The Urbane Brix Guide to Property Investment Slang

5-10 Minutes

If you’re new to the world of property investment, or even property, it can certainly seem overwhelming! It doesn’t help when all the information is littered full of property jargon that can make it even more confusing. 

Here at Urbane Brix, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of all those property terms that you may not understand! 



If you own the leasehold of a property it means that you have a lease on the property from the freeholder. This lease is usually granted for a number of years – it can be as short as 40 years or as high as 999 years! As a leaseholder you are responsible for paying annual ground rent and a service charge to the freeholder.


If you own the freehold of the property it means that you own the property and the land outright. Owning the freehold means that you don’t have to pay ground rent, but you are solely responsible for the maintenance of the building.

BTL (Buy to let)

Not to be confused with the other popular BLT (of the sandwich variety!), the BTL of the property world refers to Buy to Let. This term refers to a property that is bought by a person with the sole purpose of letting out rather than living in the property themselves.

Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty is essentially a land tax you legally have to pay on proportions of your property price. Rates are set by the government and are subject to change. Currently rates vary for first time buyers and buyers with more than one property. Make sure to check out our Stamp Duty calculator to find out what you will need to pay.

Rental Yield

A yield is the annual rental income you can expect to achieve expressed as a percentage of the property value.

Net yield/return

This is the Income from your investment once all expenses are deducted – these expenses could include service charge and ground rent.

Gross Yield

Gross yield is the income from your investment without deducting all the additional costs.

To work out the gross yield take the following steps:

1.    Work out the annual rental income (weekly rent x 52 weeks) 
2.    Divide this figure by property value
3.    Multiply by 100 to get the percentage.

If you were to calculate the net yield you would first need to deduct all the outgoings and additional costs from the annual rental income.

Don’t fancy working it out for yourself? No problem – use our nifty yield calculator here.

Capital gain

A capital gain is basically the profit you have received from your property investment

Capital gains tax

This is a tax you pay on the profit you receive when you sell an asset that has increased in value. This usually applies to those who are selling a second property and not their main home.

Property Portfolio

This is the collection of property that an individual property investor or company own. A portfolio is usually made up or 2 or more properties.

Reservation fee

This is a fee you pay to the developer, or landlord, to put a hold on a property. This fee is usually deducted from the final payment of the property.

ROI (Return on Investment)

This stands for Return on Investment. A simple calculation where you calculate how much you spent on a property and how much you get out of it. ROI is key for a property investor

Service Charge

A service charge is a payment made from the leaseholder to the freeholder (landlord) for all the services they provide.  This usually covers management fees, maintenance, repairs and building insurance.

Ground rent

If you are a leaseholder then you are legally obliged to pay the freeholder ground rent. This is usually a fixed annual charge that is a payment to rent the land from the freeholder.


This is a term to refer to the final buying stages of owning a property. Once your property reaches completion the ownership is legally transferred from the seller to the buyer.


Any other terms that we missed? Let us know! Contact us here are Urbane Brix and we will be more than happy to explain.

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Investing in the right property, in the right location
Investing in the right property, in the right location
Investing in the right property, in the right location

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