Real Estate Glossary Letter :  P

Real Estate Glossary Letter :  P



PANELLED DOOR – Door with sunken raised panels on its faces.

PANEL LIFT DOORS – Trade name for sectional lift panel garage doors. Doors roll up in 4-5 sections.

PARAPET – A low wall protecting the edge of a balcony, terrace or roof.

PARCEL– A piece of land, regardless of size, in one ownership.

PARTICLE BOARD – A plywood substitute manufactured from coarse sawdust and resin.

PARTITION – A dividing wall.

PARTY WALL – Wall separating two adjoining buildings and normally straddling the boundary.

PASSED-IN – If a property is not sold at auction because the owner’s reserve price has not been reached, it is passed in.

PEDIMENT – Projecting triangular gable over an entrance, door or window or forming the gable end of a roof.

PEG OFFSET – The distance from the house to the surveyor’s pegs.

PELMET – A built-in head to a window to conceal the curtain rod or to a sliding door to conceal the tracks. Usually made of wood.

PENALTY CLAUSE – A provision in a contract that defines the conditions that would merit a reduction in the amount payable to the contractor, such as failure to meet contract specifications or failure to meet deadlines.

PENTHOUSE– An apartment built on a portion of the roof or top floor of a building. Typically, such units are larger and more luxurious than most apartments.

PEPPERCORN RENT – When land is let free of rent and the landlord wishes to be able to obtain an acknowledgement of the tenancy when necessary, a nominal rent is frequently reserved, consisting of one peppercorn a year to be paid by the tenant when demanded as evidence that he is occupying land as a tenant and is not thereby developing rights adverse to those of the landowner himself.

PERGOLA– An open framework over a path, terrace, patio, etc.

PERIODIC LEASE– Where the tenant continues to rent the property after the lease has formally expired. Notice to terminate the agreement may be given by either party during this period.

PERMIT – A council authorisation to carry out a building process, such as a grading permit, a demolition permit, a plumbing permit, etc.

PERP – A vertical joint in masonry construction.

PEST INSPECTION– A thorough inspection by a certified Pest Inspector to check for the current or prior presence of pests such as termites.

PEST TREATMENT – Treatments to the underside of the slab, around the perimeter of the slab and to the lower portion of the timber frame. Designed to prevent the intrusion of termites.

PEXA – The property exchange system that provides for the national electronic lodgement and settlement oof conveyancing transactions.

PHYSICAL DEPRECIATION – The decline in property value due to the physical action of time and the elements, as well as through usage. Deterioration through the physical depreciation is normally as a result of inadequate maintenance or normal weathering and decay.

PICTURE RAIL – A wooden or plaster moulding fixed to a wall at or above door height for hanging pictures or for decorative purposes.

PIER – A column or post supporting a superstructure, such as beams, floor or verandah bearers.

PIERING – Columns of concrete, usually poured into drilled holes in the ground, on which the concrete slab will rest. This ensures that the slab is ultimately resting on the ground sufficiently solid to support the weight of the home. The size and extent are determined by a civil engineer.

PITCH ROOF – The angle of a sloping roof. The ratio of the height to span usually expressed in degrees eg. 22-degree pitch.

PLAN – This shows the ground plan design, elevation of the house, number and size of rooms, kitchen, bathrooms and laundry layout, the position of the house on the land.


  • community plan (C) – a plan of community division, dividing the land into lots and common property under the Community Titles Act
  • deposited plan (D) – a plan deposited in the LTO, including plans for 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 the land into units and common property under the Strata Titles Act 1988.
  • town plans (T) – plans depicting the original subdivision of a government town

PLANNING APPROVAL – Approval from the relevant authority to use the property for a specified use.

PLASTER – A mixture of lime or cement and sand used to cover walls or ceilings.

PLASTERBOARD – A plasterboard wall and ceiling lining sheets. Also known as drywall or gyprock.

PLUMB – Vertical and even, 90 degrees to level.

