Property terms and phrases, made simple with our property transaction glossary.

Welcome to the comprehensive glossary page of, your trusted resource for understanding the intricate terminologies of the New Zealand real estate market. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or simply curious about the property market, our glossary is designed to demystify the complex jargon and legal terms you may encounter.

Navigating the New Zealand real estate landscape can be daunting, especially when confronted with specialised terms and concepts. From understanding the roles of "Licensed Real Estate Agents" to the nuances of "Zoning" regulations, our glossary provides clear, concise definitions along with practical examples. This resource is essential for anyone involved in transacting property in New Zealand, offering clarity and insight into the legalities and procedures of real estate transactions.

As the industry evolves, so does our glossary. Regularly updated to reflect the latest trends and legislative changes, it is an invaluable tool for keeping abreast of the dynamic New Zealand property market. Dive into our glossary to enhance your understanding, make informed decisions, and navigate your real estate journey with confidence. Welcome to the world of informed property dealings with

Advertised Sale Price

Description: An advertised sale price is when a seller sets a specific price for their property before it goes on the market. This strategy gives potential buyers a clear idea of what the seller expects to receive, simplifying the decision-making process for interested parties.

Example: Let's consider Marama, who owns a charming bungalow in Christchurch. She's looking to sell and decides to set an advertised price to attract potential buyers. After consulting with her real estate agent, Marama settles on an asking price of NZ$750,000, based on recent sales in her neighbourhood and her home's unique features. This price is then listed in her property's advertisement. When buyers like Tom come across her listing, they immediately understand Marama's price expectation. Tom, who has been searching for a home within a NZ$700,000 to NZ$800,000 range, sees Marama's advertised price and decides to view the property, knowing it fits his budget.

Agency Agreement

Description: An agency agreement, also known as a listing agreement, is a formal contract that binds a property seller to a real estate agent. It details the agent's responsibilities, including how they will market the property, and the commission they will receive for their services. It's mandatory for agents to advise sellers to seek legal advice before signing this agreement.

Example: Emma, planning to sell her Auckland home, signs an agency agreement with a reputable real estate firm. This contract outlines the responsibilities of her agent, James, including marketing strategies and open home arrangements. It also specifies a 2.5% commission on the sale price. Emma consults her lawyer, who explains the terms and implications of the agreement, ensuring she makes an informed decision.

Agency Agreement Guide

Description: The Agency Agreement Guide is an essential document for sellers, outlining the critical aspects of agency agreements. Real estate agents are required to provide this guide to sellers before they sign an agency agreement, ensuring they fully understand the terms and implications.

Example: Before Emma signs the agency agreement, James presents her with the Agency Agreement Guide. This comprehensive guide details the roles and duties of the agent, commission rates, and Emma's rights as a seller. Reading this guide helps Emma grasp the agreement's scope, aiding her in making an informed decision.

Agent or Real Estate Agent

Description: In New Zealand, real estate agents are licensed professionals under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008. The Real Estate Authority (REA) issues these licenses, which include categories like salesperson, branch manager, or agent.

Example: James, Emma's real estate agent, holds a salesperson licence issued by the REA. He completed the necessary training and adheres to professional standards set by the Act. His licence enables him to legally represent Emma in selling her property.


Description: In real estate, an amenity refers to a property feature that boosts its attractiveness and the satisfaction of occupants or users, such as a great view or nearby public transport.

Example: Emma's Auckland home boasts several amenities that enhance its appeal: panoramic views of the harbour, easy access to public transport, and a nearby park. These features make her property more attractive to potential buyers.

Anti-Money Laundering Compliance (AML Compliance)

Description: AML Compliance refers to the adherence to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009. It obliges real estate professionals to conduct due diligence, monitor financial transactions, and report suspicious activities to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

Example: A real estate agency in Auckland implements robust AML Compliance measures. They verify the identities of all clients, maintain records of financial transactions, and report any unusual or suspicious activity as per the act's requirements.


Description: An appraisal is a professional assessment of a property's potential sale price, informed by market conditions and comparable recent sales. Agents are obliged to provide sellers with a realistic, written appraisal.

