Property investment glossary


A situation in which the rightful owner of a property, office or title has not yet been decided. Abeyance results when the current owner or holder does not declare a single current beneficiary. Instead, the new owner is determined through the outcome of a particular event at some time in the future. Thus, the ownership of the property, office, or title is left unfilled. Abeyance is derived from the Old French word “abeance.” which means a longing or gaping, with future expectation.

Abnormal return

An abnormal return is a term used to describe the returns generated by a given security or portfolio over a period of time that is different from the expected rate of return. The expected rate of return is the estimated return based on an asset pricing model, using a long run historical average or multiple valuation.

Above ground risk

Non-quantifiable risks that can adversely affect a project or investment. Above ground risk is generally used in the energy industry to refer to non-technical risks such as environmental issues and the regulatory climate. More broadly, above ground risk refers to a wide range of somewhat nebulous risks such as political risk, corporate risk, security and corporate governance whose impact is difficult to quantify, but could be significant should one or more of these risks become a real threat.

Absentee landlord

An individual or entity that rents or leases real estate to another party, but does not reside on the premises. An absentee landlord could be anyone from a local investor to an overseas conglomerate. Regardless of the size of their operations, absentee landlords generally seek to generate rental income from their holdings.

Accelerated Payments

Generally associated with loan repayments. Defined by making unscheduled repayments at an agreed or random period of time. This will subsequently reduce the balance of the loan and the interest payments due.

Accrual Rate

The rate in which an individual accumulated pension benefits whilst an active member of a defined benefit scheme.

Additional Voluntary Contributions

Additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) are an arrangement whereby an employee pays additional money into their employer-run pension scheme in order to increase their pension entitlement. These can be paid alongside normal pension contributions, and receive tax relief in the same way as other pension payments.


An individual acting on behalf of another person or party to make a transaction. Arrears: Being behind in paying money owed. In the property market, ‘in arrears’ usually refers to a tenant falling behind on rent payments.

Alternatively Secured Pension (ASPs)

ASPs are a form of income drawdown which allows savers to draw an income from their retirement funds within pre-specified limits, with the minimum available to draw down as income set at 55% and the maximum 90%.

Annual Allowance

Although you can save any amount of money into your pension, there is a limit to the amount of pension savings on which you won’t be taxed. The annual allowance, currently set at £40,000, is the maximum amount of money you can save up within a year with tax-relief.

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