Your Common Property Terms (D-M)

FOR EASY reference, I thought the simplest way would be to split these Common Property Terms up into three alphabetic sections.

And so, you can now sift through this next section from …

D to M

Date of Settlement

The day, under the terms of the contract, when a vendor is
obliged to transfer a property to the purchaser.

Deferred Income

Future income as from a lease, which includes periodic rent


Drop in a property’s value due to passage of time,
deterioration of the improvements, or changes to the
neighbouring properties. Also: Book Depreciation is
the amount you can claim for tax purposes for the
replacement of an asset.


A person who buys property; and by improving it through sub-
division or construction for instance, lifts its value.

Direct Costs

Site costs (purchase price + legal expenses + commission),
plus improvement cost (plans and permits + professional fees
+ construction).

District Business Centre

The heart of a substantial shopping centre within a suburb.


The contractual right for one person to use a portion of
another persons land, usually providing for electricity or
drainage; or as a driveway for access.

Economic Life

The potential number of years a building could remain profitable.

Effective Rate

The real rate of (return or repayment), as opposed to the
nominal rate.

Environmental Impact Study

An expert’s assessment of long-term environmental effects of
a particular land-use scheme.

Essential Services

Statutorily monitored services within a property including:
air conditioning, fire services, lifts, electrical equipment and
so on — which will attract significant fines for you as the owner,
for non-compliance.


The percentage of a property an owner holds after outstanding
Facadeloans have been deducted from its market value.


The front face of a building.


The legal action to possess a property, which a mortgagee
takes when a mortgagor defaults on the loan payments.


A property that is owned outright and for unlimited duration.

General Law Title

Such a title pre-dates the Torrens Title System, under which
ownership is government-recorded by Certificates of Title; it is
based on an ongoing history or ownership.

Head Room

The distance from floor to ceiling.

Heavy Industry

A zoning term covering noisy, smelly or otherwise unattractive


The metric measurement of land area equal to 10,000 square
metres, or 2.47 acres.

Height Density

Another zoning regulation limiting the height of buildings in
a particular area.

High Rise

A residential building over three or four storeys, usually requiring a
lift. It is an indefinite term. In offices, a building over 30 storeys.

Home Units

Individually-owned homes in a development of two or more
Industrial Parkhomes — usually owner-occupied rather than rented.

Industrial Park

A considerable development over a large area tailored to the requirements of industry

Insurable Interest

As soon as you sign a contract to buy a property, you have an
insurable interest and are wise to cover it by insurance.

Interest-only Loan

Here the borrower is obliged to pay interest over the term of
the loan but not to amortise the principal — repaying it as a
lump sum at the end.

Interim Development Order

Enables a planning authority to control development of an area,
before the final scheme is formally gazetted.

Investment Return

The rate per month (or year) of return on investment, produced
by rental and resale.


Cannot be undone.

Joint Venture

Two or more people (or companies) combine to carry out a project
or enterprise.


The owner of a property available for leasing.

Land Usage

Determined by zoning regulations: residential, industrial, etc.


The formal arrangement by which one party has use of another’s
property: in return for rent.

Lease with Option to Purchase

A lease embodying the right of the lessee to buy the property
at an agreed price, within an agreed time.


The party who grants a lease.


Means putting into a property a small amount of capital, and
borrowing the balance to achieve a better return on your capital.


The expenditure required to keep a property in an efficient
and proper operating condition.

Managing Agent

A real estate agent authorised by you to manage your property.

Market Price

The price paid for a property is real, whereas “market value”
is only an estimate.

Mezzanine Floor

An intermediary floor, usually between the ground and first


A document pledging a property as security for the repayment
of the money you borrow against the property.


The lender on the mortgage.

Mortgagee in Possession

The mortgagee gets a court order to take possession of the
property, usually after a mortgagor defaults.


You as the borrower.

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