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Absorption Drain

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Absorption drain: is an area of land used for the collection and dispersal of wastewater, where effluent is piped into aspiration pits for absorption into the surrounding soil and evaporation into the atmosphere.

Where a land owner constructs or uses an absorption drain on another persons land, that drain should be protected by a right of drainage in the form of a drainage easement.


A building that is not connected to reticulated sewerage will in most cases treat and dispose of effluent into an absorption drain.


If you are having drainage problems we can advise regarding the construction, improvement or modification of an absorption drain, including council and third party approval and any title easement documentation that may be necessary.

Absorption Easement

Absorption Easement means the right for a person authorised to do so to construct, maintain and drain over specified parts of another persons land for the removal of water and other surplus water as defined, but without doing unnecessary damage to the other persons land. See Absorption Drain.


This means that you cannot restrict the right of someone to construct and maintain pipes and drain to that portion of a title that is defined as 'Absorption easement', nor can you build a structure over such area. Absorption Easements usually relate to the right of another to dispose of effluent within the easement area.


We can determine the location of such an Absorption easement on the ground and on plan to allow the design and construction of structures that do not intrude on this right. 

Access Way

An Access Way is similar to a Right of Way. A Right of Way has a pre defined interpretation as to its use and meaning on a Sealed Plan. An Access Way is similar but its 'interpretation' can be structured and defined by the creator of the right to mean definable uses (eg an Access Way means a right of carriageway for the local Fire Authority to pass.......)


Accretion means the gradual movement of a natural boundary along the seashore, a river or a stream. The movement must be natural in its course and progress and not be visible on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Accretion can be by alluvion (the washing up of sand or soil to become firm ground) or by dereliction (where the usual water mark shrinks below the land).

Ad Medium Filum

Ad Medium Filum: Relates to Property Law concerning ownership adjoining non tidal waterways (and Roads but now has little effect with roads)


See our Blog at Ad Medium Filum

Additions to Fees

You will note when costings are given or estimated that there is a list of 'add ons' reflecting costs that cannot be predicted with any certainty. These add ons appear as follows:

Time and costs to date + {Search + time on Pre Field Calcs + SIO preparation (see web page)} + (out of pockets eg travel) + gst where applicable.

Taking each one in turn:

Time and Costs to date: This reflects time and costs that may be generated dealing with your matters prior to the issuing of your instruction to undertake a field survey. Most of the time it is minimal.

Search + Time on Pre Field Calcs:

Search is predicatable in 90% of cases. It usually runs to under $50 + time involved which usually runs to under $70. This search is then used to undertake Pre Field Calcs. These calcs can generate a need to purchase additional Search or Search from the Central Plan Office in addition to the Lands Titles Office. These searches are charged by the Department at time and costs. Assessment of Search information varies a lot depending on the age and complexity of the search but can be expected to be $120 to $250.

Pre Field Calcs are more difficult to predict. Read this Link, Pre Field Calcs. Age of information and difficulties with interpretation or intergratrion will effect this time. Such calcs are never less than $250 and can extend to $500 or more. It is sometimes necessary to take the initial field work back to the office and process there with the added facilities of a larger computer monitor and printers etc. These are termed Intermediate Calcs.

SIO Preparation needs to reflect what was done by the surveyor in the field to register work undertaken on your survey. Read SIO. Again never less than $250 and often $500 or more.

Equipment Hire, self explanatary as required.

Out of Pockets eg travel. This is simply travel time + a rate per kilometre + Incidentals such as Survey Pegs, Stakes and Steel Droppers. Further, Hire of Specialized Survey Equipment is often more cost effective than involving additional Field Hands at an hourly rate.

GST; we are all subject to this tax

Adhesion Order

Adhesion order means a planning instrument under the seal of a local council that joins two or more blocks of land together as a single parcel, the title that is subsequently created cannot be separated without further council approval. As of this date (17-10-23) the Titles Office (LTO) will prepare the new Title document. This must be one of the few remaining 'free' items left in Land Dealings, although the LTO fee must cover it.

