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Apartment Glossary

Learn the Meaning Behind Common Terms

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New, empty condo, Vancouver
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When you look for an apartment, and even while you live in one, you're likely to come across certain words that you haven't seen before. Whether it's a word you noticed in an apartment ad or a term you heard in a conversation with a landlord or broker, it's important to know the lingo.

To help you, here are some quick, easy definitions of common apartment-related terms:

Apartment-Related People

There are many types of people involved with apartments, and sometimes individuals take on different roles. For example, you might go from being a prospect to an applicant to a tenant, a landlord could become a slumlord, and a tenant may choose to be a sublessor.

Here are the definitions of terms for some apartment-related people you should know:

Absentee landlord | Applicant | Doorman | HUD | Landlord | Prospect | Slumlord | Sublessee | Sublessor | Tenant

Apartment-Related Places

Do you know the difference between a galley kitchen and an eat-in kitchen? Find out what these and other terms for apartment-related places mean:

Balcony | Common areas | Courtyard | Duplex | Eat-in kitchen | Full bathroom | Furnished apartment | Galley kitchen | Garden apartments | Half-bathroom | High-rise | Kitchenette | Loft apartment | Railroad apartment | Studio | Tax credit property | Terrace | Walk-up

Apartment-Related Things

You might know what a bunk bed is, but what about a Murphy bed or a trundle bed? Here are the definition of terms used to describe apartment-related items that you're likely to encounter:

Accent furniture | Appliance | Bunk bed | Door trim | Grab bar | Guest card | Lease | Lease addendum | Letter of employment | Listings | Murphy bed | Ottoman | Peephole | Sublease | Trundle bed | Wall curio | Window treatment

Apartment-Related Concepts

In addition to tangible items, there are several concepts you should become familiar with when you're looking for or living in an apartment. Following are the definitions of some important ones:

Accessible apartment | Actual cash value | Amenities | AMGI | Blockbusting | Cozy | Decor | Fair Housing Act | Foreclosure | Guide dog | Late charge | Lease term | LIHTC | Linguistic profiling | Low-income apartment | Market-rate apartment | Name profiling | NIMBYism | Protected class | Reasonable accommodation | Reasonable modification | Rent | Rent in arrears | Renter's insurance | Replacement cost | Retaliatory eviction | Screening | Security deposit | Service animal | Steering | Sunken | Utilities | Voice profiling | Wall decor

What About the Word 'Apartment'?

You no doubt know an apartment when you see it, but can you define it? The term is more complex than you might think, and it has taken on two different meanings. Find out exactly what an apartment is and how the term is used on the About.com Apartment Living / Rental site.

A Growing Glossary

This glossary is not exhaustive, and you might see more apartment-related terms appear the next time you return to this page. In the meantime, if there's an apartment-related term that you don't see listed but think should be included, just let me know, and I'll certainly consider adding it.

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