Tricky Terms Translated

It can be difficult to understand some of the complex terminology within Residential House and Land Contracts. This is why it is a good idea to engage a conveyancer to help with the process of buying or selling your property. However, having a grasp on the meaning of these common conveyancing terms may help put your mind at ease.

  • Easement
An easement is the right for another person to enter, or use, the land for a specified purpose. An easement ‘runs with the land’ - meaning when the land is sold, the easement will remain.
  • Encumbrance 
An encumbrance is something that affects the property. An encumbrance can include, but is not limited to, an easement, covenant (building restriction) or mortgage.
  • Certificate of Title 
A certificate of title is an official land ownership record. However, paper titles are no longer issued (unless requested). Instead, the owner of the property is recorded on an electronic register called the Land Titles Register.
  • Form 1 and Form 24 Transfer 
These are documents signed by both the buyer and seller and lodged with the Titles Office in order to record the change of ownership of the property.
  • Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common 
A joint tenancy is where the property is owned jointly in equal shares, which is often the case with husband and wife. When a joint tenant dies, their interest in the property automatically passes to the surviving joint tenant. Tenants in common is where the ownership can be in different percentages and on the death of a party their share goes via their will.
  • Time is of the Essence 
This term means that there are strict time frames, which if not met, means the other party can terminate the contract, even if 1 minute late.
  • Mortgagee/Mortgagor 
The ‘mortgagor’ is the owner/purchaser of the property, who is borrowing funds from a bank. The ‘mortgagee’ is the bank who is lending the funds.
  • Transferee/Transferor 
The ‘transferee’ is the buyer and the ‘transferor’ is the seller.
  • Transfer duty/Stamp Duty 
The tax imposed by the State Government on the purchase. The amount payable by the buyer is dependent on a number of factors, such as the purchase price of the property. Read our recent article for more information: Am I eligible for a Transfer Duty Concession?
  • Caveat 
A document lodged with the Titles Office, preventing the registration of any interest relating to the land. The word caveat means “beware”. This will show up for anyone doing a simple title search over the property.