Land Research NSW:


Glossary of Terms and Definitions

Common Law Title;

otherwise known as Old System is the title system inherited from Britain at the time of colonisation.
It's was a system in which every time a transaction with land took place a deed was used to record it. You need all the deeds to "prove" your title.
Common Law Title became known as Old System on the introduction of the Torrens Title.

Torrens Title

was a system invented by Robert Torrens of South Australia. In it, a single certificate of title was issued for a parcel of land and all the deeds, now called dealings must be registered on that certificate. If they were the State could guarantee the title.

Estates in Land.

Fee Simple

A full title or "freehold" title which can be inherited

Estate for Life

A title held for the life of a person

Estate in remainder

A title held on the death of the life estate

Lease hold

Lands held for a term of years

Other Terms

A deed or Indenture

is a document that set out the details of the transaction, deed or act being undertaken. There were two copies and the old deeds had a serrated edge or indenture which when matched up proved they were the same document.

A covenent

is an extra agreement between the parties to the deed creating obligations. A common covenent would be a fencing covenent.
All deeds have four basic covenents
  1. a good right to convey,
  2. that the lands could be quietly enjoyed,
  3. that the title was free of encumbrances,
  4. and the seller undertook to execute any further assurances needed.

    They are now set out in Section 78 Conveyancing Act 1919 NSW (As at 2012)

The Purchaser

is the buyer

The Vendor

is the seller

Good Root of title

is a conveyance of the fee simple or a 1st mortgage by way of conveyance of the fee simple which:
  1. Is at least 30 years old
  2. Deals with the whole of the legal and equitable estate

  3. (Legal estate, being the documentary title; equitable estate, being the rights of inheritance or trust)
  4. Contains a description which clearly defines the land (the metes and bounds being the bearings and distance)
  5. Requires no extrinsic evidence to justify it (e.g. Does not rely on the deed description in other deed or instrument)
  6. Is for valuable consideration (real money was exchanged)
  7. Contains nothing to cast any doubt on the title of the disposing party (the vendor)