There has been a tendancy of some Councils to insist on a Full Planning Application (as if it were a Subdivision) and subsequent Sealed Plan and Schedule of Easements + LTO Fees. This varsley increases the time and cost of a simple Adhesion Order. The paper work with an Adhesion Order (plans, the Order etc, + Council Permit) needs to be lodged at the Lands Titles Office by a person such as your solicitor together with the effected Titles.


A process where an owner makes application to Council, often as a result of planning approval that joins two or more adjoining titles together. It does not need field survey, is a simple and cheap process unless a Full Subdivision Application is required by Council, which results in a full survey Plan + Schedule of Easements is required. Stamp duty is sometimes applicable.


The owner or Surveyor should determine from Council if a Full Subdivision Application is required. We can organise the necessary documentation and lodgement with Council through to issue of the new title.

Adverse Possession

Adverse Possession


See also Easement by Possession, Claiming of


The requirements of adverse possession can be found in Part IXB of the Land Titles Act 1980 and allow a person to claim land they have been occupying for a long period of time, but don’t own, by applying to the Recorder of Titles for a vesting order to have the title registered in their name.

Occupation requirements

The occupation of the land must have been “as of right”, meaning open, peaceful and without the land owner’s permission.

An application cannot be made if the occupation has been secretive, by force, or by agreement with the land owner.

The occupation must have been continuous and to the extent that the land owner knew, or ought to have known of the adverse occupation.

There are other ownership and occupation requirements in the legislation that need to be addressed by an occupier when making application to claim land.

Periods of occupation

In broad terms, the Limitation Act 1974 provides that a title owner who is dispossessed from his or her land cannot recover that land after the expiration of 12 or 30 years.

An occupier must prove a period of 12 years’ continuous occupation against a title owner capable of defending his or her own land.

An occupier must prove a period of 30 years continuous occupation if the title owner is the Crown, is deceased or is under disability guardianship.

The payment of rates

An occupier cannot claim title to another persons land whilst the title holder has been paying rates on his or her land, therefore any period of time during which the Council rates have been paid by, or on behalf of, the title holder is to be disregarded.

This provision does not apply if the Council certifies in writing that it is unclear who has paid, or who is paying, the rates on the land under claim.

Supporting evidence

Adverse possession involves both the mental and physical control of another persons land, such that on a daily basis people would consider the occupier, by his or her actions on the land, to be the land owner.

At least one other independent person must produce evidence, usually in the form of a statutory declaration, to confirm the land has been occupied by an applicant over the period being claimed.

Plan of survey

An application for title based on long possession is to be supported by a plan of survey prepared by a registered land surveyor, unless the Recorder directs otherwise.Avoidance of sub-minimum lots

If the Recorder is unsure whether the granting of an application would result in the continuation or creation of a sub-minimum lot, the Recorder may require an applicant to produce a certificate from the local Council.

The certificate must confirm that the block is not sub-minimum, or if it is, that the Council consents to the application. This action ensures that the granting of an application will not be in contravention of a Council planning scheme.

Public notice

Before making an application the applicant must arrange with the Recorder to-


Give notice in a locally published newspaper


Give notice to any person with an interest in the title


Give notice to any person with an unregistered interest lodged with the Recorder


Post a notice on the land.

Caveat forbidding granting of an application

Any person with an estate or interest in the land being claimed by an occupier may lodge a caveat with the Recorder forbidding the granting of the application, should such an application affect their interest in the land under claim.



Aerobic Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS)

Aerobic Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS), or Package Treatment Plants:

There are a growing range of on-site wastewater treatment systems available today including the traditional Septic Tank system along with newer treatment systems such as Aerobic Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS), Wet Composting Systems, Sand Filtration Systems and Electro-flocculation Systems.

1) Traditional Septic Systems - Septic tanks have been used in un-sewered areas for many years as the most suitable form of primary treatment of sewage.

The septic tank is an underground watertight tank generally constructed of concrete or plastic which is usually divided into at least two compartments. The tank receives all sewage and separates the solid portion of the waste from the liquid portion. The liquid portion (effluent) passes out of the tank after approximately 24 hours.

