Glossary of Property Terms



  • Approx, Approximate - data unreliable or boundaries not fixed - is also used when referring to square kilometres
  • Calc, Calculated - derived from plan data
  • Deduced - derived by subtraction from a previously calculated area.


A user that can create and modify users linked to the same account in SAILIS.

Associated Dealing

A dealing which a subsequent dealing has been lodged over eg, Discharge of Mortgage.



A survey mark made on a monument having a known location and elevation, serving as a vertical control reference point for levelling surveys to determine elevations, may also be used for horizontal control.

Bills of sale

A mortgage of personal property - eg chattels or other goods, for the purpose of securing the payment of a debt.


This is a land parcel identifier, part of a land description usually associated with pastoral lands outside the named hundreds.



Details presented on the DCDB which define the current subdivisional pattern of a locality on the ground.

Capital value

The value of a parcel of land including improvements.


The instrument by which a person who claims an equitable estate or interest in land may prevent the registration of any dealing with the land or a registered interest in the land - eg a caveat may be lodged against the registered proprietor of land, or the mortgagee of a registered mortgage, or the lessee of a registered lease.


The person against whom the caveat has been lodged. Normally, the caveatee will be the registered proprietor of land or of a mortgage or lease over which the caveat has been lodged.


The person lodging a caveat.

Certificate of Title (CT)

See title reference.

Child Title

A new title that has issued from a cancelled Parent Title.

Common Property

Land in a community title or strata title scheme which is defined on the relevant community plan or strata plan and for which a certificate of title is issued in the name of the community corporation or strata corporation.

Community Plan

See plan type.

Community Title

See title reference.


Information that affects the land and requires further investigation.


In conveyancing terms, the word is generally used to refer to the reason or explanation for the transfer of land. Typically, it is an amount of money paid by the transferee to the transferor, but it may refer to some less tangible factor, such as the natural love and affection the transferor bears towards the transferee.


A registered conveyancer is a licensed person qualified to advise and prepare documentation pertaining to property transactions.


The process by which the ownership to an interest in land is transferred, or conveyed, from one person to another.

Crown Land

Generally, land owned by the Crown (including unalienated Crown land and land that is subject to a Crown lease).

Crown land has a more restrictive meaning under the Crown Lands Act 1929. For the purpose of that act, Crown land does not include land that has been dedicated for a public purpose, or which is subject to a Crown lease or agreement to purchase.

Crown Lands Act

The statute which provides for the administration of Crown land in South Australia.

Crown Lease (CL)

See title reference.

Crown Record (CR)

See title reference.



Digital Cadastral Data Base.

Deposited Plan

See plan type.

Diagram Book

These are large bound books containing survey plans, indexed as pages within Hundreds and unique book names. These surveys cover the original subdivision of the state into hundreds and sections under the Crown Lands Act. The index pages in the books were used as source data for the hundred / parcel search in SAILIS. Images of these plans are available from SAILIS.

Discharge of Mortgage (DM)

A dealing by which a mortgagee acknowledges that the debt owed by the mortgagor and secured by a mortgage has been satisfied (usually by being repaid) and 'discharges' or releases the land from the mortgage.

Dealing Prefix and Description

See document prefix types (43.3 KB PDF) .

DR Docket Plans

These are replacement of Permanent Marks diagrams that were filed in Lands Department drawing room dockets. Images of these plans are available from SAILIS.

Drawer Plan

These are plans that were originally held by the Surveyor-General for various purposes. Images of some drawer plans are available from SAILIS. From the "Image Search" menu select "Plan Image Search". Then select "Plans Order" and choose the "Drawer Plan" Plan Type.



A right attached to the ownership of land (the dominant land or tenement) to utilise other land which is usually held by a different person (the servient land or tenement) in such a way as to benefit the dominant tenement. Examples include a right of way, or an easement for drainage or water supply.

Encumbrance (E)

The instrument by which land is charged with or made security for, the payment of an annuity, rent-charge or sum of money (not being a debt). Frequently, an encumbrance will contain restrictive covenants aimed at controlling the future use or development of the land.

In the generic sense, a claim, lien or liability attached to the land, including a mortgage, lease, warrant of sale, an encumbrance as described above in point 1, and, (in some cases) the interest claimed by a caveator.


The registered proprietor of an encumbrance.


