Conveyancing Glossary and Useful Terms

The following useful terms aim to provide you with a simple and clear explanation of what some of the common conveyancing terms mean.

Caveat

Caveat literally means beware, in real estate it provides a warning to a person such as a prospective purchasers who proposes to deal in the land. Normally the person lodging the caveat at the Titles Office will be the third party who has a right or interest in the land.

Certificate of Title

A Certificate of Title records property ownership. It is issued by the land registration authority and certifies that the land in question is lawfully owned. The Certificate of Title also describes the land in the sense that it indicates any encumbrances upon it. Select here for further information on how Eckermann Conveyancers can assist with updates to any details relating to the parties on the title.

Cooling Off

Cooling off is the period of time in which a purchaser is entitled to terminate a signed contract. 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 such as if the property is purchased by auction.

Easement

An easement gives an individual or a company (grantee), the right to use land owned by another party for a particular purpose such as service lines, drains, water pipes, or driveway access.

Encumbrance

An encumbrance is the instrument by which any right, interest or other claim against land is registered on the title and affects the owner’s ability to sell the property.

Form 1 (Vendor Statement)

A Form 1 is a document the vendor must provide to the purchaser when selling a house, also known as a Vendor Statement. The Form 1 will disclose to a purchaser any particulars that may impact on the purchasers decision to purchase the property. If a contract has been signed, the Form 1 must be provided at least 10 days prior to settlement, the cooling off period will not commence until the Form 1 is provided. If the Form 1 is incorrect and is deemed defective the cooling off period will commence again once corrections have been made to the document. Contact the Eckermann Forms team for peace of mind in this process.

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. The principal feature of joint tenancy is the right of survivorship, where is a joint tenant dies, the ownership automatically vests in the surviving joint tenant.

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.

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

A registered conveyancer is a licensed person qualified to advise and prepare documentation pertaining to property transactions.

Registered Proprietor

Any person appearing by the register book or by any registered instrument of title to be the proprietor of land or of a mortgage encumbrance or lease.

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.

Vendor

Person or entity selling the asset.

Worker’s lien

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