The tank performs three functions:
 It acts as a settlement chamber for solid materials
 It allows some bacterial breakdown of waste materials to occur
 It acts as a storage chamber for undigested solid materials which must be removed periodically (usually every 4 years)

A number of problems can arise from their use and poor maintenance including:

 Sludge accumulating in the tank filling household pipes may become filled with sewage and clogging of the subsoil soil trench system solids.
 Effluent rising to the surface posing a risk to public health, particularly to children playing in the vicinity.
 Unpleasant smells emanating from the system.
 A breeding ground for mosquitoes
 After a number of years of use, some soakage systems may fail and require replacement.

2) Aerobic Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS)

An aerobic wastewater treatment unit is designed to treat septic tank effluent to a level suitable for surface irrigation within the site. The unit may incorporate a septic tank or it may be separate. Following primary treatment in the septic tank, the effluent is treated by a process of aeration, settling and disinfection and then pumped to a dedicated irrigation area as reclaimed water.

Aerobic wastewater treatment systems have a series of treatment processes such as aeration followed by clarification to breakdown and treat the wastewater, which is then disinfected, usually by chlorine, before pumping the treated effluent over the land.


There are now a number of acceptable options available including the traditional septic tank.


We are closely aligned with professionals who can advise and assist with the design and construction of an acceptable waste water system. 

Agent or Agency

Agent or Agency An agency is the lawful relationship that exists between two (or more) people where one (the agent) is authorised to act on behalf of the other (the principal) to do certain things that involve third parties. For estate agents, they represent their vendor or property owner/landlord (principal) in presenting property to third parties (buyers or tenants) and negotiating a sale between seller and buyer on behalf of the seller or a lease between property owner and tenant on behalf of the property owner. In most States, laws governing estate agents requires that agents must always be appointed in writing to legally have a claim on the principal for the payment of commission. 


Appeal:Many decisions made by local councils in respect to planning applications, and orders made by the Recorder of Titles in respect to strata title dispute resolution, are subject to appeal. Depending on the decision made, an appeal may be made to the Supreme Court OR


Appeal Tribunal Notice

Appeal In the context of this glossary, an appeal lodged against a condition or conditions in a subdivision permit issued by a local Council


The Appellant is a person who has made representation in respect of a Planning decision. See appeal in our Glossary

Appraisal of Value

Market Appraisal (Appraisal of Value) An opinion by a real estate agent who is not a registered valuer of the potential selling price. 

As-Constructed Survey

An As-Constructed Survey is usually a Permit condition placed on a development by the Local Authority or the Water Authority. It is a survey locating all new services (pipes, manholes, valves, turrets, poles, stop valves etc), pipe sizes, depths, descriptions, grades, joints and the like. The requirements are at present being re-written (March 2013) and consequently associated costs are unclear. What is clear is that a large amount of additional work (the cost of which must eventually be passed onto the client) is required by the Consulting Engineer, and/or surveyor and/or contractor to conform with these new requirements. Importantly, titles will not issue until the Water Authority issues its compliance certificate, which will not occur until the As-Constructed survey complies and is accepted.


Assent means: a transfer by way of assent is where the personal representatives of a deceased person vests that deceased person's real estate interests and estate into the name of the beneficiary as set out in the terms of the will.


Assets Physical belongings (including land) which have a value in monetary terms and which can be owned or possessed.


Auction: A marketing option where you list your home without a price supported by very intensive marketing, and leading buyers to an auction day and time where they must bid against each other to successfully purchase your home, usually unconditionally. (see Reserve Price


Auctioneer: Person holding an Auctioneer's Licence enabling them to conduct and call auctions

Australian Height Datum

Australian Height Datum

The Australian Height Datum is a geodetic datum for altitude measurement in Australia. According to Geoscience Australia, "In 1971 the mean sea level for 1966-1968 was assigned the value of 0.000m on the Australian Height Datum at thirty tide gauges around the coast of the Australian continent. The resulting datum surface, with minor modifications in two metropolitan areas, has been termed the Australian Height Datum (AHD) and was adopted by the National Mapping Council as the datum to which all vertical control for mapping (and other surveying functions) is to be referred."[1][2]

Source wikipedia