Example: Prior to listing Emma's home, James conducts a thorough appraisal. He evaluates recent sales of similar properties in the area and current market trends, concluding that her home could fetch around NZ$1.2 million. He presents Emma with a detailed written appraisal, providing a realistic expectation of the sale price.

Asking Price

Description: The asking price is the initial price a seller sets for their property. It's a starting point for negotiations and may differ from the final sale price.

Example: Emma decides to set an asking price of NZ$1.25 million for her home, slightly above James’s appraisal, to allow room for negotiation with potential buyers.


Description: Assignment in real estate involves transferring a mortgage or lease from one party to another, often seen in property sales or lease changes.

Example: When Emma sells her home, the buyer, Zoe, takes over the existing lease agreement for the solar panels on the roof. This transfer, known as assignment, is facilitated by the lawyers handling the sale.


Description: An auction is a public sale method where potential buyers place bids, and the highest bid often wins the property.

Example: Emma decides to sell her home through an auction. During the auction, several bidders compete, driving the price up. The property is eventually sold to the highest bidder for NZ$1.3 million.

BBO (Buyer Budget Over) or BEO (Buyer Enquiry Over)

Description: These terms are used in property marketing to indicate the minimum price a seller will accept. They signal to buyers the base price from which to consider their offers.

Example: For a property listed with 'BEO NZ$1 million', buyers know that the seller will seriously consider offers over this amount. It sets a clear benchmark for potential buyers, like Tom, who is interested in the property and plans to offer NZ$1.05 million.


Description: A beneficiary is an individual designated to receive benefits, such as income or assets, from a trust, estate, or deed of trust.

Example: In her will, Emma names her daughter, Lily, as the beneficiary of her estate, including her property and investments. Upon Emma's passing, Lily will inherit these assets.

Body Corporate

Description: A body corporate is an administrative group consisting of all unit or apartment owners in a development, responsible for managing an maintaining the property.

Example: Emma's apartment in a downtown Auckland complex is part of a body corporate. She and other owners elect a committee to manage common areas like the lobby and gym.


Description: The boundary of a property is the line that defines its perimeters and separates it from adjoining properties.

Example: When Emma purchased her home, she reviewed the property's title, which included a diagram showing the boundaries of her land, ensuring clarity on the limits of her property.

Branch Manager

Description: A branch manager in real estate is a professional licensed under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 to oversee and manage real estate agency work.

Example: James, Emma's agent, works under a branch manager, Sophie. Sophie supervises the agency's operations in Auckland, ensuring compliance with legal and professional standards.

Bridging Loan

Description: A bridging loan is a short-term loan used to cover the financial gap between buying a new property and selling an existing one, often at a higher interest rate.

Example: Emma applies for a bridging loan to finance the purchase of a new home before her current home is sold. This loan provides her the necessary funds to secure her new property while awaiting the sale of her existing home.

Brightline Test

Description: The Brightline Test is a tax rule in New Zealand that determines if you need to pay income tax on the profit from selling a residential property. If the property is sold within a specific period after purchase (which has varied over the years), it's subject to income tax on the gains.

Example: Sophie bought a house in Wellington in 2020 and decided to sell it in 2022. Since she's selling within two years of purchase, her sale falls under the Brightline Test. This means any profit she makes from the sale is considered taxable income.

Building Report

Description: A building report is a detailed assessment of a property's condition, conducted by a qualified inspector, identifying any current or future issues.

Example: Before purchasing a new home, Emma requests a building report. The inspector notes the home is in excellent condition but will soon need roof maintenance. This information helps Emma make an informed decision.

Building Code

Description: The Building Code, part of the Building Act 2004, outlines the standards for construction, alteration, demolition, and maintenance of buildings in New Zealand.

Example: The new home Emma is considering has been recently renovated. She checks that all modifications comply with the New Zealand Building Code, ensuring the work meets safety and durability standards.

Building Consent

Description: Building consent, under the Building Act 2004, is official permission from the local council for construction, alteration, demolition, or removal of a building in New Zealand, ensuring the proposed work complies with the Building Code.

Example: Before renovating her Wellington home, Jane applies for building consent from the local council. This ensures her renovation plans adhere to the safety, health, and structural standards set out in the Building Code.

