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Monday, 9 July 2007

Useful Apartment Hunting Terms

English (Australia, UK, US)
- air conditioned
alcove - area adjacent to the living room that my be used as sleeping quarters, a separate sitting area, home office or dining room
apt - apartment
bedsit -UK term, an apartment in which the bedroom is also the living room; same as a studio
bkr; broker - agent appointed by the landlord to show apartments to prospective tenants and to negotiate leases
brnstn; brownstone - a 3 t0 4 story building first occupied by a single family and then later converted to a building for multiple residents. Some owners rent out a floor, some rent out a room within a floor.
c'space - Australian term, carspace
co-op - an apartment building whose apartments are owned rather than rented by the building's tenants
conv trans - convenient to transportation
convertible or Flex - the alcove located off of the living room area is large enough to be used as an additional bedroom
cozy - very small
credit report – statement created by financial companies that document whether you paid your bills on time
d/w - Dishwasher
dr - dining room
drmn; dm - Doorman Building, usually 20 stories high.
efficiency; eff - a studio apartment
eik - eat-in kitchen
ensuite - UK term, the bedroom has it's own little bathroom.
f/carpeted - fully carpeted
f/furnished - fully furnished
f/P; fplc; fpl- fireplace
flat - UK term for apartment
flr-thru - an apartment that occupies an entire floor of a brownstone building
guarantor - someone who can pay for rent should you default. Landlords usually require a guarantor's letter from students who have no source of income. They prefer a guarantor who lives within your host country.
grnd. flr. - ground floor
hostels - rooms for single and married students, normally owned by charitable organizations
house share - UK term, renting a house with a group of people. You will have your own bedroom in a house shared with two or three other residents. You generally share a kitchen, bathroom and living room.
high rise - a building with more than 10 floors and has an elevator
incin - incinerator; for burning trash
junior or junior one bedroom - small bedroom, fits a bed and a night table
let - UK term, rent
lg - large
lndry - laundry
loft - room or two level room with exposed beams, large windows, and high ceilings
LUG - Australian term, lock up garage
lvrm; lrm - living room
mo - monthly
mod appl - modern appliances
nwly ren - newly renovated
pk vu - park view
prem - premises
pol flrs - polished floors
postwar building -structure built after WWII a bit cheaper than prewar buildings
prewar building - built before WWII, has high ceilings, hardwood floors, arched doorways, and intricate molding
pvt bath - private bathroom
refs req'd - references required
riv vu - river view
reno - renovated
rent stabilized - US term, an apartment that has lower than usual rent due to regulations of the state where it is located
RR flat - railroad flat; apartment that requires passing through one room to get to the next
sec; security deposit - advanced fee or deposit. This is to cover any damages to the apartment found by the landlord when you leave. The security deposit should be returned to you when you leave the apartment.
sep kit - separate kitchen
so ex - southern exposure; the apartment faces south, receiving good sunlight
studio - one-room apartment with a separate bathroom. The kitchen may either be an area of the room or in a separate room
studio flat - same as bedsit and studio
sty - story or floor
sublet - a procedure by which the legal tenant of a apartment rents this space to someone else
super - short for superintendent, responsible for building maintenance. You can call the super should you have problems with the cleanliness of the apartment, electricity, plumbing, etc.
tenement - building with many apartments, most of which open out onto an air shaft
th; twnhse - townhouse
TIK - tub in kitchen; an apartment in which the bathtub is located in the kitchen, usually found in older, inexpensive buildings
transport - transportation
util - utilities (gas and electricity)
vic - in the vicinity of
walk up - describes a building up to five-stories high without the convenience of an elevator
w/d - washer/dryer
WIC - walk-in closet
xlnt - excellent