PLYWOOD – Sheeting made from thin layers of veneer at right angles to each other and bonded together under heat and pressure. Can be used as flooring, wall sheeting, bracing and formwork.

POINT – A point is 1 percent of the amount of the mortgage.

POINTING – The filling of joints in brickwork or masonry. The completion of jointing between ridge or hip tiles with a matching colour after bedding of tiles or troweling of mortar into joints.

PORTABILITY – Where a new property can be used as security for an existing loan, i.e. when the loan is transferred to a new security property without needing to repay the loan, reapply, or restructure.

POWER OF ATTORNEY – A legal document that authorizes another person to act on one’s behalf. A power of attorney can grant complete authority or can be limited to certain acts and/or certain periods of time.

PRE-APPROVAL – This means having your loan approved in principle by a bank or finance broker. By having Pre-approval, gives you an idea of how much you can borrow to buy a property.

PREFABRICATED HOUSE – prefab – A house, manufactured, and sometimes partly assembled before delivery to the site.

PREFABRICATION – The off-site manufacture of parts of buildings. Such as walls, floors, trusses and so on.

PREMISES – A house, building or other structure together with the surrounding grounds that form part of the title. Also, the real estate forming the subject of a conveyance or licence.

PRINCIPAL – (a) A term used in most Australian contracts in lieu of ‘client’ or ‘proprietor’; (b) A licensed estate agent holding responsibility for an agency’s legislative compliance activities including legal responsibility for trust accounts.

PRINCIPAL – The amount borrowed or remaining unpaid. The part of the monthly payment that reduces the remaining balance of a mortgage.

PRINCIPAL BALANCE– The outstanding balance of principal on a mortgage. The principal balance does not include interest or any other charges.

PRIVATE SALE – Where an owner offers a property for sale without engaging an agent.

PRIVATE TREATY SALE – A sale negotiated directly between the parties or their agents through private negotiations and contract.

PROBATE – The official grant of the court to an executor of the right to deal with the property of a deceased person. The executor proves the will and receives a grant of probate.

PROJECT HOME – A house built from a pre-designed set of building plans.

PROMOTION – Marketing and advertising the property for sale.

PROPERTY – At law, property consists of the private rights of ownership. To distinguish between real estate (realty), a physical entity, and its ownership, a legal concept, ownership of land is known as real property. Physical items other than real estate are legally termed ‘personality’ and their ownership is known as ‘personal property’. The word ‘property’ used without further qualification or identification may relate to real estate, personality or a combination. Colloquially, property is anything that can be owned or in which an interest can be held, over which control can be exercised, which can be traded or left in an estate or from which current or future rights to receive benefits can be held. Property can include but is not limited to, real estate and associated interests therein, personality, intellectual property, rights, licences and options, plant and machinery, art and jewellery, goodwill and shares.

PROPERTY INSURANCE– Insurance policies that may cover properties, house contents, landlord, etc.

PROPERTY INTEREST REPORT – PIR – The property interest report gives 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
*land tax certificate
*emergency services levy certificate
*SA Water certificate
*the property interest report can be ordered using SAILIS or from Land Services,

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.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT – The management of a property on behalf of the owner. For example, the leasing of space, collection of rents, selection of tenants and generally the overall maintaining and managing of real estate properties for clients.

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


PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE – It is common practice for business people and homeowners to insure against this liability to others for death, injury or damage accidentally caused by their negligence or by their employees, servants or agent.

PURCHASE – To buy; to acquire by lawful means except by gift or inheritance. To obtain by paying money.

PURCHASE & LEASE BACK – A real estate transaction wherein an investor purchased a property and allows the seller to remain in possession as a tenant.

PURCHASE PRICE – The price paid; the amount for which a property is sold.

PURCHASER – The person buying the property. Also called a Buyer.

PURLIN – A horizontal timber or metal beam along the length of a roof, resting on principals and supporting the common rafters or boards.

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