Buyer’s Agent

Description: A buyer's agent represents a buyer in a property transaction and is compensated through a commission paid by the buyer.

Example: When searching for a new home, Emma employs a buyer's agent, Lucy, to assist her. Lucy helps Emma find suitable properties and negotiate terms, earning a commission upon successful purchase. 

Capital Gain

Description: Capital gain is the increase in value of a property over time, realised when the property is sold.

Example: After owning a home in Christchurch for 10 years, Geoff sells it for significantly more than the purchase price, realising a substantial capital gain.


Description: A caveat is a legal notice that indicates a third party may have an interest in a property.

Example: Before finalising her home purchase, Emma discovers a caveat on the title, indicating a disputed boundary with a neighbour. She decides to investigate this further before proceeding.

CCC (Code Compliance Certificate)

Description: A CCC, issued under the Building Act 2004, confirms that building work complies with the building consent.

Example: The renovations on Emma's potential new home have a CCC, assuring her that the construction work meets the required legal standards.

Certificate of Title

Description: A Certificate of Title is a legal document that identifies the owners of a property and key facts about the property.

Example: Emma reviews the Certificate of Title for her new home, confirming her ownership and understanding any easements or covenants attached to the property.


Description: Chattels in real estate are movable items included in a property sale, such as appliances and fixtures, as listed in the sale agreement.

Example: In the sale agreement for her home, Emma lists the included chattels: the dishwasher, curtains, and the garden shed, ensuring clarity for the buyer.

Client Funds Account

Description: A Client Funds Account is a separate account where real estate agents hold client money, distinct from their business operating funds, to ensure financial transparency and security.

Example: A real estate agency in Wellington maintains a Client Funds Account where it securely holds deposits from buyers until transactions are completed.

Commerce Act Compliance

Description: Compliance with the Commerce Act 1986 involves adherence to fair trading practices and competition laws. This act prevents businesses from engaging in anti-competitive practices like price fixing or market allocation.

Example: Real estate agencies in Christchurch ensure their marketing strategies and collaboration with other agencies comply with the Commerce Act 1986, fostering fair competition and consumer protection.


Description: Commission is the fee paid to a real estate agent by the seller for facilitating a property sale, as detailed in the agency agreement.

Example: Upon the successful sale of her home, Emma pays a commission to her agent, James, as agreed in their agency agreement. This fee is a percentage of the sale price.

Common Property

Description: Common property refers to areas within a unit title property shared by all owners, like driveways or gardens.

Example: In Emma's apartment complex, the gym, swimming pool, and garden are common properties, maintained collectively by the body corporate.

Company Title

Description: A company title involves a unique form of property ownership where individuals own shares in a company that manages and maintains the property. This structure is often used in grouped housing situations.

Example: John purchases an apartment in a company title complex in Dunedin. Along with the apartment, he acquires shares in the company responsible for the building's overall management. This company, run by elected directors from among the owners, makes decisions about maintenance and management of common areas like the rooftop terrace and the parking area. John, as a shareholder, has a say in these decisions during the annual general meetings.

Complaints Assessment Committee (CAC)

Description: The Complaints Assessment Committee (CAC) is a panel that evaluates complaints against real estate agents, operating under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008. It plays a crucial role in maintaining professional standards in the real estate industry.

Example: After an unsatisfactory experience with her real estate agent, Lisa files a complaint with the CAC. The committee, comprising a lawyer and two members with backgrounds in real estate or consumer affairs, reviews her case. They assess whether the agent breached professional standards and, if necessary, take appropriate disciplinary action.

Complaints and Discipline Process

Description: This process outlines the procedures for managing complaints against real estate agents, including potential disciplinary actions by the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal.

Example: After a dispute with her agent, Jane lodges a complaint, which is then handled through the established Complaints and Discipline Process as outlined in the Act.

Compliance Certificate (Under the Building Act 2004)

Description: A Compliance Certificate, as part of the Building Act 2004, certifies that specified building work complies with the approved Building Consent, ensuring that the construction meets national building standards.

Example: For a new residential development in Palmerston North, the developer obtains a Compliance Certificate from the local council post-construction, affirming that the building project adheres to the approved plans and the Building Act's requirements.