The registered proprietor of land subject to an encumbrance.

Enduring power of attorney

A Power of Attorney that permits the donee or attorney to continue to act for the donor even though the donor may suffer from a legal incapacity. See also power of attorney.

Equivalent main area

The total area under the main roof with percentage reductions for structures that are considered to be a lesser component or of differing construction than the main structure - eg carports, garages, verandahs, porches and rear lean-to.


An interest in land, classified either as a freehold estate (being one of uncertain duration) including the fee simple, fee tail or life estate; as a leasehold estate (being of a duration which is either certain or which is capable of being rendered certain). The third classification of an estate is that of a Crown lessee.

The total property of a person - eg the estate of a deceased person or of a person who is bankrupt.

Estate or interest

See legal estate or interest. Interests include a mortgage or charge.


A person appointed by the will of a person (the testator or testatrix) to carry out the provisions of the will upon the death of the testator/testatrix. An executor/executrix cannot register a dealing with the land until the will has been proved to be the last valid will and testament of the deceased, and he or she has received a grant of representation from the court, called probate.


Fee Simple

The most common freehold estate granted by the Crown. An estate in fee simple is the greatest estate in land and is for practical purposes the equivalent to absolute ownership. Note, however, that in Australia, no person other than the Crown can 'own' land absolutely.

Field Book

Field books are old Lands Department records. These are filed in a storeroom adjacent to the survey examination section. They can be viewed on request at the plan lodgement counter. The Land Services Group holds an index book listing the date issued and the surveyor that the book was issued to.

Filed Plan

See plan type.

Free and Unrestricted Right of Way

A specific right of way as set out in section 89 and schedule 5 of the Real Property Act 1886.

Fruit Lien

A security interest - eg a form of mortgage, granted over a fruit crop under the liens on Fruit Act 1923. Fruit liens are registered in the GRO. See lienor and lienee.



The General Registry Office. This office registers or enrols dealings with old system land, accepts various plans and written documents concerning land for deposit, for sale and perpetual custody, and registers miscellaneous other dealings such as bills of sale and stock mortgages.

GRO Plan

See plan type.

Government Town

A government town name forms part of a unique land description for land in gazetted towns under the Crown Lands Act. Parcels within these towns are designated as 'allotments'.



A piece of land, containing 10,000 square metres, or 2.471 acres.

Historical Search

A chronological history of dealings as recorded on computerised titles and available from SAILIS.

Hundred Plan

See plan type.



A measurement form that included links, feet and inches used before the introduction of the metric linear system in 1966.


See code explanation for urban and rural properties.


See encumbrance.

Indefeasibility of Title

The description given to the immunity of a registered proprietor of land under the Real Property Act from attack by a competing claim to the land by some other person.


Joint Tenancy

One of the two main ways in which two or more persons may hold land in co-ownership (the other being a tenancy in common). The principal features which distinguish a joint tenancy are the 'four unities' (the unities of time, title, interest and possession) and the right of survivorship, under which the surviving joint tenant(s) is (are) solely entitled to the land upon the death of the other joint tenant.

Joint Tenants

Two or more people holding land under a joint tenancy. Each joint tenant is entitled to the use, possession, and enjoyment of the whole of the land, subject to the rights of the other joint tenants.




Under the RPA, the word 'land' includes every estate and interest in land. That is, the work encompasses and includes an estate in fee simple or for life, a mortgage, lease, encumbrance, or easement. A dealing with 'land' actually means a dealing with one of these estates or interests in land, and not with the actual land itself. An estate in 'land' includes permanently attached buildings and other fixtures, trees, crops, the soil beneath the surface and the air above it.

Land Administration

The processes, procedures and systems relating to the administration of a land function.

Land Burdened

The land that is subject to the easement - eg land which the easement is over, is referred to as the servient tenement or land upon which the burden of the easement is imposed.

Land Description

Every parcel of land in the state has a unique legal description. In South Australia, most of these are based on combinations of plan/allotment or hundred / section or government town/allotment or certificate of title reference.

Land Division

The process which results in the cancellation of existing and creation of new plan parcels and the issue of new certificates of title.

Lands Titles Office

The Lands Titles Office or Lands Titles Registration Office established by statute and continued in existence by the RPA to administer the provisions of that act. Also known as the LTO.

