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Our values aren’t just guiding principles, they represent who we are. They’re the things that define us compared to other companies. We refer to the way we work as The Bruntwood Way.

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Understanding property jargon 24 August 2016

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Judging by your reaction to our recent blog on jargon, it’s clear that many of you are just as eager as we are to bring back plain English. Whether it’s your colleagues spouting the latest business buzzwords in your team meeting or the hipster in the shop trying to sell you a flashy gadget, lots of people we speak to these days may as well be talking another language.

We realise that the commercial property industry is just as much to blame for this as anyone else. That’s why we’re making it our mission to make things easy to understand for our customers. So, to make searching for an office that bit simpler, here’s our handy guide to cutting through all that pesky jargon.

Aspect

The direction in which a given part of a building faces. 

Break Clause

Some leases contain the option for one or both parties to end the lease before the contracted end date. However, there will often be certain conditions that need to be met to do so, and you'll need to meet time scales for serving notice to the other party.

BREEAM

This is the world’s longest established method of assessing, rating and certifying the sustainability of buildings. You can check out the different ratings on the BREEAM website, ranging from outstanding being the highest rating a property can achieve to unclassified which … well, you can guess the rest!

Capex

Short for capital expenditure, this is money spent by a business in buying and maintaining assets (buildings, equipment etc).

CAT A

Works carried out by the landlord to make the office ‘liveable’.

CAT B

Works carried out according to the customer’s requirements and at the customer’s cost. We’re always happy to help you with these, whether you need assistance from our in-house design team or would like us to take charge of the construction aspect, we can offer our guidance where needed.

Chilled beams

Usually hidden under the ‘suspended ceilings’ (explained below), chilled beams are pipes of water which are used to chill or raise the temperature of a room.

Conventional office space

Choosing conventional office space means you’re leasing the space directly from the landlord and paying additionally for utilities, business rates, internet and phones. In many cases, the agreement is fairly long-term and you will be obliged to arrange the decor, but the Bruntwood team can always help you with this.

Contended leased line internet

If your office has one of these, it means you’ll be sharing your internet line with other companies in the building.

Dedicated leased line internet

Unlike contended lease line internet, this will only be used by your office.

DDA compliant

Standing for Disability Discrimination Act, this means there’s access for disabled users. Simple as that.

Dilapidations

This term is commonly used when referring to any damage caused to an office by a customer. Leases will often include a clause that explains which parts of an office need to be kept in repair and what condition it should be left in once your lease expires.

Dry risers

Pipes that are normally empty, but they can be connected to a pressurised water source by firefighters for a quick water supply in case of emergency.

Elevations

If anyone mentions the elevations of a property, they basically just mean a view of a building seen from one side.

Forfeiture

If there is a serious breach of terms of a lease by a customer (for example, non-payment of rent), forfeiture allows the landlord to terminate the least early and recover possession of the premises.

Grade A/B/C

Simply the standard to which an office is finished and maintained. Grade A buildings are usually brand new or recently refurbished; Grade B fall just outside of this standard but are finished to a good quality; Grade C offer functional space but the fit-out is usually of a lower quality.

Headline rent

The amount of rent you will pay after any concessionary or rent-free periods have ended.

Heads of Terms

This outlines the main legal requirements of the customer and the supplier, and associated costs, but it’s not legally binding.

Raised access flooring

This pretty much does what it says on the tin as a structural floor is elevated above a solid base. Usually this method is used to hide cables which although useful can make the place look a bit messy!

Serviced Office Space

A shorter-term agreement, with a more-or-less inclusive price, allowing you to ‘plug in and go’.

Suspended ceilings

Basically an upside-down version of raised floors, these are additional lightweight ceilings which are hung on wires from the main ceiling to hide any sneaky wires, pipes and vents.

Three part perimeter trunking

These are the plastic rails you might see running around the walls of an office. Inside these rails are three separate cases used to pass cables around the room, again just making things that bit tidier.

Wayleaves

A wayleave is a right granted to a third party by a landlord allowing them to use parts of the building or land. These are commonly used when allowing access for telecoms providers to run data cabling to customer's suites within a building. 

It's important that you always read your lease carefully and make sure you understand all the terminology used. If you have any queiries, always seek professional advice. 

But should you come across any other annoying pieces of jargon on your office search, feel free to message our First Customer Contact team via the livechat in the bottom right hand corner. If they don’t know the answer, they’ll find someone who does. Alternatively, drop us a comment using the box below. 

Bruntwood property
Bruntwood property