural, engineering, financing and legal fees, and other pre- and post-construction expenses. Contrast with Hard Costs.

Soft Launch

A soft launch is the release of a real estate project to a limited audience. In this stage, usually, all approvals are in place for the project but construction is yet to start. Soft-launching is a method for gathering feedback on a project, its pricing and acceptance in the marketplace, before making it generally available as a hard launch or grand opening. Generally, prices offered in the soft launch stage are slightly lower than the actual planned launch.

Speculation

Speculation is the practice of engaging in risky financial transactions in an attempt to profit from short or medium term fluctuations in the market value of a property rather than attempting to profit from long term gain factors. Many speculators pay little attention to the fundamental value of the property and instead focus purely on price movements.

Special Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes another person—called an agent—to act on behalf of the person who created the power of attorney—known as the principal—in the event that the principal cannot make those decision his or herself. A special power of attorney narrows the choices the agent can make. One can even make several different POAs, with different agents for each. Also check general power of attorney.

Stamp Duty

A state tax on conveyance or transfer of real property calculated on the total value of the property or the circle rate of the area, whichever is higher. Stamp duty charges vary from State to State and generally range from 4% to 10% of the property value or the circle rate.

Strata Title

Strata title is a form of ownership devised for multi-level apartment blocks and horizontal subdivisions with shared areas. The ‘strata’ part of the term refers to apartments being on different levels, or “strata”. In strata title system, the title of an apartment rests with the owner of the apartment which enables the owner to mortgage the property easily. Contrasts with company share where the company or a society owns the land and buildings and individuals are shareholders in the company. In company share, individuals get exclusive right to a piece of a building but do not hold title to their apartment so it becomes difficult to mortgage such property.

Stratum Title

Stratum Title is a mix of company share and strata title where the owner has title to a piece of the building (apartment or unit) but a company owns the common areas such as club, swimming pool, play areas, garden etc. Individual lot owners have a Certificate of Title to their lot as well as shares in a service company. This service company owns all the common land, which is known as the residual land, around the building and the service company has a title to this land.

Sub-Leasing

A method wherein, the primary lessee of a property has the right to further lease out a part or whole of the property to another occupier or lessee. Essentially, the right to sub lease is decided beforehand at the time of signing the main lease agreement and is with the consent of both the lessor and the lessee.

Subdivision

A tract of land divided into individual lots for a housing development.

Super Built-Up Area

Super Built Up Area means built up area of a unit plus common areas proportioned to a unit. Common areas that are included in the super built up area are lobby, lift ducts, staircases, pipe ducts/ shafts, air ducts, covered community centres/ clubs, other covered common facilities. It does not include open areas such as parks, gardens, roof terrace etc.

Survey

A drawing or map showing the precise legal boundaries of a property, the location of improvements, easements, rights of way, encroachments, and other physical features.

Sweat Equity

Contribution to the construction or rehabilitation of a property in the form of labor or services rather than cash.

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T

Tahsildar

Revenue authority or officer empowered to impose and collect revenue from a particular jurisdiction.

Tax Clearance (37-1)

The Income Tax Act, 1961 specifies that any lease transaction for not less than 12 years or any sale transaction, above a prescribed transaction value limit tax, has to undergo a clearance process from the appellate body known as the Income Tax Appropriate Authority, constituted under the Income Tax Act. A joint application by the parties involved in the transaction is submitted along with processing fees to the Income Tax Authority, which takes upto a maximum of three months to grant the clearance, without which the sale transaction is not complete. This procedure is popularly known as the 37-(I) clearance, which is the application form number used for this purpose.

Tax Lien

A statutory lien, existing in favor of the state or municipality, for nonpayment of property taxes which attaches only to the property upon which the taxes are unpaid.

Tenancy

The right to occupy a property under agreed terms and conditions.

Tenant’s Improvements

Improvements to land or buildings to meet the needs of and carried out wholly or partly at the expense of the tenant.

Tenants in Common

The co-owners of an undivided interest in real property. Tenants in common each own a separate and undivided interest in the same real property and each has an equal right to the possession and use of the property. Upon the death of one tenant, his or her undivided interest passes to heirs through a probate proceeding; the interest does not pass to another tenant in common unless the surviving co-owner is an heir or a purchaser.

Testament

A legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his estate and provides for the distribution of his property at death. Same as will.

Title

A legal document evidencing a person’s right to or ownership of a property.

Title Insurance

Insurance that protects the lender (lender’s policy) or the buyer (owner’s policy) against loss arising from disputes over ownership of a property.

Title Search

An investigation of public records into the history of ownership of a property to check for liens, unpaid claims, restrictions or problems, to prove that the seller can transfer free and clear ownership.

Token Amount (Bayana)

Token money given to the landlord to informally freeze negotiations on a particular property, after the initial terms and conditions have been formalized.

Town and Country Planning

The determination of policy for the development and use of land and the control of its implementations in urban and rural areas by district and country planning authorities.

Townhouse

A style of medium-density housing where a row of identical or mirror-image houses share side walls. Also known as row house, linked house or terraced house.

