Residential property types definitions

Explains some frequently used residential property definitions.


A flat is a separate and self-contained premise constructed or adapted for use for residential purposes and forming part of a building from some other part of which it is divided horizontally. Flats have to be contained within a dwelling with at least two storeys.


French term derivation meaning a little house.   In UK used to describe a set of rooms for living in typically on two storeys as part of a larger building with a separate entrance from rest of the building. Can be one level or split level.


Originates from India and Bengal.  Described simply as a low house having one storey. 

Ward v Paterson [1929] 2 Ch 396 defines a bungalow is a building of which the walls, with the exception of any gables, are no higher than the ground floor, and of which the roof starts at a point substantially not higher than the top of the wall of the ground floor, and it does not matter in what way the space in the roof of a building so constructed is used (per Romer J.,

Chalet bungalow used to describe bungalows with upper rooms set in the roof usually with dormer windows.


A detached house is a stand-alone residential structure that does not share outside walls with another house or building.

Semi detached

A dwelling attached to another building or dwelling by one common party wall. Often  each house's layout is a mirror image of the other.


A link-detached property or house is a term given to residential units that share no common walls with another house or dwelling. They are, however, typically linked together by a garage.

Terraced house

A house annexed to another house on two sides forming part of a row of similar houses each with its own frontage to a public road.

Mid Terrace used to describe a house situated in the middle of a row of similar houses.

End of terrace used to describe a house situated at the end of a row of houses only joined on one side to a joining property.

Back to back

A house that forms part of a row or terrace of similar houses jointed together as the rear as well as the sides. It only has one external wall  (front wall) apart from the houses at the end of the terraces. (See end of terrace)

Town house

Town house used to describe a residential property built in three floors