Newcastle Living Magazine


Legal Terminology

Looking to buy or sell property but confused about legal terminology?

Here at The Conveyancing Exchange, we understand not everyone is an expert on property law. It can be an often overwhelming subject, and if you aren’t familiar with certain terms it’s sure to feel alienating. To counteract this, we’ve put together a mini conveyancing dictionary to help you through the process. Our glossary includes common and confusing conveyancing terms, designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the conveyancing process. If you have any questions about our conveyancing services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. From ‘Adjustments’ to ‘Subject to finance’, here are some of the lesser known terms to add to your vocabulary. 


A method used to calculate how the outgoings for a property will be divided between the seller and buyer. This process ensures both parties only pay the outgoings for the time periods they are in possession of the property.


A legal claim lodged by a person with an interest in the property. This claim prevents the transfer of title for the property in question until the claim has been determined. 

Cooling off period

A five-business day cooling-off period after you exchange contracts. The cooling-off period starts as soon as you exchange and ends at 5pm on the fifth business day after the day of exchange. If you choose to withdraw from the contract during this time, you will forfeit an amount equivalent to .25% of the purchase price. Only the purchaser has the right to withdraw from the contract during this time. 


A right to use and access part of land on the property. This right can belong to someone who is not the landowner. An easement is typically used when access is required for wires and pipes for maintenance to sewage, drainage, and electricity. An easement can also refer to shared driveways and paths on a property.

Off the plan

When a property is purchased off the plan, the purchaser has agreed to buy the property after seeing the plans but before the property in question has actually been built. 

Penalty interest

An amount charged by the vendor when payment on a settlement is delayed. This amount can also be charged when a purchaser cannot meet a payment deadline set out by the contract.

Legal Terminology

Restrictive Covenant

A restriction placed on the title of the property to which the owner is legally bound to. This could include building in accordance with certain design guidelines, building materials or planting a certain species of tree.

S66W Certificate

A section 66W certificate waives the cooling off period, making a contract to purchase property immediately binding.

Statement of Adjustments

A document that includes all the adjustments of certain costs most commonly, council rates, water rates and strata levies, and how they are divided up between the purchaser and the vendor. Until settlement, the vendor must pay all expenses pertaining to the property. These expenses transfer over to the new owner of the property upon completion of the settlement.

Subject to Finance

A contract clause that states the purchaser of the property in question has to obtain finance for a set amount by a certain date, most commonly 14 days from exchange. Failure to do so releases them from the contract, however as with the cooling off period, a small financial penalty may apply.

These terms, combined with the attention and care of an expert such as the team at The Conveyancing Exchange, will be able to help you navigate the tricky journey that can be property law.

Contact Helen Polemis

Helen Polemis

Licensed Conveyancer

Conveyancing Exchange

Conveyancing Exchange
tel. (02) 4925 2888

The Conveyancing Exchange can help you reduce the time and effort in your conveyancing needs. You can be confident that we will ensure the best outcome. If you’d like to find out more about our conveyancing services, contact Helen today (02) 4925 2888.