Real Estate Glossary Letter :  U & V

Real Estate Glossary Letter :  U & V



UNCONDITIONAL SALE – The point when seller and buyer are legally bound to complete the sale.

UNDER CONTRACT – A home is under contract when a buyer has made an offer on a home but the sale is not final. In order for a home to no longer be under contract, all contingencies (ie subject-to-conditions must be met eg – building inspection, finance clauses). When these have been met, the home will considered as sold rather than under contract. Then it’s a matter of waiting until settlement.

UNDERPINNING – In general, the term applies to timbers or other props temporarily supporting a foundation during construction; also permanent supports added to increase the load-bearing capacity of a foundation.

UNDERSLAB PLUMBING – Includes any waste or water lines installed underneath the concrete slab

UNENCUMBERED PROPERTY – Property free and clear of mortgages, restrictive covenants, leases and assessments of any kind.

UNIMPROVED VALUE – A statutory concept of value used mainly for rating and taxing purposes, which envisages the land as being in its virgin state but enjoying the benefits of all external factors which influence the value at a given date. The value of land as if all existing improvements thereupon, including site works, had never been built or made, but regarding all other lands as in their current circumstance, including all improvements, roads, services and amenities.

UNENCUMBERED – Property free of covenants or other restrictions.

UNIT – Each dedicated lot/ unit area designated within a strata plan.

URBAN IMPROVEMENTS CODE – These are abbreviations for property improvements. Eg H = House, DG = Double Garage. 

UTILITIES – The private or public service facilities such as gas, electricity, telephone, water and sewer that are provided as part of the development of the land.

Real Estate Glossary Letter :   V



VACANCY – A rental property or any unit thereof that is unlet.

VACANCY RATE -The proportion of inhabitable rental premises which are vacant.

VACANT LAND – Land without improvements constructed upon it.

VACANT POSSESSION – Refers to a property purchase that is not subject to a lease, is vacant and can be occupied or rented out immediately upon settlement.

VACATE – To give up occupancy; to make vacant; move out of property.

VALLEY – The meeting line of two inclined roof surfaces at a re-entrant angle.

VALLEY GUTTER – A metal gutter built into the roof valley to carry water to the eaves guttering.

VALUATION – An estimate of the value of a property by a qualified and licenced Valuer, usually for a fee. Only a qualified Valuer can undertake valuations. Whereas a land agent can perform an appraisal of the property.

VALUATION REPORT – A document that records the instructions for the assignment, the purpose and basis of the valuation, and the results of the analysis that led to the opinion of value. A Valuation Report may also explain the analytical processes undertaken in carrying out the valuation, and present meaningful information used in the analysis. Valuation Reports can be either oral or written. The type, content and length of a report vary according to the intended user, legal requirements, the property type, and the nature and complexity of the assignment. The terms, Valuation Certificate and Valuation Report, are sometimes used interchangeably.

VALUER – A person who is: (a) registered/ licensed/ approved to carry out property or plant and machinery valuations under any State, Territory or Commonwealth legislation; and/ or (b) a member of the Australian Property Institute who is accredited as a Certified Practising Valuer.

VALUER GENERAL  – The official charged by the relevant act with the responsibility for 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 and 22B.

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’.
  • Heritage – to qualify the land must form part of the state heritage as defined under Section 22B of the Valuation of Land Act 1971.
  • Native vegetation – granted under the Native Vegetation Act 1993. To qualify an agreement must be registered on the certificate of title under Section 23 of the act.

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

VARIABLE INTEREST RATE – A rate that changes in accordance with the rates in the marketplace.

VARIATION – An addition to, omission from, or alteration to a contract or to the contract conditions.

VARIATION ORDER – (often referred to as a VO) – A modification in the scope of works originally included in a construction contract whether in the form of an addition, substitution or omission. A VO may include the alterations to the design, quality, quantities, working conditions or the sequence of work. A VO may not change the fundamental nature of the works, nor can it omit work.

VAULT – A space with an arched ceiling.

VENDOR – One who sells anything. In real estate transactions, the person(s) or entity selling the property.

VENDOR BID – A bid made on behalf of the vendor. Vendor bids can only be made by the auctioneer and only when the auction rules allow it. The auctioneer makes this statement before bidding starts and announces each vendor bid as, or before, it is made.

VENDORS STATEMENT – FORM 1 – Information which the seller must provide to the buyer advising of restrictions such as easements and outgoings such as rates, and any other notices such as a compulsory acquisition.

VENEER – Thin sheets of wood, brick or stone used to cover a framed wall.

VENT – A pipe or duct which lets air and gasses flow outdoors.

VERANDAH – A long covered porch.

VOID – Any cavity left within the construction of a building.

VOIDABLE – An agreement which can be made void at the option of one or both of the parties.

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