Glossary of Property Term - F

Face or front of building

Facilities management
The coordination of many specialist disciplines to create the optimum working environment for staff.

Facility letter
A letter from a lender to a borrower setting out the terms and conditions which govern the financial arrangement made between them. Often the implementation is a matter of honour between the parties, but sometimes such a letter can be legally enforceable.

Fair value
A sum which may be considered to be the fair and reasonable worth of a specific interest in property.

Long flat surface of wood or stone (such as the one under roof edge)
Feasibility studyA study of proposed scheme or development, including the practicality of its achievement and its projected financial outcome.

A full, or senior, member of a professional body who enjoys the maximum privileges of membership.

The International Real Estate Federation, which was originally called Federation Internationale des Admininistrateurs de Bien Conseils et Immobiliers, but now the Federation Internationale des Professions Immobilieres, although the old initials are retained.

Coverings, mostly internal, and not forming of the structural framework of a building.

Fire Insurance
Insurance against loss or damage to property by fire and which may also cover certain allied risks. The policy can be on a basis of “reinstatement” or “indemnity”.

Fixed Assets
Tangible but immovable assets, eg land, buildings and heavy plant, which when in use are necessary for the operation of a business, as opposed to current or liquid assets, eg cash or trading stock.

A separate set of premises, normally all on the same floor, forming part of a building, divided horizontally from some other part of the building, constructed or adapted for the purposes of a private dwelling and occupied wholly or mainly as a private dwelling.

Flatted factory
An industrial building of more than one storey, usually with two or more goods lifts, and constructed or converted for multiple occupation. The building is sub-divided into small, separately occupied units which are used for manufacturing, assembly and associated storage.

In a building or structure, generally a plane surface, usually horizontal but sometimes inclined. Eg in a theatre, which carries furniture, equipment and the like for use by the occupiers. The numbering of floors in a building is not the same in all countries.

Floor Area
The aggregate superficial area of a building, taking each floor into account. The RICS/ ISVA Code of Measuring Practice distinguishes the following categories and should be consulted for full details: 1.Gross external area (GEA) (formerly referred to as “reduced covered area” or gross floor space “) 2.Gross internal area (GIA) 3.Net internal area (NIA).

Floor Plan
A plan showing the layout of a building, of part of a building, and including particularly the size and disposition of rooms and usually their actual or intended use.

Forced Sale Value
Defined in the RICS Guidance Notes on the Valuation of Assets as open market value, but with the proviso that the vendor has imposed a time-limit for completion which cannot be regarded as a reasonable period in which to negotiate the sale, taking into account the nature of the property and the state of the market.


  1. (UK) the mortgagee’s restricted power to extinguish the mortgagor’s right of redemption by transferring the mortgagor’s interest in the property to himself, if the mortgagor defaults in paying his dues or in complying with any other terms of the mortgage deed. 
  2. (USA) the legal process by which a mortgagee can sell the mortgagor’s interest in the property to satisfy the debt; also called “foreclosure sale”. Also applied to the extinguish of a mortgagor’s right of redemption.

An area of and in front of a building or buildings and used for such purposes as retail display, car parking and/or the sale of petrol.

The right of a landlord to retake physical possession of the premises and thus put an end to a lease following the tenant’s failure to remedy a breach of covenant. This right may be contained within the lease or the landlord may have it by operation of law. (The lessee has certain rights in equity and under statute to claim relief from forfeiture)

A business in which a franchise licenses  a franchisee to undertake certain business activities, usually under the name of the franchisor. The franchisor may provide:

  1. Initial services, which may include selection of site and premises, fittings, staff training and sales promotion,and
  2. Running services such as bulk purchase of stock

The franchisee undertakes to pay a capital sum or royalties or both.

In general parlence this is used as shorthand for the tenure of an estate in simple absolute in possession. Strictly speaking, however, freehold includes fee simple, entailed interests (formerly “fee retail”) and tenancies for life.

Frontage (line)
The full length of a plot of land or a building measured alongside the road on to which the plot or building fronts. In case of contiguous buildings individual frontages are usually measured  to the middle of any party wall(s).