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Capital Gain

Capital Gain: For property, the difference between the selling price and the original purchase price. In assessing tax on capital gains, the Australian Taxation Office usually takes into account any capital improvements made on the property and makes an allowance for adjustments in the Consumer Price Index. 


Caveat means a document lodged with the Recorder of Titles by a person authorised to do so forbidding the recording of any dealing on the title subject to the caveat

Literally means beware. In real estate, it warns persons (prospective purchasers, mortgagees, etc.) who propose to deal in the land that a third person (normally the person lodging the caveat at the Titles Office) has some right or interest in the land.


Chattels: Items you sell with the home such as carpets, light fittings, drapes, curtains, and the like. Any different chattels, such as a stove or dishwasher are also noted on the contract if they are to be included in the sale. 

Check List for Surveyors

Prepared by the Office of the Surveyor Geneeral, Hobart 2016

During the recent OSG seminars in Hobart (4-11-16) and Launceston it was suggested that a survey check list would be useful to the profession as a quality assurance tool.

Check List of Survey Requirements Surveyors Must Comply With 2016:


Survey Check List   
(Survey Directions updated 10 Dec 2014)  
  Survey Dir'ns ref.      
Coordination   Survey coordination meets the specifications and requirements of the Survey Directions.    
   ·      survey coordinates are on  MGA. ·      the coordinate datum is clearly identified. ·      coordinate origin is a mark from SURCOM or an existing registered survey, an LCC DSM, or an AusPOS coordinate  determination.    
  3.1.1, ·      at least 2 corners coordinated and coordinated corners no more than 1 km apart.    
  3.1.1,, ·      coordinate accuracy requirements achieved and reasonable estimate of positional uncertainty recorded. ·      coordinates are mathematically consistent with linear dimensions.    
  2.1.9 ·      permanent mark irregularities reported to the Surveyor General.    
Vectors   All vectors recorded meet the specifications and requirements of the Survey Directions.    
   ·      the bearing datum is MGA. ·      the bearing datum is clearly identified. ·      bearing origin is derived from marks from SURCOM or existing registered surveys, LCC DSMs, or from AusPOS coordinate determinations. ·      all distances shown are horizontal, mid-terrain height equivalent. ·      all vectors are mathematically consistent.    
  3.1.3 ·      grid bearing and distance accuracy requirements have been achieved    
New Boundaries   New boundaries surveyed in accordance with the Survey Directions.    
   ·      evidence of occupation adjacent to boundaries has been located and recorded. ·      the Surveyor General's approval has been gained for corners and boundaries left unmarked. ·      natural features surveyed to appropriate accuracy and unambiguously described. ·      easements able to be related to any continuation.    
Evidence   All  remaining physical and documentary evidence relating to existing boundaries re-instated in the survey has been located, considered and documented in the survey notes.     
   Verify  that this is the case for:    
    ·      natural boundaries.    
    ·      all relevant monumentation.    
    ·      occupation and abuttals.    
    ·      all relevant documentary evidence (Survey References).    
   ·      any uncertainty as to mark stability, relativity to original position and suitability for purpose has been recorded. ·      significant evidence searched for but not found has been recorded. ·      any doubt with a previous survey, including any significant discrepancies in measurement, have been reported in the Survey Notes. ·      Any significant differences in measurement with previous surveys has been reported to the Surveyor General. ·      all evidence used to determine boundaries, including evidence of conflicting interests in land has been recorded.    
Re-Instatement   Boundaries reinstated on the basis of the ‘best evidence that the nature of the case admits’.    
  , ·      boundaries appear to be correctly re-instated in accordance with 'satisfactory' evidence prioritised in accordance with the fundamental weighting assigned by the Courts, or if not, an explanatory report has been provided. ·      re-instatement decisions have been adequately documented (comparisons, reporting, including adoption of occupation and accretion, erosion and ad medium filum). ·      if erroneous boundary marks have been re-set, the procedural requirements of the Survey Directions have been followed. ·      reinstatement and reason for not marking disappearing boundaries has been fully documented.    
Existing Survey Data   Where previous survey measurements adopted, the Survey Directions provide for specific requirements.    
    Verify for adopted boundaries that: ·       the boundaries have been previously surveyed, marked and described in a registered survey., 3.1 ·       the boundary dimensions are adopted from the survey marking those boundaries and, subject to rotation to MGA bearing datum, those dimensions conform to the vector accuracy requirements of the Survey Directions., ·       satisfactory connections have been made at each end of the adopted boundary and, where adjusted, comparisons between adopted and adjusted dimensions documented. ·       the adopted boundaries are clearly identified in the survey notes and a report on their nature is provided. ·       any adjustment made is systematic in nature and resulting boundary dimensions conform to the requirements of (b) and (c).    
    Verify for survey data derived from non-registered surveys that: ·       the new survey is directly connected to the previous survey and adopted data conforms to the vector and coordinate accuracy requirements of the Survey Directions. ·        the survey notes clearly identify the derived data, its origin and the nature of that survey.     
Documentation   The survey notes adequately and accurately describe the survey in accordance with the Survey Directions.    
    Verify that the following are adequately recorded: ·      the bearing and coordinate datum and its origin(s), and connection to and coordinates of any origin marks. ·      scale and height factors., ·      spatial relationship of all relevant marks in diagrammatic form. ·      mark descriptions, including origin and numbering, with correct symbols used. ·      dates of commencement and completion of the survey. ·      survey method used. ·      grid north shown ·      all information required for the plan, including lot numbers and areas, lot dedications and reservations, and road names  are shown, with exceptions as noted. ·      identification of compiled measurements where included in survey notes. ·      description of party walls. ·      easements fully documented in survey notes.    
   ·      the survey certificate has been signed and dated.    
Marking   Survey marks placed and marking of boundaries comply with the Survey Directions.    
    Verify that:    
  3.5.1 ·      mark types are as prescribed.,, ·      surveyed boundaries are clearly discernible, marked in a permanent manner at appropriate intervals with less permanent marking where applicable. ·      a mark is placed at every corner. ·      a line mark is placed where an impediment exists at a corner. ·      easements marked as prescribed. ·      the survey is connected to at least three reference marks. ·      where available, marks on permanent structures have been used as reference marks., ·      where practicable, reference marks placed are within 10 metres of the corner being referenced unless an SPM within 100m is used. ·      easements marked or referenced (as a minimum) at lot boundary intersections.    
   Verify that where unregistered boundary marks have been reported in the survey notes, those likely to mislead land owners have been reported to the Surveyor General.    
Plan (LTO)   Plan details are correct    
    ·      title block details: owner, folio reference, grantee and location.     
    ·     plan details reflect purpose of dealing/application.    
    ·      details and dimensions on plan correspond with survey notes.    
    ·     plan details reflect new and existing rights and restrictions associated with the lots on plan; refer folio second schedule and schedule of easements.    
    ·      new easements shown and existing easements brought forward.    
    ·      plot and scale are correct.    
    ·      all lots have lot number and area.    
    ·      all road names, lot dedications, reservations are shown.    
    ·      all relevant surveys are referenced.    
    ·      grid north is shown.    
    Verify that:    
    ·      total original title area is fully consumed by the survey and balance plan lots.    
    ·      where necessary, additional to report on survey notes, a report and/or documentation supporting purpose of plan is supplied.    
    ·      all lots have legal access.    


