Provided by the Real Estate Institute of Australia

ABATEMENT – an official reduction, allowance or rebate. An abatement pro rata is a proportionate reduction of the amount of each of a number of debts or claims as where a fund or estate is insufficient for repayment of all in full.

ABODE – Habitation, or place of residence; the place where a person ordinarily lives and sleeps at night.

ABROGATE – To repeal, annul or set aside.

ABSENTEE LANDLORD – An owner, lessor or sub-lessor who does not reside in the place or area in which he owns real estate from which he derives rental income.

ABSOLUTE INTEREST – Full and complete ownership; a vested right of property which is liable to be determined only by the failure of appropriate successors in Title.

ABSTRACT OF TITLE – A chronological summary of all conveyances, such as deeds or wills and legal proceedings, giving the names of the parties, the description of the land, and the agreement, arranged to show the continuity of ownership for land not under the Torrens system.

ABSTRACT OF AUCTION – This is a summary of the auction advertisements which appears in the property page of a newspaper, e.g. on the Saturday. It is a summary of the day’s auctions. Fuller details are set out elsewhere in the auction sales advertisement. However, the abstract gives a quick indication of what actions are scheduled for that day.

ABUT – To touch or border on as a property abutting on a highway or sharing a common boundary with another property.

ABUTMENT – That part of a wall or pier on or against which an object abuts or presses; that part which receives the pressure of an arch or strut, as the supports at either end of a bridge.

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 – Approach or means of approaching.

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.

ACCOUNT SALES – A statement provided by an agent to their principal giving full account for all moneys received, less disbursements in a sale.

ACCRETION – The increase or acquisition of land by the gradual or imperceptible action of natural forces, as by the washing up of sand or soil from sea or river, or by a gradual recession (called reliction) of water from the usual water mark. The land added by accretion is called alluvion. It is the opposite of erosion.

ACCRUED DEPRECIATION – The difference between the replacement cost new of improvements and the present value of those improvements.

ACQUIRING AUTHORITY – A Government Department, Local Authority or other body empowered by statute to acquire land compulsorily.

ACTUAL AGE – The number of years elapsed since an original structure was built.

ACTUAL CASH VALUE – The price which property will realise on the open market, after all reasonable efforts have been made to secure a purchaser who will pay the highest price. The expression actual cash value as applied to real estate is synonymous to market value.

ADDED VALUE OF IMPROVEMENTS – The monetary amount that buildings add to the market value of land as based on the building replacement costs less accrued depreciation.

ADDITION – Any construction or change in a building that increases the overall area of the structure.

ADJACENT – An expression to indicate proximity without actual abuttal. To lie near; close or contiguous; adjoining; near; in the neighbourhood or vicinity of.

ADJOINING – Used to indicate that two pieces of land have a common boundary. Touching or contiguous, as distinguished from lying near or adjacent.

ADJUSTMENTS – Apportionment of rates, taxes, body corporate, rent, insurances etc. Up to the date of possession or settlement on a sale.

ADMINISTRATOR – A person appointed by a probate court to settle the affairs of an individual dying without a will.

AD VALOREM – Designates an assessment of taxes or stamp duty against property. Literally according to value.

AGENT – A person authorised to act for another (usually for the owner) in the selling, buying, renting or management of a property.

AGENTS IN CONJUNCTION – In real estate transactions an agency conjunctional relationship may be created by either: –

    1. from specific instructions received from the vendor or purchaser to act in conjunction, or
    2. where an agent acting on behalf of a vendor or purchaser allows another agent to introduce a purchaser or vendor – or vice versa – the agents are said to be acting in conjunction. In some States it is known as Agents in Association.

Usually in these circumstances the agents will share a predetermined proportion of the total commission.

AGGREGATION – The gathering together of different parcels of an estate into one total for the purpose of assessment of estate duty.

AGISTMENT – Where a land owners allows cattle, horses or similar animals to come upon his land for grazing purposes in return for the payment of a fee.

AIR RIGHTS – Rights vested by a grant of an estate in real property to build upon, occupy or use in the manner and degree permitted, all or any portion of space above the ground, or any other state elevation within vertical planes.

ALIENATION OF LAND – Power of the owner or tenant to dispose of their interest in real or personal property. The transference of ownership of land.

ALIGNMENT – The fixing of a line. The line established.

ALLOTMENT – A small area of land sufficient for building a house. An allotment is also referred to as a building block, lot or block of land.

AMENITIES – Those aspects of the home that provide advantages that can be measured in terms of lifestyle satisfaction rather than financial gain (eg convenient shopping and transport facilities).

