Conveyancing Terms

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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 and encumbrances upon it.

COOLING OFF

To terminate a contract within the cooling off period.  The 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 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 From 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 death should be registered.

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 I 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 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 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.

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