Conditional Offer

Description: A conditional offer in real estate is an offer to buy a property that is subject to specified conditions being met, such as securing financing or a satisfactory building inspection.

Example: Michael makes a conditional offer on a house in Hamilton, stating that the offer is subject to a satisfactory building inspection. This means the sale will only proceed if the inspection report is acceptable to him, ensuring he's informed about the property's condition before finalising the purchase.

Conjunctional Agreement

Description: A conjunctional agreement is a cooperative arrangement in real estate where agents from different agencies work together to sell a property, sharing the commission.

Example: An agent from Agency A, who has a potential buyer for a house listed with Agency B, enters a conjunctional agreement with Agency B. Both agencies collaborate in the sale process, and if successful, they share the commission from the sale, benefiting from the combined efforts.

Consumer Guarantees

Description: Under the Fair Trading Act 1986, consumer guarantees protect buyers by ensuring goods and services are of acceptable quality, fit for purpose, and match their description.

Example: When selling a home with installed appliances, a real estate agent in Hamilton assures that all inclusions meet the consumer guarantees as stipulated by the Fair Trading Act, ensuring they are in working condition and as advertised.


Description: A covenant in real estate refers to specific terms, conditions, or restrictions noted on a property's title. These covenants can affect the property's use or its future resale.

Example: Sophie buys a property in a new subdivision in Tauranga. The property's title includes a covenant that restricts the type of fencing that can be erected and the allowable exterior paint colours to maintain a cohesive look in the neighbourhood. Sophie must adhere to these conditions, ensuring her property modifications align with the covenant's requirements.

Conflict of Interest

Description: A situation where a real estate agent's personal interests might conflict with their professional duties, which must be managed appropriately under the Act.

Example: An agent in Rotorua, selling a property owned by a family member, discloses this relationship to potential buyers to avoid a conflict of interest.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Description: Continuing Professional Development refers to the ongoing education and training that licensed real estate professionals must undertake to maintain their licensure and stay abreast of industry standards and changes.

Example: Mike, a real estate agent in Christchurch, attends an annual seminar on the latest real estate trends and legislative changes as part of his CPD requirements.

Courier and Postage Fees

Description: Charges for sending documents via courier or post, ensuring timely and secure delivery to various parties, councils, or government bodies.

Example: Nora, refinancing her mortgage in Dunedin, sees courier fees on her conveyancing invoice for sending signed documents to her bank and local council.

Cross Lease

Description: In a cross lease, multiple homes are situated on a single block of land. Each homeowner owns a share of the land and leases their home from the collective group of owners. Exclusive use areas are designated for each homeowner, although they share the land ownership.

Example: Alice and Bob live in a cross-lease development in Nelson. They each own a home and a share of the land it's built on. Alice has exclusive rights to her garden, while Bob has a similar arrangement for his garage. They must consult each other for significant changes to their properties due to the shared nature of the land ownership.

Cultural Heritage Assessments

Description: Cultural heritage assessments evaluate the historical and cultural significance of a property or area. They're essential in preserving New Zealand's heritage and are often required for properties with potential historical importance.

Example: When the Ngāi Tahu Heritage Trust learns of a proposed development in a historically significant area of Dunedin, they commission a cultural heritage assessment. The assessment uncovers important historical links to early Māori settlement, leading to a collaborative approach to the development that respects and incorporates this heritage.

Deadline Sale

Description: A deadline sale is a property marketing strategy where the property is listed for a specific period, with a clear end date. The seller is not obliged to accept any offers until this date, although they can choose to accept an offer earlier.

Example: Megan lists her Queenstown property with a deadline sale, setting a four-week period for offers. Interested buyers know they must submit their offers by the deadline, but Megan can accept a compelling offer at any time during the listing period.


Description: Default occurs when a borrower fails to make timely mortgage payments or meet other mortgage terms.

Example: After losing his job, David struggles to make his monthly mortgage payments. If he continues to miss payments, he risks defaulting on his mortgage, which could lead to foreclosure by the lender.


Description: A deposit in real estate is an upfront payment, usually a percentage of the purchase price, made to secure the property sale.

