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Glossary of Terms

You can also find information about your home in your Homeowners Handbook. The electronic handbook has been updated and replaces the old paper version.

Ground Rent

As your lease is a type of tenancy, you have to pay rent to the landlord. This is known as the ground rent and is a fixed amount of £10 every year.

Service Charge

Your service charge is your contribution towards the day to day costs of running and maintaining the building you live in.

Service Charges – Major Repairs

These are the charges you pay toward the refurbishment of your home under the PFI contract.


The repairing obligations of Partners (as managing agents for the Council) and the leaseholder are set out in full in your lease.

Alterations and Improvements to Your Home

If you want to carry out any structural alterations or additions to your home, you first need to get Partners' permission. This is a requirement of your lease.

Buildings Insurance

Buildings insurance is included in the cost of your service charges but leaseholders are expected arrange there own household contents insurance.

Selling Your Home

If you bought your home under the right to buy and you wish to sell it on there are various conditions that apply to the discount your received when you bought. These largely relate to whether or not you bought your home on or before the 18th January 2005.

Partners’ sell-on (assignment) pack

If you are thinking about selling your leasehold property, we strongly recommend that you ask us for a sell-on pack. This is also known as an assignment pack or pre-contact enquiries pack, and your solicitor will normally ask for one on your behalf. We charge £150 for the sell on pack.

Living Away from Home

If you are away from home for a long period of time you should notify the Home Ownership Team of your absence in case an emergency arises while you are away. Whilst you are away you must still make arrangements to pay your service charges.

Subletting your home

As a leaseholder, you have the right to sublet your property. However, you must register a subletting with us before your sublet your home.

Buying the Freehold or Extending Your Lease

Buying the Freehold

A group of leaseholders may have the right to buy the freehold of their building. This is known as enfranchisement.

Extending your Lease

In almost all cases, your lease runs for a period or term of 125 years from the date the first flat in your street property was sold. This means there is likely to be at least 100 years left to run.  At the end of the lease term, your flat would return to the ownership of the landlord, Islington Council.

Partners can give you general advice about extending your lease, but we cannot tell you what you might have to pay for it. You must get your own valuation done.

Buying Extra Land and Loft Spaces

Partners will consider, on behalf of the Council, requests to sell extra land or unused areas which are not shared or owned by anyone else. The Council has to sell the land to you at its current market value.


Damp Works

The damp proofing system requires the removal of existing plaster, the repair of the brickwork walls under, and the levelling of the surface using a render usually termed as “dubbing out”. The damp system consists of a render coat termed as “tight coat”, two coats of HeyDI render, followed by a skim coat of plaster. The HeyDI render is a cement based render which is mixed with a patented waterproofing additive. This acts as a barrier which stops water penetrating through to the internal surface


The majority of windows are a double sash type. They consist of a box frame which houses the weights and recess for the sliding sashes. Two sashes are fitted which slide up and down within the box frame. The box frame also includes a timber cill.   Replacements are normally the top or bottom sash and in rare cases the cill or box frame.

Overhauling would include replacement of security stop bolts, easing and adjusting the movement of top and bottom sashes often by the removal of built up paint, and sometimes replacement of sash cords and the beading used to keep the sliding sashes apart. Costs are therefore proportionate to the amount of work required.

Windocare Repairs

Windowcare is a timber repair system which includes the insertion of preservative pellets, and the application of an epoxy resin filler/moulding compound to reform profiles of the base on which it is applied. It negates in some cases the need to cut out decayed timber and replacing with new timber. The epoxy resin can be sanded, planed and accepts full decoration. It further does not decay as would timber over a period of time.


A gulley is part of the underground drainage system. It is a below ground trapped small vessel connected to the drain, and is usually found at the base of rainwater pipes or kitchen waste outlets.   A grid is placed over the top to prevent debris from entering but water to pass, and it is this that often needs replacement. The trap in the vessel needs clearing from time to time to allow free flow of water.

Inspection Chamber

More commonly known as a manhole. This is a chamber built below ground with a steel or cast iron cover over the top.   The chamber is formed at the junction of drainage runs to allow access for clearing drain blockages.




Flaunching is the horizontal rendered surface between chimney pots, It is formed with a high point at the centre and sloping to the edges of the chimney stack to allow water to drain away.



Float Coat

Where stone/concrete sub-cills are damaged or broken, we normally prepare the surface with a bonding agent and apply a coat of cement/sand mortar to reform to the original profile.




To include everything necessary such as rubbing down, filling indentations and cracks and applying paint finish appropriate to the surface on which it is applied.   Walls and ceilings will receive two coats of emulsion paint, with new surfaces receiving an additional “mist” or primer coat. Wood surfaces will be painted with one undercoat and one finishing coat gloss paint

Anaglypta Wall Covering

Anaglypta wall lining is a heavily embossed paper wall lining which receives a paint finish.

Plywood underlay

12 mm thick plywood is fixed to the existing floor boarding with screws to provide an even surface for the application of the flooring to be applied.


Normally manufactured in aluminium. These are fixed to the leading edge of staircase treads and provide a non slip hard wearing surface.

Consumer Units

Installed as part of the communal electrical rewire. This unit is placed at the head of the incoming mains service to the building. The mains is terminated and connected inside the box and wiring circuits run and are connected from the box to the fittings installed. Protective breakers are installed within the box which will trip out the electrical supply if the circuits are broken or a fault occurs.