Land Grant

The primary means by which the Crown alienates or grants land to its subjects. A land grant is a grant of an estate in fee simple to a person or a defined area of land. From the introduction of the first RPA in 1858 until 1 July 1995, a land grant was treated as a certificate of title and given a volume and folio reference. They are now attached inside an 'RLG' form and treated as a request for the issue of a TATS title.

Land Use Code

See land use code (LUC) (PDF 427.4 KB)

Lease (L)

The grant by one person (the lessor or landlord) to another (the lessee or tenant) of a right to the exclusive possession of a defined portion of land for a term which is either of a certain duration or a duration which is capable of being ascertained at the commencement of the term. Rent is usually paid by the lessee, although this is not essential. The word lease is used also to describe the instrument embodying the agreement between the parties.

Legal Estate or Interest

An interest in or right over land which may be enforced by a court of law (as opposed to a court of equity). As a generalisation (and one which does not always hold true) a legal estate or interest in land which is under the RPA is one which is registered on a certificate of title. Examples include a registered estate in fee simple and a registered mortgage or lease.


The person or body to whom a lease is granted. A lessee is also known as a 'tenant'. For the purposes of the RPA, the word means the registered proprietor of a lease.


The person or party who grants a lease of his or her land. For the purposes of the RPA, the word means the registered proprietor of a lease.


See worker's lien.


  1. The person who executes and lodges a notice of lien under the Worker's Lien Act 1893. (see worker's lien).
  2. The grantor of a preferable lien on a fruit crop under the liens on Fruit Act 1923. (see fruit lien).


The person (usually a registered proprietor of land under the RPA) against whose estate or interest in land a worker's lien has been lodged.

The grantee of - eg the person who holds a preferable lien on a fruit crop under the lien's on Fruit Act 1923. (see fruit lien).

Limited Title (LT)

See title reference.

Local Government Code (LGC)

A code between 1 and 10 is used to represent the categories of land use declared as permissible differentiating factors in the Local Government (General) Regulations, 2013. The local government codes (LGCs) are as follows:


A local government code (LGC) is defined for each land use code (LUC) enabling above grouping of the LUC.

Long Form Easement

An easement that is neither a service easement nor short form easement. The exact description of the easement is set out in full in the documentation creating the easement.

LTO A, B, C and Tube Plans

These are plan references for surveys lodged in the LTO under the Real Property Act, prior to the Filed Plan series. Images of these plans are available through SAILIS.

LTO Docket

These dockets contain information regarding the purpose of plans lodged in the LTO.


The Lands Titles Office or Lands Titles Registration Office established by statute and continued in existence by the RPA to administer the provisions of that act.


Mineral Section

This is a parcel numbering sequence, unique to the mineral claims diagram book. None of these is part of current land descriptions. See the index pages for the mineral claims diagram book, available in SAILIS.

Mortgage (M)

The means by which the property of a debtor is made security for the payment of a debt. A mortgage may be of real or personal property. A mortgage of land under the RPA takes the form of an instrument under which the registered proprietor changes his or her interest in the land with the payment of the debt. An example of a mortgage of personal property is a bill of sale.


The creditor - ie the person to whom the debt is owed, under a mortgage. For the purposes of the RPA, the word means the registered proprietor of a mortgage.


Generally the debtor -  ie the person who owes the debt, under a mortgage. For the purposes of the RPA, the word means the registered proprietor of land which is subject to a mortgage.


National Electronic Conveyancing Project

Australia's joint government and industry initiative to create an efficient and convenient way of completing property-based transactions and lodging land title dealings for registration.


Registrar-General's notations that affect the land and require further investigation.

Notional Values

Concessional property valuations available to primary producers under certain circumstances. Notional values are aimed at encouraging the retention of primary production uses on land where there is pressure to alter the use away from primary production.


Not under the act (Real Property Act). See old system land.


Objection (under the Valuation of Land Act)

A written notice served on the Valuer-General by a person who is dissatisfied with a valuation of land.

Old System Land

Land which was granted by the Crown in fee simple by a land grant prior to 2 July 1858 and which has not subsequently been bought under the RPA. Dealings with such land are registered in the GRO.

One Undivided Moiety

A one undivided half share in land. The interest of a tenant in common. Note that, although having a distinct share in the land, this does not entitle the proprietor of the share to the exclusive ownership of any identifiable portion of it.