asc. (ascenseur)
– elevator
amén (aménagé) – converted or equipped
bns. (bains) – bathrooms
carac. (caractère) – charming, interesting
cft. (confort) – "comfort" (i.e. private bath, carpeted rooms, equipped kitchen)
chffge, chauf, ch. (chauffage) – heating
chgs. (charges) – monthly costs in addition to rent
chmb, chb, ch – room (often bedroom; i.e. ‘3P 2ch’ means ‘3 rooms, 2 bedrooms.’)
com. – agent's commission
coq. (coquette) – cute
cuis. (cuisine) – kitchen
dche. (douche) – shower
éq, étg (i.e.5è) – floor (i.e. 5th)
env. – about, roughly
et. el. (étage élevé) – upper floor
ds (dans) – in
dig., digi. (digicode) – entrance codes to get into building
except. (exceptional) – special
escal. (escalier) – staircase
équip (équipée) – indicates anything from all major appliances to existing ‘hookups’
gde (grande) – large
gge (garage) – parking
hab de suite (habitable) – move in immediately
H.S.P. (hauteur sous plafond) – ceiling height, e.g. 3m
imm. (immeuble) – building; imm. mod. (modern) – modern building; imm. nf. (neuf) – new building; imm. anc. (ancien) – old/historic building
interméd. (intermédiaire) – agent
kit – kitchenette (as opposed to full kitchen or cuisine)
loyer CC (charges compris) – rent amount already includes additional charges
m2 (mètre carré) – square meter
moq. (moquette) – wall-to-wall carpeting
nbx (nombreux) – many
p., pce (pièce) – rooms, not including bathroom
pce ppale (pièce principale) – main room
PdT (Pierre de Taille) – freestone or cut-stone building
plac. (placards) – cupboards or closets
poss. (possibilité)– possibility of
pt, pte (petite) – small
pr. cpl. (préférablement couple) – couple preferred
r. (rue) – street
rav. (ravalé) – cleaned or redone (usu. refers to façade)
rav. (ravissant) – attractive
rdc (rez-de-chausée) – ground floor
ref. nf. (refait neuf) – newly remodelled
s/ (sur) – on
sans vis-à-vis – unobstructed, nothing immediately opposite
sdb (salle de bain) – bathroom
sde (salle d’eau) – shower room
slle. (salle) – large or formal room
s. soul (sous sol) – basement, cellar
ss. (sans) - without
stdg. (standing) (gd. stdg., tr. gd. stdg, de standing) – luxury flat, good address
TBE (trés bon état) – in good condition (var: en BE)
tcc (toutes charges comprises) – with all supplementary monthly charges included
w.c. (water closet) – toilet (in room separate from bath and sink)

3 Zi.-Whg - three-room apartment
3 ZKDB - three rooms plus kitchen, hallway, bath
Cold Rent - rent fee without utilities
K - security deposit.
Kalt - heating costs are not included
NR - non-smoker
NMM - additional costs for gas, heating, electricity, garbage and water will be added on
Warm rent - rent fee plus heating, cold water and garbage disposal
WG - shared living arrangement
ZH - central heating
zzgl. NK - there are additional costs for heating, gas, and other services.
Source: Hi Potentials, International careers made in Germany. View full list on

1K - similar to a studio in the US
1-DK - one-room plus dining-kitchen
fudosanya – real estate agent
hoshounin - guarantor who will cover the rent in case you default
jyo - tatami mats, a room in Japan is measured in jyos (about 6’ x 3’). A typical studio is six to seven jyos.
kopos - two or three floors; usually made with wood and reinforced with steel; the cheapest to rent but can be cold during winter
mansions - apartments made of concrete and are usually more expensive
reikin - key money, gift; this usually goes to the landlord and you don't see the money again
shikikin - security deposit, usually two months worth of your monthly rent ; this may or may not be returned to you depending upon the state of the apartment when you leave

Wise Words: To rent an apartment in Japan, you usually have to pay one to two months of your monthly rent for reikin (key money), another two months of shikikin (deposit, which may or may not come back), plus one month which goes to the agent, and another month’s advance deposit for rent. Unfortunately schools do not subsidize for the amount even if you are a scholar. For example, in the mid-90's, I shared an apartment with an Australian friend and we paid 45,000 yen each per month, not including utilities. Meanwhile, the dorm just cost 20,000 yen including utilities, and you didn’t have to pay an advance of four to six times your monthly rent! –Celeste Gacad, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo

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