Commonly Used Terms


These are items that are easily moved, not permanently attached to the property and, unless specifically listed in the contract, may not form part of the sale.  Some common examples of chattels can include furniture, dishwashers, water tanks that are not ‘plumbed in’, some pool/spa equipment and pot plants.

Certificate of Title

This is the paper title that evidences the ownership of the land.  If there is a paper Certificate of Title in existence for a property, this must be handed to the Buyer at settlement.  However, mostly these days there is no paper Certificate of Title.


This is an interest in the land that is held by a person or entity that is not the owner of the land.   Common examples of encumbrances are mortgages and easements.


An easement is the right to enter or use a certain section of land for a specific purpose by someone who is not the owner of the land.  Common examples of easements include easements for driveways and easements in favour of Council to run sewerage or drainage lines through a property.  Any easements registered over the land must be declared in the contract.


Unlike a chattel, a fixture is an item that is ‘fixed’ to the property and would generally be sold with the property.  Any fixtures that are not to form part of the sale must be specified in the contract.  Common examples of fixtures can include split system air conditioners, stoves/ovens, water tanks that are ‘plumbed in’ and satellite dishes / antennae.

Joint Tenants

When there is more than one owner of a property you may choose to hold as ‘Joint Tenants’ or ‘Tenants in Common’.  Joint Tenants means that all owners hold the property in equal shares and upon the death of one of the owners, their share will automatically pass to the remaining owner/s.


This is the interest registered over the property by your bank or other lender in exchange for them providing funds for you to purchase the property.

Pay Out Figure

This is the amount that your bank or other lender will require at settlement in order for them to release their mortgage over the property.

Release of Mortgage

When you have a mortgage and sell your property you need to notify your bank so that they may prepare this document which will release their interest over the property.  This document will typically be handed to the buyer of the property at settlement by the bank in exchange for payment of the amount owing to them.

Tenants in Common

When there is more than one owner of a property you may choose to hold as ‘Joint Tenants’ or ‘Tenants in Common’.  Tenants in Common means that all owners can hold the property in equal or unequal shares, and upon the death of one of the owners their share will be distributed according to their legal will.


Special terms for units

Administration Fund Levy

This is the contribution that you are required to make towards the administration fund.  The administration fund is used for the everyday expenses of the body corporate e.g., building and pool maintenance, gardens and grounds maintenance, management fees, pest control and electricity for the common areas.

Body Corporate

This is a legal entity created when land is subdivided to create a community titles scheme.  Common types of community titles scheme properties are residential units, duplexes, townhouses and high-rise accommodation buildings.  Each owner of a lot in the community titles scheme becomes a member of the body corporate when they purchase their lot.

Common Property

This is any area of the land that is held for the use and benefit of all the lot owners e.g., stairways, gardens, pool areas and gyms.

Sinking Fund Levy

This is the contribution you are required to make towards the Sinking Fund.  The Sinking Fund is used for the capital expenses of the body corporate e.g., repairs to buildings and common areas, replacement of fencing, replacement of pool equipment and replacement of lifts.


Frequently asked questions

What is Conveyancing and why do I need it?

Conveyancing is the process of transferring ownership of a property from one entity to another.

Conveyancing in Queensland is complex and is affected by at least 20 different pieces of state and federal legislation, contract conditions, extensive case law and practice guidelines.  As such, it is highly recommended that you engage a solicitor to handle the process for you.

Why does it cost more for a Buyer than a Seller?

The work required for a buyer is much more complex than for a seller, and there are also extensive searches that are required to be undertaken over both the property and the seller.

What if there is a problem?

MRH Lawyers’ conveyancing department is run by a solicitor with over 18 years’ legal experience, as well as other experienced conveyancing paralegals.  If any problems are encountered along the way, we are well-equipped to assist.

How do I start the process?

If you decide to engage MRH Lawyers, simply let the agent know.  They will send us the contract and we will take it from there!