Glossary

Lyon Conveyancing has provided this glossary to help you get your head around the most common terms when selling property and buying property or transacting in real estate in general.

This Glossary seeks to give a simple explanation of the terms commonly used, it is not necessarily the legal definition.

Caveat

Literally means beware. In real estate, it warns persons (prospective purchasers, mortgagees, etc.) who propose to deal in the land that a third person (normally the person lodging the caveat at the Titles Office) has some right or interest in the land.

Certificate of Title

Certificates of Title are records of property ownership. A Certificate of Title issued by the appropriate land registration authority certifying that the land in question is lawfully owned; it describes the land and indicates any encumbrances upon it.

Community Corporation

The corporation automatically created on the deposit of a community plan.  The community corporation manages the common property within that plan and facilitates various matters of common interest for the residents of the community lots. The owners of the community lots are its members.

Community Plan

A plan under the Community Titles Act that divides a parcel of land into community lots and common property and sometimes development lots.  Where the community lots are on different levels, the division of the land must be by strata.

Community Title

A title to land within a community plan.

Conveyance

The legal and statutory processes required to transfer ownership of real estate. The preparation, execution, verification, and lodgement of various legal documents are important elements of a conveyance.

Conveyancer

A person approved to advise on and prepare documents to transfer, or convey, real estate. The term "Conveyancer" includes a property solicitor and registered conveyancer.

Cooling Off

To terminate a contract within the cooling off period. This period extends two clear business days after both the contract is signed and the Form 1 has been passed onto the purchaser. Not all contracts will include a cooling off period.

Easement

A right held by someone to use land belonging to another party for a specific purpose such as service lines, drains, water pipes, or driveway access.

Encumbrance

Any right, interest or other claim against land which is registered on title and affects the owner's ability to sell the property.

Form 1 (or Section 7 Statement)

Statutory disclosure statement that the vendor (seller) is required to give to the purchaser. The Form 1 contains information about the property which is collated from the State Government, local Council and Vendor and must be complete and accurate when given to the buyer.  As a seller it is an offence if you fail to give the buyer a complete and accurate Form 1.

Joint Tenants

When real property is registered in the names of two or more people as joint tenants, each registered owner does not have a specific share of the property. When a joint tenant dies, the ownership automatically vests in the surviving joint tenant and an application to note the death should be registered.

Land

The term to describe land whether built upon on not. By law, land defined by a certificate of title includes all buildings, fixtures and improvements on the land.

Lands Titles Office

The office of the Registrar-General (a public officer) that holds the records of all non-government land. All transfers of land must be registered there.

Lease

An exclusive right to occupy land (whether for residential or other purposes) for a fixed period (see also "License").

Memorandum of Transfer

A document signed by both the vendor and the purchaser, which when registered in the Land Titles Office records the change of ownership of a property.

Mortgage

A loan for which land is used as security for repayment.

Mortgagee

A lender whose debt is secured over property.

Mortgagor

A borrower who uses property as security for repayment.

Party wall

A shared wall between two pieces of property, most often in row-houses, semi-detached houses, or townhouses. The shared wall generally stands on the property boundary line.

Registered Conveyancer

One who is Registered under the Conveyancers Act 1994. The letters AAIC mean the conveyancer is an Associate member of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers and is your assurance that the conveyancer has done specialised study in conveyancing.

Registered Proprietor

The owner of the land, whose name appears on the certificate of title.

Restrictive covenant

A restriction in a title to limit, or govern, the use of the land.

Rights of way

Are indicated on the title at the Land Titles Office. They are often for the use of utilities or the respective council in order to make repairs to pipes, etc. No permanent structure may be built on a right of way.

Settle

To finalise the transaction, resulting in new certificates of title being issued.

Settlement

The time and date when the transaction is settled.

Settlement Statement

A detailed statement of actual settlement costs. Amounts paid to and by the settlement agent are shown including any fees, commissions, rates and taxes.

Special Condition

A condition set out in the contract that must be satisfied before the contract is legally binding.

Tenants in Common

Where there are two or more registered owners of real property, each registered owner has a separate, defined share of the property. The security for the beneficiaries of the tenants in common is protected in the event of the death of one of them.

Title

The right to occupy and use specified land but subject to any limitations of title set out on the certificate of title. (See also "Certificate of Title").

Torrens Title

A certificate of title issued pursuant to the Real Property Act.

Waive

To give up a legal right. A purchaser of land may waive the right to cool off in certain circumstances (see "Cooling Off"). A person may waive the right to be able to rely on a term (including a special condition) of a contract of sale.

Worker’s lien

A legal claim or attachment against property as security for payment of an obligation.