Legal Jargon 101

When dealing with conveyancing and contracts, it is likely you will encounter numerous legal terms. We aim to make the entire conveyancing process simple. This handy glossary tackles a few of the most common terms you may come across.

Of course, our friendly team of Conveyancers are always on hand to give you advice or guidance, free of charge and obligation.

We have created an easy to use guide for property conveyancing for you as well, which clearly explains some of the jargon and what to expect when you are buying or selling a property.

Certificate of Title The certificate issued by the government in the relevant state that demonstrates the ownership of the property. Many states are moving to an electronic form, however a paper copy is usually also available. Community Titles Scheme (also known as Strata title) The title given in multi-dwelling developments. This title can be both volumetric e.g. the position of a 10th floor apartment in comparison to all other apartments in the development, or a particular townhouse amongst a group of townhouses. The title has the same rights as the title associated with a block of land accepting there are usually common areas, e.g. Corridors, driveways, pool areas, etc. Strata titles are invariably managed by a body corporate whose members are made up of the strata title owners. Contract The contract is the written or printed document that obligates a buyer and seller to complete all of the steps necessary to transfer property. In some states you will sign preliminary documentation which will assist in drawing the actual binding contract. Conveyancer A person or firm that conducts the transaction anticipated in a contract. The Conveyancer prepares and/or checks all documentation and advises the buyer or the seller of their rights and obligations and manages the property transaction. Cooling-off Period Length of time where the purchaser of the property may change their mind about the purchase and opt out of the purchase. Disbursements Amounts that are expended on your behalf to outside parties e.g. Councils, Government Departments to either obtain information or search results. These are fixed costs determined by the Council or Government that provide the information. Exchange The point at which a binding contract is passed from the buyer to the seller or vice versa which has been signed by both parties. Finance Date The date upon which you must be able to confirm that the bank will lend you money if you are borrowing. It is not the date from which you need the money, rather the date upon which the bank confirms they will provide you the money at settlement. First Home Owners Grant From time to time the government may offer a grant for First Home Buyers. The Grant amount may vary as does eligibility. For the latest guidelines and information, visit your local Office of State Revenue site: Lands Titles Office The central registry for the ownership of real property in each state. Lease The granting of a right to occupy certain premises as defined in the lease for a period of time, in return for a payment of a certain amount of money. A lease gives you certain rights in the land/property, but is not equivalent to Freehold Rights (which indicates the ultimate ownership right available in Australia). Mortgage Mortgage is another name for a document which secures a loan. The mortgage can be registered on the Title and shows the interest of a person or body that has lent money to the owner of the property. Mortgagee The person or body under a Loan Agreement who has lent money. Mortgagor The person or body under a Loan Agreement who has borrowed money. Professional Fee The fee that you pay your Conveyancer or Lawyer who conducts your property transaction. Purchaser A person buying a property. Registered Proprietor The person who is registered on the title as being the owner of the property. Settlement The date or point at which the actual property transfer occurs, i.e. The payment of monies and the delivery of documents necessary for the registration of the new owner on title. Settlement Agent A person who attends settlement on behalf of a buyer or seller. Stamp Duty Also known as ‘Transfer Duty’. The amount levied by the government on the transaction as a State Tax. The Stamp Duty amount varies from State to State. To find your local Stamp Duty amount, visit your local Office of State Revenue site: Strata Title Please see under Community Titles Scheme Torrens System/Title Is the system of titling used in Australia in every State. It includes all types of land and real property ownership including strata and community titles. Vendor/Seller A person selling a property Waive To forgive an obligation, e.g. If a party is required to clean the pool prior to settlement and the buyer decides to proceed even though this is not done, the buyer is said to waive the benefit of this clause. Was this helpful? If you have any questions, please contact us and we’ll get right back to you. You can also call us directly on 1300 22 33 44 – we’re always happy to help.  
Speak with your nearest
conveyancing expert