Earth Bonding

An independent wired circuit is installed and connected at one end to the Consumer Unit and the other to a connection which will provide safe flow of electrical power to ground.

Spur Outlet

This is an electrical point usually installed for the connection of Door Entry Systems.   It is switched and contains a fuse and direct wire connection rather than via a plug.

Time Delay Switches

These are light switches that when activated offer a delayed cancelling device to avoid light switches being left on for long periods of time.




For the purposes of compiling the Final Account the External Decoration is priced using quantities and rates for the quantity measured. Quantities can be metres of area (M2), metres in length (Lm), enumerated items (No.) or itemised (Item). Metres of area are usually applied to wall surfaces, metres in length apply to surfaces narrow in width/girth such as window reveals, pipe, gutters, fascia boards, handrails etc. Enumerated items are for such items as windows, doors etc.   Itemisation is used for composite items of work that cannot be measured easily using all the above.   Brickwork/Rendered or stucco surfaces previously painted, will be painted again with one undercoat and one finishing coat of gloss paint. If the existing surfaces have in the past been painted with a stone or external emulsion paint, then the same finishes will be applied. Wood and metal surfaces will receive one undercoat and one finishing coat of gloss paint. In exceptional circumstances were there are time restraints, metal will be painted with one coat of “Hammerite”. This is a one coat finish


The horizontal underside of balconies or porticos


The timber board positioned at the roof eaves on which the gutter is fixed

Rainwater Goods

Normally rainwater pipes, bends, pipe brackets and hopper heads (Box which collects water from gutter outlets)


Normally a rendered surfaces, but can be bare brickwork. This is the return wall surface which extends from the front wall face to a door or window frame



Re-pointing Brickwork

During construction the joint between bricks, formed of cement based mortar, is trowelled smooth on the external face at an angle to allow rainwater to shed away from the brick surface. This joint over a period of time deteriorates due to atmospheric conditions and needs replacing. Re-pointing is the process of raking back the brick joints and reforming this joint with new mortar.

The cost of carrying out this works falls between three areas of measurement. The lesser area being the most expensive to carry out.   The areas are not exceeding 1m2, exceeding 1m2 but not exceeding 5m2, and areas over 5m2. We also measure in length replacement of pointing to single joints.

Mastic Sealant

Joints between timber surfaces and brickwork or rendered wall surfaces are sometimes sealed with a mastic joint. Mastic is waterproof and flexible and as such takes up any movement differences between timber and brick/concrete

Dentil Course

A dentil course is a course of bricks with alternate bricks protruding beyond the face which gives the impression of protruding teeth.


A fillet is triangular in section, of cement based mortar, formed to prevent water collection at the junction of vertical and horizontal brickwork.



Render Repairs

As with brickwork re-pointing the cost of carrying out this works falls between three areas of measurement. The lesser area being the most expensive to carry out. The areas are not exceeding 1m2, exceeding 1m2 but not exceeding 5m2, and areas over 5m2.

Rendered surfaces in narrow widths are measured in linear metres (Lm). This is usually to reveals at door or window openings



London Roof

A London Roof consist of two sloping surfaces of tiled or slated roof converging to a central point from the sides of the building. At this central point a gutter is formed, usually lined with lead, which collect rainwater. This rainwater discharges to the front or rear elevations through an opening in the walling, and is collected by a hopper connected to rainwater pipes.

Box Gutter

A box gutter is constructed within or at the edge of a roof surface to channel rainwater to a suitable outlet. It is usually lined with lead but can also be surfaced with asphalt

Valley Gutter

A valley gutter is a box gutter between two sloping roof surfaces, as in a London Roof


Usually formed of metal such as lead or zinc. The flashing is bent and tucked into brickwork joints at the top, and is dressed over the sloping roof surface. This makes weather tight the joint between vertical walling and sloping roof surface.

Stepped Flashing

This is flashing which follows and is dressed to a sloping surface at the junction of brick walls. The flashing is cut with steps, the top of the step being tucked into brick joints at regular intervals.


Can be capped with bricks which are laid on their edge or with Concrete coping stones. A parapet is a vertical wall rising above roof level and often conceals the roof surface. They often occur to the walls dividing each property at roof level, or to the rear and front elevations.

Ridge or Hip Tiles

The ridge is the apex of the triangle formed by two vertically sloping roof surfaces.   A hip is where two sloping roof surfaces meet at right angles. Ridge or hip tiles are tiles which can be semi circular in section or angled, and are bedded on the roof covering to cover the junction at opposing roof surfaces.   They sometimes need re-pointing between each tile, or need completely replacing




At the top of a pipe used to carry water borne soil and waste from bathrooms/kitchens, we fit a balloon shaped cover to prevent birds or leaves falling down the pipe. They are usually of wire construction to allow air to penetrate.



Reface Bricks

Individual bricks which have suffered damage due to atmospheric conditions can sometimes be cut back to a sound surface, and be refaced with a cement based mortar with a colour additive to match the existing.

Replace Bricks

Brick that are unsound are replaced completely with a new brick to match the existing

Toothing and Bonding

Structural cracks to brickwork are repaired by cutting out the fractured bricks both sides of the crack. New bricks are then inserted thus repairing the crack. Toothing and bonding is derived by the process of inserting these bricks, which are bonded to the existing walling, in a tooth like pattern were the crack previously existed.

Air Bricks

Where it is necessary to form a ventilation opening through walling, an air brick is built into the face externally. The brick is normally formed in terracotta and has square shaped ventilation holes through its depth.