Out of Hundred Plans

See plan type.


Parent Title

A cancelled title from which new child titles have issued.

Parliamentary Plan

These are mostly proposal plans prepared for parliament. Only plan 313 is available on SAILIS.

Part 7A Application

These are applications based upon the doctrine of adverse possession made in pursuance of Part 7A of the Real Property Act for title to land (held under the provisions of the Real Property Act).


The Property Exchange System that provides for the national electronic lodgement and settlement of conveyancing transactions.

Plan Type

  • community plan (C) - a plan of community division, dividing land into lots and common property under the Community Titles Act
  • deposited plan (D) - a plan deposited in the LTO, including plans of amalgamation and division and plans lodged under the Roads Opening and Closing Act 1991 and the Crown Lands Act 1929
  • filed plan (F) - plan filed in the LTO - eg plan for easement purposes
  • GRO plan (G) - old subdivisions lodged in the 1800's over NUA land or plans for leasing purposes
  • hundred plan (H) - plans depicting the original subdivisions of the state
  • out of hundred plans (H) - plans depicting the original subdivisions of the state not within hundreds
  • road plan (R) - plans lodged with the Lands Titles Office depicting roads opening and closings pursuant to the Roads opening and Closing Act 1991
  • strata plan (S) - a plan dividing land into units and common property under the Strata Titles Act 1988.
  • town plans (T) - plans depicting the original subdivision of a government town


These are a set of rolled maps at non-metric scales that record surveys in areas where the original division of land was done prior to the Real Property Act. Images of plots are available from SAILIS.

PM Tracing

These are plans showing changes to permanent survey marks (PSM's). Images of these plans are available through SAILIS.

Power of Attorney (PA)

The formal authority conferred by a deed on one person (the donee or attorney) by another (the donor or principal) which enables the former person to act for the latter. See also enduring power of attorney.

Priority Notice

An administrative notice that is lodged with the Lands Titles Office to preserve priority for a dealing that is intended to be lodged.

Profit a'prendre

The Forest Property Act 2000 also amended the Real Property Act 1886 to allow for the registration of profits a'prendre by inserting the definition of easement includes a 'profits a'prendre'.

Profits a'prendre (profit) can now be created, varied and extinguished in the same way as an easement. A profit can be created either appurtenant to land in a certificate of title or a Crown lease, or in gross.

The notation of a profit will appear on a certificate of title under the heading of easements. If a certificate of title is to issue for the profit created, the heading and land description will also include the words PROFIT A'PRENDRE.

A profit can be lodged over the whole or portion of the land in a certificate of title or Crown lease. If lodged over a portion, a plan must be lodged and be either filed or deposited by the Registrar-General in the Lands Titles Office identifying the land the subject of the profit.

A profit can be extinguished as per any easement but may also be determined by the passage of time or the occurrence of circumstances specified in the grant.

Notice of a time frame, or of a certain occurrence, that will terminate the profit, will appear in the dominant and servient clauses for the profits and on any easement (profit) in gross title.

Unlike a lease with a certain time frame, these clauses or easement in gross titles will not automatically be deleted or cancelled once that time frame has passed. These will be deleted when a new certificate of title is to issue or an application to terminate is received.

Property Interest Report (PIR)

The property interest report is a unique one-stop-shop service, giving clients information about various State Government interests for all properties in South Australia. This information, along with details of interests delivered directly from state government agencies, is used to complete the required Form 1 given to purchasers of real estate prior to property settlement.

The Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) Act 1994 and regulations are set in place to provide consumer protection for those purchasing property in South Australia. Section 7 of the act identifies the requirement for a statement of government interests to be served by a vendor or their agent, on a purchaser prior to settlement in the required Form 1.

The property interest report comprises the following items:

  • report listing the necessary particulars to assist with the completion of Form 1 for the sale of a property
  • title and valuation details and a check search providing details on any registered or unregistered dealings lodged within the previous 90 days
  • a copy of the certificate of title
  • a land tax certificate
  • emergency services levy certificate
  • SA Water certificate

the property interest report can be ordered using SAILIS or from Land Services, 101 Grenfell Street, Adelaide. A property interest report refresh is also available that provides an instant update to confirm any changes to the original property interest report within 90 days of the initial request.


The owner of an estate or interest in land. See also registered proprietor.

