15 of the most annoying (& cryptic) estate agent phrases, decoded


(Image credit: Rex)


'Dear Miss Rains, we have just been instructed on a STUNNING one-bedroom garden flat, which needs to be seen, to be believed…'

This is the beginning of a very true rental story, which as of yet, has not had a happy ending. The property in question, which was ‘just a short stroll’ from the bustling cultural hub of central London (Leyton), was in fact a dank basement flat that would have been stunning if I was a mutant turtle called Michelangelo and frequented the sewers, but to be fair to them, it did have some outside slabs leading up to the front door. So yeah, it was a garden flat.

Estate agents like to spew out hyperbolic lingo like nobody’s business, so to help you navigate the minefield that is the property market, we’ve decoded the most ‘popular’ verbal tricks of the trade to give you a head start. God knows, in the current state of the rental market, we need all the help we can get


Bloody tiny. But they’ve said it in French, so it’s trés chic, non?


Usually applied to a studio flat. You can shower, whilst sat on the toilet, whilst watching TV… So cosy, right?


Same as above, but throw in an extra tenant.

Light and airy

You’re actually bidding for a car parking space.

As in, there are actually transport options available. If you have a car.

Perfect for a first time buyer

First time buyer = you’re lucky you’re even in this position so you get what you’re given.

Easily-maintained garden

Concrete slabs.

Sought-after area

You won’t be able to afford it.

No photo available


Period property

This is haunted. And/or has dreadful carpet.

Within walking distance

Never trust this vague description. Anywhere is within walking distance if you can walk.

Put your own stamp on it

It’s a wreck. Get Kevin McCloud on the blower.

Because the pictures all look crap.

Three-bedroom property

Bedroom two is a bathroom, bedroom three is the airing cupboard.

Full of history

Someone died here.

Holly Rains

Holly Rains is the digital editor of Marie Claire UK. She has over 10 years journalism experience, working as an editor and writer, specialising in digital media, content strategy and dog breeds. Prior to Marie Claire, she has held senior staff positions at ELLE UK, Grazia and Company magazine.

Holly is a frequent speaker, panelist and interviewer on a range of subjects including media trends, careers and entertainment. From working with Reuters to provide global red carpet coverage for events like the BAFTAs, to discussing fashion and beauty trends on network TV, she was also the host of the Marie Claire series ‘Holly’s First Dates’, where she regularly interviewed a mix of inspiring woman and A-list celebrities (including Jack Black, Dakota Fanning and Renée Zellweger)  - a series which garnered half a million views in its first two months. And was approved by The Rock.

Her love of office-based meetings means that the days of discovering the melting point of Cadbury's Flakes are long gone, but when she isn't dreaming of scheduling in meetings, she likes to think about social media, and how best to avoid it whilst still retaining the title of 'digital' editor. She also likes learning about emerging technology, Influencers and how to become a Financially Responsible Adult.

Contact Holly: holly.rains@futurenet.com