Circa: About; around; an approximation. Circa 1920 in a real estate advertisement would indicate that the main part of the property was built about 1920. 

Client (of an agent)

Client :The person who engages the services of an agent and who will pay the agent his or her commission or fees in return for those services. A buyer is a customer, rather than a client. 


CMA Means Current or Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) It is a written price comparison produced by your estate agent of your home with others that are for sale or were recently sold. 


Collateral: A separate item of property, either real estate or personal, provided to a lender as additional security to the principal properly used as security for a loan. 


Commission: Remuneration of a real estate agent for services rendered, normally the marketing and selling of property. The amount of commission is usually a prescribed percentage based on the price in the contract of sale

Common Law or Old System Title

Common Law or Old System Title is a form of title by which title is established by proving a chain of dealings from the original grantee to the present owner as set out in the Abstract of Title (written recording).

Common Property (Strata)

Common Property in relation to a strata scheme means all the land that is not within the boundaries of a lot, together with the shared service infrastructure and all other property administered by the body corporate.

Contact us for advice in relation to these matters. 

Company Title

Company Title: Right to occupy permanently part of a property based on the ownership of shares in a company, which is the registered proprietor of the total company. This was the common method of ownership prior to the introduction of strata title ownership.

Compiled Plans

glossary image: 

Compiled Plans: See also "Balance Plans" The Recorder of Titles will, generally speaking, accept a compiled plan to support a part of land transfer provided that all the lot boundaries have been previously surveyed and marked on the ground.

The lands in the plan adjoining have not been surveyed as such. In this case the hatched area has been surveyed as stage one of a development leaving the "Balance" lands to be shown on this "Compiled Plan". In this case the resultant plan is a "Sketch By Way of Illustration", as the original survey documentation was derived from unsurveyed information or the required standard of mathematical closure was not possible.