PSM Locality Plan

These contain sketches, originally done on A5 cards showing the location of permanent survey marks (PSM's). These are supplied to help locate marks and contain no survey data. Images of these plans are available through SAILIS.



Strata Plan

See plan type.


Tenancy in Common

One of the two main ways in which two or more persons may hold land in co-ownership (the other being a joint tenancy). Each tenant is entitled to a distinct but undivided share in the land. Note that, although having a distinct share in the land, this does not entitle the proprietor of the share to the exclusive ownership of any identifiable portion of it. There is no right of survivorship under a tenancy in common, and on the death of a tenant in common his or her share will pass according to his or her will or, in the absence of a will, according to the laws of intestacy.


A right to the possession of property which may be enforced by legal action. See certificate of title.

Title Reference

  • Certificate of title (CT) - a certificate issued pursuant to the RPA, which certifies that the person named therein as the registered proprietor has title to the land described in the certificate. It can exist in a manual (Imperial or Metric) or computerised format. The original title is retained by the Lands Titles Office.
  • Community title (CT) - a certificate of title for a community lot, community strata lot, development lot or common property in a community plan.
  • Crown lease (CL) - a lease of Crown land authorised by statute (e.g. the Crown Lands Act 1929). Crown leases are dealt with in a similar way to certificates of title.
  • Crown record (CR) -a computerised record of un-alienated crown land. It must not be confused with a certificate of title (to which it bears some superficial visual resemblance).
  • Limited title (LT) - a certificate of title issued as part of the conversion process from the old system, where either survey data or proof of ownership is insufficient to issue a regular certificate of title.

Torrens Title System

The system employed in all Australian jurisdictions under which title to land is conferred by the official registration of a dealing in that land. The fundamental principles of the system are:

  • that it is the act of the Registrar-General in registering a dealing which passes the legal title to land or creates legal interests therein
  • that registration confers indefeasibility of title
  • that it is not necessary for a person intending to deal with the land to investigate the history of a registered proprietor's title and
  • that the title is guaranteed by the government, such that should a person be deprived of an interest in land, he or she will be paid monetary compensation.

The system is named after its creator, Robert Torrens, who introduced it in South Australia in 1858.

Town Plans

See plan type.


A dealing lodged in the LTO that contains authorisation for the transfer of an interest in a property. Some of these dealings are associated with survey plans.


The person transferring any land, mortgage or lease.


The person to whom any land, lease or mortgage is transferred.


The passing of title to land (or an interest therein such as a mortgage or lease) in any manner other than by transfer. For example, on the death of a sole registered proprietor, his or her estate or interest in the land is transmitted to his or her executor or administrator.


Valuation of Land Act

The statute which provides for the valuation of properties for rating and taxing purposes.


The official charged by the Valuation of Land Act with the responsibility for the administration of that act.


  • Site value - the value of the land including site improvements (such as levelling, retaining walls and clearing of timber) but excluding structural improvement.
  • Capital value - the value of the land including all improvements permanently attached to the ground (such as buildings and sheds). The Capital value is used by Rating Authorities as the basis for the levying of rates, taxes and other imposts. The value is determined annually and based on the analysis of market evidence.
  • Notional value - concessional property valuations that protect existing uses where there is pressure to alter the use away from the current use or the current zoning allows for a more valuable use. The notional value will disregard any potential enhancements to value including existing land divisions. The lower notional value will be used by rating authorities to provide rate relief to the owners. Refer to the Valuation of Land Act 1971 Section 22A.

The types of notional values are:

  • Residential - to qualify the owner must be a natural person and the property is their principal place of residence.
  • Rural - to qualify the land must be genuinely used for the 'business of primary production'.

Please note that a combination of notional value types for a particular parcel of land will be granted where applicable.


Worker's Lien

A worker's lien may be claimed by a person in accordance with the

Worker's Lien Act 1893 for unpaid wages or the contract price for work done or services provided or materials supplied to the land with the assent of the owner or occupier of the land. A notice of lien (LN) is registered in the GRO and, if the lienee is the registered proprietor of the land to which the lien relates, a notification of it is made on the certificate of title. Until withdrawn or otherwise removed, a lien has the effect of a caveat.




Zone Code

A code used to signify how a property or area has been zoned. Zones exist for development and planning purposes and signify what use or uses a given property (or properties within an area) may be put to - eg residential, commercial.