Lost in translation: what estate agents say and what they mean

Estate agents have something of a reputation for sugaring the pill (or as regular folk call it: lying) when it comes to describing less-than-desirable properties. Which is why we at Rentify have come up with a handy guide to the linguistic curlicues that baffle flat-hunters in the property pages and at viewings.


‘Charming': Small. Like, hold out your arms and touch the walls on both sides of the room small.

‘Authentic': Crumbling death trap in a neighbourhood that is a decade away from gentrification.


‘Lively and/or bustling location': Your future neighbours are meth dealers and the entire street is the subject of an upcoming Channel 4 documentary about everyday life in Broken Britain.

‘Up-and-coming area': A field in Staffordshire.


‘Light, airy space': A window has been broken for about a month, but there’s no point in fixing it as the EDF protesters will only break it again.

‘Walking distance to shops and restaurants': There is a Syrian restaurant downstairs and your books will never stop smelling of aubergine.

‘Close transport links': Your bedroom window looks out onto the overground. Better invest in some Nytol.

‘Investment opportunity': There’s a hole in the floor where the loo should be, and it is quite possibly haunted.


‘Parking on request': Hope you enjoy spending half an hour each morning walking to your allocated space, which falls under a different postcode to your actual flat.

‘Motivated seller/renter': Somebody is on the run from the Yakuza and needs to make some quick cash before they change their identity.