For a full Torrens Title to be issued the bearings and distances around a compiled lot must be capable of mathematical closure and must comply with the relevant land surveyor’s by-laws dating from the time of the original survey. Land surveyor’s by-laws have been regulated since 1884.

Section 143A, Land Titles Act 1980 provides the Recorder of Titles with power to specify plan formats, including the requirement in any particular case for a plan to be made from actual survey.

Land owners need to be aware that even if the original survey markings are no longer in place around a compiled block, there are established rules of boundary re-instatement that will allow the boundaries to be re-marked at any time in the future.


Many plans of title have been prepared without the need for actual survey to be made, so while land owners may think that their title boundaries are accurate and up to date this is not always the case.


We can advise, usually by inspection of the plan, if a recent field survey has been undertaken or we can advise when the title boundaries were last surveyed.

Contact us for advice in relation to these matters. 

Conditional Contract

Conditional Contract :A written contract that is signed by the seller and the buyer, but where one or more conditions need to be met, usually within a specified time period. For example, a contract may be subject to the purchaser raising finance from a specific lender within a specific period (referred to as a 4(b) clause), or subject to the sale of another property (referred to as a 4(c) clause). 

Conditions of Approval

Conditions of Approval in relation to a planning permit granted by a local council means that the approval is subject to such conditions or restrictions as the planning scheme may impose to further the objectives of the state planning legislation.


Conjunction: Where an agent acting on behalf of owners allows another agent to introduce a buyer to the property. In this instance, both agents share the commission and are acting in conjunction. Agents may also be appointed conjointly to market a property. 


Consideration: The price in a contract, which is usually money, but can be exchange of a commodity or other property or a transfer of personal effort. 

Contour & Detail Surveys

glossary image: 

Contour & Detail Surveys are carried out to provide both horizontal and vertical details over your land and are normally undertaken so that further construction work can be designed and constructed without interference to existing infrastructure. If instructing firstly have a look at those links relating to Survey Fees, Terms of Contract and Survey Methology. A DTM (Digital Terrain Model) is usually the digital result of such a survey, making it possible for other associated consultants to process the field information. When viewing the examples to the right, the top image is the 'paper' result of the field work, whilst the bottom image is an image of the digital information that is provided to other consultants. Note the digital depiction of the driveway running down the embankment.

A detail survey would normally locate exterior fences, buildings, services such as water, stormwater, sewerage, gas, telecommunications, electricity and other structures or impediments over your land. It will also carry a disclaimer as follows:

Whilst reasonable effort has been made to locate all visible above ground services, there may be other services which were not located during survey. This survey does not include a 'dial before you dig' enquiry. This survey is a detail survey undertaken to detail accuracy. If detail information is required to an accuracy greater than general detail surveys then the instructor should advise accordingly. For example, if wall or building locations are to be utilised for construction purposes, we should be advised accordingly.  The title boundaries shown on this detail plan were not marked at the time of survey and have been determined by plan dimensions only and not by field survey. If strata subdivision over this site is contemplated all buildings resulting from the development must be within the title boundaries. A registered remark survey is recommended at this time. Services shown have been located where possible by field survey. Prior to any demolition, excavation or construction on the site, the relevant authority should be contacted for possible location of further underground services and detailed locations of all services. This plan may not be copied unless this note is included.


We can co-ordinate with other allied professionals so that the survey is tailored to the precise requirements of your project. There is always the possibility we may already have the data you need.

Contact us for advice in relation to these matters. 


Contours are a means of depicting the 'slope' of land on a plan. They are a line that graphically join points of equal height. See 'Slope' in this glossary.

Contact us for advice in relation to these matters. 

Contract of Sale

Contract (or Contract of Sale): A legally enforceable agreement.

Most of the rules of contract law in Australia come from the common law. Although there are different statutory provisions in each of the States covering various aspects of contracts.

For a contract to be enforceable there must be:

An Offer;
An intention to enter into the agreement.
Consideration (price); and
The ability to contract.

Some contracts, such as for the sale of land or real estate, must be in writing. 

Conversion Tables

METRIC CONVERSION TABLE Convert just about anything to anything else.


