ABSENTEE LANDLORD - An owner or sub-lessor who does not reside in the place or area in which he/she owns real estate from which he/she derives rental income.
ABSTRACT OF AUCTION - A summary of the auction advertisements which appears in the property page of a newspaper.
ABSTRACT OF TITLE - A chronological summary of conveyances, mortgage or leases and other deeds giving the names of the parties and the description of the land, arranged to show the continuity of ownership of general law land not under the Torrens system.
ACCELERATION CLAUSE - A clause in a mortgage document which requires the immediate repayment of the entire balance due under the said mortgage at any given time should there be a breach of the conditions of the mortgage e.g. repayment default.
ACCESS RIGHTS - The right of ingress to and egress from a property that abuts upon an existing street or highway. Details will be shown on Certificates of Title of both parties granting and receiving the right.
ACCESSIBLE HOUSING - A dwelling designed to allow easier access for physically disabled or vision impaired persons.
ACQUIRING AUTHORITY - A government department, local authority or other body empowered by statute to acquire land compulsorily.
ADAPTABLE HOUSING - A dwelling designed to facilitate low-cost modification to enhance access for physically disabled or vision impaired persons.
ADJUSTMENTS - Apportionment of rates, taxes, body corporate fees, rent, insurances etc up to the date of possession or settlement on a sale or letting.
AGENT - A person authorised to act for another (usually for the owner) in the selling, buying, renting or management of a property. Commonly used to refer to licensed real estate agents and real estate representatives.
AGENTS IN CONJUNCTION - Two or more agents employed by a principal to sell or let real estate and share commission.
APARTMENT - A room or suite of rooms used as a dwelling unit. Not necessarily self-contained. The term flat is used to describe a self-contained dwelling unit in multi-unit dwellings.
APPRAISAL - The term commonly used in America to indicate what is termed in Australia as a Valuation. In Australia, the term means an opinion of the potential saleability of a residential property by a licensed Real Estate Agent.
APPRECIATION - An increase in value.
ARBITRATION - The determination of a dispute by one or more independent third parties rather than a court. Arbitrators are appointed by the parties in accordance with the terms of the arbitration agreement or in default by a court. The arbitration is conducted pursuant to the Arbitration Acts in each State and the award given by the arbitrator/s binds the parties.
ARREARS - Unpaid debts.
ASSESSED, RATEABLE, OR TAXABLE VALUE - A value which is based upon definitions contained within applicable laws relating to the assessment, rating, and/or taxation of real property.
ASSUMPTION OF MORTGAGE - When a buyer takes ownership of real estate encumbered with a mortgage and has assumed the responsibility as the guarantor for the unpaid balance of the mortgage. Such a buyer is liable for the mortgage repayment.
AUCTION - A sale usually in public, by an auctioneer, in which property is sold to the highest bidder.
AUCTION AGENCY AGREEMENT - An agreement that the vendor must sign when a property is listed for auction. Details the reserve price and the costs of the auction, including advertising and the agent's commission. Usually includes a condition that one agent will have the exclusive right to sell the property for a period during and after the auction.
AUCTIONEER - One who is licensed to sell, or offer for sale, real estate where persons become purchasers by competition, being the highest bidders.
BASIS POINT - One percent (1%) is the equivalent of 100 basis points.
BID - A verbal or written offer to purchase.
BODY CORPORATE - (a) A term used in the Strata Titles Act to describe the body representing the building owners; (b) The control and administration of common property is vested in a statutory Body Corporate which comes into existence automatically on the registration of the plan, and to which the provisions of the Companies Act do not apply. The registered proprietors of the units are the only members of the Body Corporate. Associated rights and obligations are fixed by scheduled by-laws.
BOND (RENTAL) - Consideration held usually under a lease to ensure performance of lease terms and conditions. Normally refundable if possession of property is returned in good condition.
BUILDING CODE OF AUSTRALIA (BCA )- Sets minimum community standards for buildings in terms of health, safety and amenity in buildings for regulatory purposes.1 Produced by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), refer to www.abcb.com.au
BUILDING INSPECTOR - An authorised person who is responsible for checking buildings in the course of construction and completed buildings to ensure that they have been constructed in accordance with building control provisions.