Trade Fixtures

Personal property that is attached to a structure (i.e. the walls of the leased premises) that are used in the business. Since this property is part of the business and not deemed to be part of the real estate, it is typically removable upon lease termination.

Transaction

Any activity that leads to an exchange between two parties – buyer and seller/landlord and tenant etc.

Triple Net Lease

A lease agreement that designates the lessee (the tenant) as being solely responsible for all of the costs relating to the property being leased in addition to the rent fee applied under the lease. The structure of this type of lease requires the lessee to pay for net real estate taxes on the leased asset, net building insurance and net common area maintenance. The lessee has to pay the net amount of three types of costs, which is how this term got its name.

Trustee

A fiduciary who holds or controls property for the benefit of another.

Turn Key Project

The construction of a project in which a third party, usually a developer or general contractor, is responsible for the total completion of a building (including construction and interior design) or, the construction of tenant improvements to the customized requirements and specifications of a future owner or tenant.

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U

Under Construction Property

A property which has received all necessary approvals from authorities, raised funds from private investors or financial institutions, appointed the construction contractor and is currently under construction. From investment perspective, such properties are less risky than properties which are at development stage (not received all approvals) and more risky than ready to move properties.

Under Valuation

A value of the property that is lesser than the fair market value.

Underwriting

A term generally used in financial services industry refers to the process by which a large financial service provider (bank, insurer, investment house) would accept some of the risk on a given venture (say initial public offering of shares) in exchange for a premium. In real estate, underwriting is a process by which an underwriter commits to the developer of a project to sell a certain number of units within a specified period of time at a specified rate else the underwriter has to purchase a certain number of units itself.

Undisclosed Heir

A person who claims the right to a piece of property after the death of an owner without a will.

Unencumbered

An asset or property that is free and clear of any encumbrances such as creditor claims or liens.

Unilateral Contract

A one-sided contract.  If one party makes a promise to do something, the second party is not legally required to perform.  If the second party does comply, however, the first party is obligated to keep its promise.

Unsecured Loan

A loan that is not backed up by collateral.

Urband Land Ceiling and Regulation Act (ULCRA)

A legislation promulgated in 1976 as a social equity measure with a view to curb profiteering and hoarding in the urban land market as well as to prevent urban congestion.

Utilities

The private or public service facilities such as gas, electricity, telephone, water, and sewer that are provided as part of the development of the land.

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V

Vaastu Shastra

A traditional Indian architecture and design system, which specifies the detailed methodology of designing buildings, buying land etc. in order to maximise benefits, from the same for the occupier. This system relies in harmonising any real estate development with the five elements of Indian Mythology namely air, water, earth, fire and space.

Valuation

The process of making an estimate of worth of real property or real property or other assets for a particular purpose eg.letting, purchase, sale, audit, rating, compulsory purchase or taxation. The purpose and the relevant circumstances determine assumptions and facts that are appropriate and hence the process used.

Villa

1. a large house or estate that is usually located in the country

2. a house that you can rent and live in when on vacation

3. a house in the city with a yard and garden

Virtual Office Space

A virtual office provides communication and address services that allow users to reduce traditional office costs while maintaining business professionalism. Not to be confused with business center or executive suite.

Void

Having no legal force or effect. Unenforceable. See Null and Void.

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W

Warehouse

Premises designed and built for the purpose of bulk storage of raw materials or finished or partly finished goods, pending either onward transit or division into smaller batches and subsequent distribution.

Warranty of Possession

It provides a warranty by Landlord that it has the legal ability to convey the possession of the premises to Tenant; the Landlord does not warrant that he owns the land.

Weighted Average Rental Rates

The weighted average ratio of unequal rental rates across two or more buildings in a market. It is calculated as the total market rent of all tenants (which is the sum of the total tenants’ sizes multiplied by each tenant’s own market rate) divided by the total area of all the tenants.

Will

A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his estate and provides for the distribution of his property at death.

Willing Seller-Willing Buyer

An assumption made to estimate fair market value of a property i.e. when the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, when the former is not under any compulsion to buy, and the latter is not under any compulsion to sell, both parties having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.

Working Drawings

The set of plans for a building or project that comprise the contract documents that indicate the precise manner in which a project is to be built. This set of plans includes a set of specifications for the building or project.

Written Down Value

At a given time, the result of making one or more annual or periodic deductions for depreciation against capital cost or worth.

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Y

Yield

The income return on an investment. Usually expressed annually as a percentage based on the investment’s cost, its current market value or its face value. For eg. Rental yield refers to the rental returns with reference to the investment cost or current market value of the property.

Yield Up

Give up possession, especially by the tenant at the end of a lease.

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Z

Zone

A defined area of land or part of a building which is allocated for a particular purpose, eg. development plans may allocate areas of land for different uses or values of property may distinguish between areas of floorspace of a building and ascribe different values to them.

Zoning

In planning terms, the dividing of an area by a local planning authority into zones for particular uses or activities.

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