To Convert Multiply by
Inches to Centimetres 2.5400
Links to Metres 0.201168
Feet to Metres 0.3048
Yards to Metres 0.9144
Miles to Kilometres 1.6093
Miles per Hour to Feet per Second 1.467
Square Inches-Square Centimetres 6.4516
Square Feet to Square Metres 0.0929
Square Miles to Square Kilometres 2.5900
Acres to Hectares 0.4047
Cubic Inches to Cubic Centimetres 16.3871
Cubic Feet to Cubic Metres 0.0283
Gallons to Litres 4.5460
Ounces to Grams 28.3495
Pounds to Grams 453.5920
Pounds to Kilograms 0.4536

To Convert Multiply by

Centimetres to Inches 0.3937
Metres to Feet 3.2808
Metres to Yards 1.0936
Kilometres to Miles 0.6214
Feet per Second to Miles per Hour 0.682
Square Centimetres-Square Inches 0.1550
Square Metres to Square Feet 10.7639
Square Kilometres to Square Miles 0.3862
Hectares to Acres 2.4711
Cubic Centimetres to Cubic Inches 0.0610
Cubic Metres to Cubic Feet 35.3145
Litres to Gallons 0.2200
Grams to Ounces 0.0353
Grams to Pounds 0.0022
Kilograms to Pounds 2.2046


Conveyance: These documents relate to deeds of land based on verbal descriptions only and not on Survey information or survey information of a suitable accuracy.

They are in relation to general law or old system land meaning the passing of a legal estate from one person to another by gift or sale. The conveyance is effected when the vendor executes the deed. See Survey Methodology to better understand why occuption (fences and other improvements) quiet often over ride any dimensions shown on any plan relating to these deeds.


A conveyance is part of a bundle of deeds that make up the “root” of title, usually over a twenty year period. Conveyances are passed from vendor to purchaser upon settlement. The advantage of the Torrens Title land system is that the land title is maintained by the Recorder of Titles in a single up to date file document.

Conveyances may describe boundaries in words rather than in plan form and often need further interpretation. They are often the source of the boundary interpretation found in a Sketch By Way of Illustration.


We can interpret Conveyances and advise you of your entitlement under such a document.


Covenant means an agreement, contract, convention, treaty, promise or pledge. In terms of a 'Covenant on a Certificate of Title', it is viewed as a restriction describing what CANNOT be done. When viewing a Covenant it is at once apparent that they are described in the 'negative' shall not!!


Many covenants in old subdivisions are now superseded by planning schemes and these days most covenants are created in a schedule of easements attached to a subdivision plan sealed by the local council.


We can interpret Covenants for you or create them if desired (on your land or land you control) or remove them (with all owners affected and Council agreeing)

Creation of Easements By Order


(Section 110 Land Titles Act 1980 refers)

Easements may be created in an order made by the Recorder of Titles under section 110; however, the provisions in the section do not extend to land in a sealed plan under the Local Government (Building and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1993.

An order has the same effect of creating easements, profits and covenants as a schedule of easements does for a sealed plan.

An order may be prepared on a Blank Instrument Form which should be executed by all parties having a registered interest in the affected land. All relevant certificates of title must be produced. No notices are given except to the relevant Council for the municipal area.

Easements, profits or covenants in an order may be created over land in common ownership.

An order may create new easements, profits and covenants for existing lots, or may substitute a new scheme of easements, profits and covenants for existing lots that were subdivided outside the provisions of the Local Government (Building and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1993.

An order has the effect of destroying any existing easements, profits and covenants which are not continued by the order, such that existing easements, profits and covenants need to be set out in full in an order to ensure their continued existence.

An order may be amended or discharged under section 84C Conveyancing and Law of Property Act 1884 or released by consent under section 108 Land Titles Act 1980, as the case may be.

Crown Reservation

Crown Reservation means land reserved by the crown in a land grant and where the reservation is a certain width from a natural boundary, the boundary is fixed in that position even if the natural boundary subsequently moves.

CT or Certificate of Title

glossary image: 

CT or Certificate of Title: SEE Torrens Title: means the owner's copy of a folio of the Register created by the Recorder of Titles and is the paramount document of ownership in the Torrens land title system..

ie. The document of title to land held under the Torrens System. It consists of two duplicate deeds stating the interest of a person (the registered proprietor) in land held under the Torrens System. The titles are numbered. One record is the computer record folio of the Register maintained by the Recorder of Titles and the other is held by the owner (registered proprietor) or, more usually, their solicitor or bank on their behalf. It is a hard paper copy certificate of title held by the person controlling the land; that person could be an owner, a solicitor or a bank. When there is a transaction affecting an interest or ownership over the land, a new folio and certificate are created by the Recorder of Titles.

The example to the right is the front page of a title showing the owners name (Schedule one) plus the Description of the Land, which refers to the Plan Number relating, together with the Lot Number, the name of the original grantee (ie the Derivation) plus any prior title number that may have been applicable. Schedule two refers to any matters such as easement, caveats, mortgages etc.