Real Estate Glossary Letter :  T

Real Estate Glossary Letter :  T



TAKE OFF – A quotation that includes an estimate of all the construction costs involved in building a home based on your design and specifications. It should include costs associated with purchasing your block, financing, labour, materials and utilities, as well as commissioning construction plans, lodging permits, managing the allotment, and conducting site inspections.

TEMPERED GLASS – Glass treated such that it does not shatter or break into sharp shards when force is applied; instead, it breaks into pellet-like pieces with relatively rounded edges. Tempered glass is required in tub and shower enclosures, entry doors, and low windows. Sometimes called safety glass.

TENANCY AGREEMENT – A form of lease, generally in an abbreviated form. It may be registered on an owner’s certificate of title.

TENANCY or TENANTS IN COMMON – Ownership that is separate and not held directly with another person. There is no survivorship. Each person owns a share of property,

TENANT – A person or entity paying rent in exchange for the occupancy of a building or dwelling. See also, Lessee.

TENANT’S AGENT – A Tenant’s Agent should be a licensed real estate agent, who acts on behalf of a tenant in a commercial property transaction.

TENDER – The sale of an asset through the seeking of written bids.

TERMITE SHIELD – A galvanized metal sheet wrapped along the bottom of foundation walls or around pipes to keep termites out.

TERRACOTTA – A reddish-brown fired clay often used to make flower pots, flooring tiles, roof tiles and other decorative ornaments.

TERRAZZO – is a composite material, poured in place or precast, which is used for floor and wall treatments. It consists of chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass, or other suitable material, poured with a cementitious binder (for chemical binding), polymeric (for physical binding), or a combination of both. Metal strips divide sections or changes in colour or material in a pattern. Additional chips may be sprinkled atop the mix before it sets. After it is cured it is ground and polished smooth or otherwise finished to produce a uniformly textured surface.

TERM – The length of a home loan or a specific portion of that loan. Third Party Security Security provided for a mortgage by a third party, i.e. someone different from actual borrowers, who is legally different from the borrower or debtor.

THRESHOLD – The step or sill at an external door of usually timber tile or brickwork. Traditionally the Groom carries his Bride over.

TIGER TAILS – Black and yellow striped warning cover cupped over existing aerial power lines for the protection of workers on a building site.

TILT-A-DOOR – One piece garage door. Usually timber on a metal frame that tilts up in one piece to permit passage. Spring assisted, manual or motor assisted opening.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE – Contract law term indicating the time period within which a contract or certain Acts specified in a contract have to be executed. It simply means hurry up. Otherwise you may miss out or even penalties might apply.

TITLE – A legal document that identifies who has a right to the ownership of a property. Usually called a Certificate of Title. The form of ownership of real estate (i.e. Torrens, strata or company title).

TITLE DEEDS – Documents evidencing the ownership of property.


  • 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.

TITLE SEARCH – A check of public records to make sure that the vendor has the right to sell and transfer ownership of a property.

TOP PLATE – Timber plate at the top of a wall frame.

TORRENS TITLE – The title to land by registration. Originating in South Australia under the stewardship of R.R. Torrens (later Sir Robert Torrens) and enacted in 1858. The Torrens titles has superseded the ‘Common Law Title’ system throughout Australia. Under the Torrens system dealings and ownership of land are managed by registration with the Titles Office. It is governed by the real property act.

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.

TOUGHENED GLASS – Glass made by rapidly cooling the glass to make it shatter into small pieces when broken for safety, It usually cannot be cut and needs to be made to order to size. It is unlike laminated glass which is made from layers of glass with silicon between to crack only when broken for safety and can easily be cut on site.

TOWNHOUSE – Two storey attached building, usually Strata or Community Titled.

TRADESPERSON – A skilled manual worker who has typically been formally trained through an apprenticeship programme. For example, a carpenter, plumber, roofer, painter or plasterer.

TRAINEE – An employee being trained in a Traineeship under a registered Training Contract.

TRANSFER – Document registered in the Land Titles Office recording change of ownership of a property.

TRANSFEROR – The person transferring any land, mortgage or lease.

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

TRANSOM – A horizontal member dividing window or door frame units at the top of the frame.

TRANSOM LIGHT – A sash or light above a door or window, usually fixed.

TRANSMISSION – 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.

TREAD – The horizontal part of a stair upon which you step.

TRIM – The finishing phase of plumbing, heating and electrical work performed during house construction; continues where the rough-in phase left off. Often called fit off.

TRIMMER – A timber member fixed between joists or trusses to provide stiffening or to support ceiling lining

TRUSS – A structural frame made up wholly of members in tension or compression lying in the same plane. (co-planner) for the bridging of long spans and/or the support of superimposed loads. Members are usually arranged in a series of triangles to form a rigid framework.

TRUST ACCOUNT – A legislatively required bank account where monies are held by an agent for or on behalf of another person e.g. deposits, rental etc.

TRUSTEE – A fiduciary who holds or controls property for the benefit of another.

TURNKEY – Is a type of project that is constructed so that it can be sold to any buyer as a completed product. This is contrasted with a build to order, where the constructor builds an item to the buyer’s exact specifications, or when an incomplete product is sold with the assumption that the buyer would complete it.

Designed by Rayantaban