AMENITY BUILDING – A building or part of a building used by employees or persons engaged in an industry or business for their personal comfort, convenience or enjoyment of leisure as distinct from the work of the industry or business.

AMORTISATION – The process of recovering, over a stated period of time, the capital investment through scheduled, systematic repayments at regular intervals. Periodic contribution sot a sinking fund to discharge a debt or make a replacement at a future date.

AMPLIFICATION – Amplification is enlargement of utilities for the servicing of urban land, e.g. enlargement of water or sewerage mains because of increase in demand or need for greater capacity.

ANCHOR TENANT – The main, usually the largest tenant who attracts other tenants and customers to a shopping centre.

ANNUAL VALUE – Of any property means the rent at which the property might reasonably be expected to let from year to year.

ANNUITY – (i) an annual income. (ii) the return from an investment of capital, in a series of periodic payments which comprise both interest and a partial return of capital. (iii) The annual return may be in equal annual amounts, called a level annuity or in increasing or decreasing annual amounts, called an increasing or a decreasing annuity. (iv) It may be expressed as an annuity in advance or annuity due, depending upon whether the income payments are prepaid or post paid.

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.

APARTMENT HOUSE – A building containing separate residential units, commonly not less than three, and providing such facilities as common main entrance and stairs or elevators.

APPRAISAL – The term commonly used in America to indicate what in Australia is termed a valuation. In Australia the term means an opinion or summation of the saleability of a property without resorting to a full-scale valuation.

APPRAISAL REPORT – The American version of a Valuation Report.

APPRAISER. An American term meaning Valuer. One who estimates value. Specifically one who possesses the necessary qualifications, ability and experience to execute or direct the appraisal or valuation of real or personal property.

APPRECIATION – An increased conversion value of property or mediums of exchange due to general inflationary trends or related causes which may prove to be either temporary or permanent. Appreciation is the antonym of depreciation where the latter is used to denote shrinkage in conversion value.

ARBITRATION – A written agreement to refer present or future differences to arbitration is called a submission. The submission of a matter in dispute to arbitration for a determination by an arbiter (instead of a court), e.g. some leases provide that where the parties fail to agree on rent to be paid on renewal the amount will be fixed by an arbitrator.

ARBITRATOR – An independent person who is called upon to conduct an arbitration. Is usually a person with experience and/or qualification in a particular field and may be nominated by the parties.

ARCHITECT – A person who is qualified to design buildings and supervise their construction.

ARREARS – Debits not paid at the due date; e.g. rental or mortgage payments.

ASSESSMENT – The rate or tax payable on a property viz. rate assessment, land tax assessment.

ASSESSOR – One whose duty it is to assess property for ad valorem taxes, insurance claims. Etc.

ASSETS – Real and personal property in which a person has an unencumbered ownership or equity and which has value.

ASSIGNEE – One to whom a transfer of interest is made.

ASSIGNOR – One to makes an assignment.

ASSIGNMENT – Generally, transfer of property, e.g. an assignment of interest under a will; an assignment of rights in a patent; an assignment of a lease or mortgage. An assignment of contract is an act by which one person to a contract substitutes another person for himself as a party to that contract either for some or all of the purposes of the contract. The assignment of rights and liabilities under contracts is limited by law. Assignment of a lease must be in writing.

ASSIGNMENT OF LEASE – The transfer of the interest of a tenant to another whereby the other person becomes the tenant in the place of the assignor.

ASSUMPTION OF MORTGAGE – When a buyer takes ownership to real estate encumbered with a mortgage, he may assume the responsibility as the guarantor for the unpaid balance of the mortgage. Such a buyer is liable for the mortgage repayment.

AUCTION – The selling of any property, real or personal, in public by a licensed auctioneer, who offers the property for sale, starting at a price possibly much below its value, and endeavours to persuade those present to make successively increased offers until it is knocked down to the highest bidder. A reserve price may be placed on the property by the owner and no sale can then be made below this price.

AUCTION AGENCY AGREEMENT – An agreement that the vendor must sign when a property is listed for auction. Details the reserve price of the house 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 sells or offers for sale real estate where persons become purchasers by competition, being the highest bidders.


A-Z Glossary Provided by the Real Estate Institute of Australia you will find Glossary A, Glossary, A-Z Glossary, Provided by the institute of Australia, if offers you Information, Advice, Help, in regards to Property, properties, apartments, units, buying, selling, and Real Estate, any further questions contact Alan McGillivray, at Alan McGillivray Real estate
Find out information on Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise amd Queensland properties
Get the latest Hot Property news by subscribing to our newsletter

Mortgage Calculator

Sale price ($)

Down payment (%)

Interest Rate (%)

Term (years)


First home owners buyers info
Information for
Home Owners Scheme
-click here -