Legal information for property buyers and sellers
0800 PPTYLAW (0800 778 952)

Definitions

Agreement for sale and purchase

A written and binding contract that forms the basis for a sale and purchase.

Back up offer

An agreement that becomes effective when an earlier agreement falls through.

Certificate of title

The “ownership papers” that record all of the official details of a property.

Commission

The fee charged by a real estate agent. It can be a fixed fee, or a percentage of the sale price, or a combination of both

Covenant

A restriction on the title to land that describes the obligations and rights affecting a property

Fee Simple Title

Land that is owned outright without another’s interests associated with it.

Enduring Powers of Attorney

A document that allows decisions to be made by another person on behalf of you. Authority can be given over your property or to assist in matters of your care and welfare.

Leasehold

Land that is owned by someone else to whom a person pays a fee for the right to occupy.

Cross Lease

When more than one person owns the same piece of land and each person leases a part of the land from the co owners.

Unit Title

Each person owns their own unit, apartment or shop. There is a body corporate to whom each owner pays a fee to cover things such as insurance, rates and maintenane on common use areas.

Timeshare

A person purchases the right to use a property for a particular time of each year

Strata Title

A type of ownership devised for multi storey apartment buildings and horizontal subdivisions and where there are also areas of common use

Land Information Memorandum (LIM) report

This is a report produced by the local council that contains informaton about the land and environment where a particular property is situated.

Mortgage

This represents the security that a lender has over property. The mortgage is registered againstĀ  the title of the property and needs to be discharged or cancelled when the property changes hands

Mortgagee

The lender, often a bank, who has a mortgage over a property

Mortgagee sale

The sale of a property by a mortgagee whose loan agreement with the property owner has been breached. This gives the mortgagee a right to sell the property.

Mortgagor

The owner of a property who has borrowed money and who has a mortgage against a property.

Possession date

The date of the actual change of ownership of a property when a new owner can move in.

Purchaser

The person buying a property.

Pre-nuptial agreement / Property Relationship Agreement

A document that defines who will own which assets in the event that a relationship breaks down.

Vendor

The person selling a property.

Will

A legal document that is drawn up to distribute assets after a person’s death.