BUILDING LINE - The setback from the site boundary required by statutory authorities for buildings.
BUILDING REGULATIONS - The Building Code of Australia and other regulations stipulated by local authorities relating to the design and construction of buildings.
BUILDING RESTRICTIONS - Planning and development controls that limit the use, size and location of buildings or other improvements on land.
BUSINESS BROKER - An estate agent licensed and certified to sell businesses.
BUYER'S MARKET - The condition which exists when, under competitive conditions, the pressures of supply and demand are such that market prices are at a relatively low level, giving the buyer an advantage. An over-supply causing prices to decline.
BUYER'S AGENT - Represents a property buyer in negotiations with a vendor or his/her agent. The buyer's agent is paid by the buyer. Buyer's agents should be licensed and certified to act as a buyer's agent.
CAPITAL GAIN - The amount by which the net proceeds from resale of a capital item exceed the book value of the asset. Refer to The Australian Tax Office (ATO).
CAPITAL GAINS TAX - A Commonwealth tax payable on the Capital Gain made on the sale of an investment property. Refer to current requirements of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
CAVEAT - A notice on title proclaiming a possible interest other than that of an owner.
CAVEAT EMPTOR - 'Buyer beware', that the risk in a property transaction lies with the purchaser.
CERTIFICATE OF TITLE - A document issued under the Torrens System of Title, showing ownership and interest in a parcel of land.
CHATTELS - Any fixed asset other than freehold land. Items such as machinery, implements, tools, furnishings, fittings, which may be associated with land use, but which are not fixed to the land or premises or, if fixed, may be removed without causing structural damage to a building. Legally known as personalty.
CLIENT - One who engages the services of an agent or valuer and to whom the agent or valuer should look for payment of his commission or fees, in return for services rendered.
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY - Property intended for use by all types of retail and wholesale stores, office buildings, hotels and service establishments. In many property circles, commercial property refers specifically to office property.
COMMISSION - The fee or payment made to an agent for services rendered, such as the sale of property, often calculated with reference to the value of the property, contract or agreement.
COMMON (OPEN) LISTING - See Open Listing.
COMMON LAW TITLE - A system of title based upon traditional English land laws which depends upon tracing the ownership of the subject land from the original Crown grant through all succeeding dealings.
COMMON PROPERTY - (a) Land or a tract of land considered as the property of the public in which all persons enjoy equal rights. A property not owned by individuals but by groups; (b) In a home (villa) unit or flat development that part of the property owned and used in common by all the unit or flat owners or occupiers and which is maintained by the Body Corporate.
COMPANY TITLE - (a) Method of obtaining ownership of real estate by way of company shares (usually preceded Strata Title Act); (b) Under Company Title, land and buildings are owned by a private company. The company's shareholding structure is organised so that ownership of a certain number of shares entitles the shareholder to exclusive possession of a part of the building.
COMPOUND INTEREST - Where interest is calculated on a sum that includes previous interest payments.
COMPULSORY ACQUISITION - Where an asset is acquired by a statutory authority through legislation, irrespective of whether an owner is willing to sell or not.
CONDITIONS OF SALE - The conditions applicable to a sale contract made between a vendor and purchaser.
CONJUNCTION AGENCY - See Agents in Conjunction.
CONSIDERATION - Payment in the form of money or other form of benefit in exchange for an agreed action (e.g. the receipt of goods and / or services).
CONTRACT - A legally binding agreement.
CONTRACT OF SALE - An agreement relating to the sale of property, which expresses the terms and conditions of sale.
CONVEYANCE - An deed which transfers ownership of common law title from one person to another.
COOLING OFF PERIOD - A short statutory period after the contract is made, during which the purchaser may cancel the contract unconditionally. Usually does not apply in the case of auctions.
COUNTER OFFER - A new offer as to price, terms and conditions, made in reply to a prior unacceptable offer. Normally the counter offer terminates the previous offer.
CROWN LAND - Unalienated land owned by a State or the Commonwealth Government.