Example: Emma, interested in buying a home in Tauranga, pays a 10% deposit on the NZ$500,000 purchase price, amounting to NZ$50,000, to secure the sale agreement.

Due Diligence

Description: Due diligence in real estate involves a comprehensive appraisal of a property by a potential buyer or their agent to evaluate its value and uncover any risks or defects. This is an essential step in informed decision-making, as outlined in the Property Law Act 2007.

Example: Before purchasing a commercial property in Auckland, Rachel conducts thorough due diligence. This includes reviewing the title, checking for any encumbrances, evaluating the structural integrity of the building, and understanding zoning regulations.

Duty of Care

Description: This refers to the obligation of real estate agents to act in the best interests of their clients, providing services with due care, skill, and diligence.

Example: A real estate agent in Queenstown diligently researches market trends to ensure her clients are making informed decisions about their property investments.

Dux Quest Plumbing

Description: Dux Quest refers to a type of plastic piping used in New Zealand homes in the late 1970s to early 1980s, later discontinued due to its propensity to burst.

Example: During a home inspection, it's discovered that a house in Palmerston North still has Dux Quest plumbing. The inspector advises the potential buyer of the risks associated with this type of plumbing.


Description: An easement is a legal right to use another's land for a specific purpose, like access or utilities.

Example: Hannah's property in Auckland has an easement allowing the local water authority access to maintain the water mains running through her land.


Description: Encroachment happens when a structure unlawfully extends over a property boundary, such as a neighbour's land or a public pathway.

Example: During a boundary survey, it's found that Luke's garage in Christchurch extends over into his neighbour's property, constituting an encroachment.


Description: An encumbrance is a claim, lien, or liability attached to a property that can hinder its use or transfer.

Example: A home buyer in Dunedin discovers a lien on the property they're interested in, which is an encumbrance that must be cleared before the sale can proceed.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Description: An EIA assesses the potential environmental impacts of a proposed development or project. It's a critical step in ensuring that property developments are sustainable and environmentally responsible.

Example: A developer in Auckland plans to build a new housing complex and conducts an EIA. The assessment identifies potential impacts on local ecosystems and proposes measures to mitigate them, ensuring the project proceeds in an eco-friendly manner.


Description: Equity in real estate is the difference between the property's market value and the outstanding balance of all liens on it.

Example: Claire's house in Wellington is valued at NZ$800,000, and she owes NZ$500,000 on her mortgage. Her equity in the property is NZ$300,000.


Description: An estate encompasses all the real and personal property owned by an individual at their time of death.

Example: Upon his passing, Mr. Taylor’s estate, which includes his home in Hamilton and his investment portfolio, is distributed according to his will.


Description: An executor is a person appointed in a will to administer the deceased's estate.

Example: Jane is named the executor of her aunt's estate, responsible for distributing her assets, including her Napier home, according to the will.

Fidelity Fund

Description: The Fidelity Fund provides financial protection to clients in cases of misappropriation of funds or property by a real estate agent.

Example: When a real estate agent in Dunedin misappropriates client funds, the affected clients seek compensation from the Fidelity Fund.

Geotechnical Report

Description: A geotechnical report analyses soil and land stability, crucial for understanding the suitability of a site for construction and identifying any potential geotechnical hazards.

Example: Jack, eyeing a plot of land in Napier for his dream home, orders a geotechnical report. The report reveals the land is stable but suggests specific foundation requirements due to the region's seismic activity, guiding Jack's building plans.


Description: A guarantor is someone who agrees to repay a loan if the primary borrower defaults.

Example: To secure a mortgage for their first home, Nick and Emma in Rotorua have Emma's parents act as guarantors for the loan.

Health and Safety Compliance

Description: Compliance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 requires maintaining a safe working environment. In real estate, this includes ensuring the safety of properties, especially during viewings and open homes.

Example: A property management firm in Tauranga conducts regular health and safety assessments at their managed properties, ensuring they comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act to protect visitors and tenants.

Hydrological Reports

Description: Hydrological reports examine water flow and drainage on a property, assessing risks like flooding and erosion. These reports are vital for properties near water bodies or in flood-prone areas.

Example: Fiona, looking to buy a riverside property in Hamilton, reviews a hydrological report. It reassures her that despite its proximity to the river, the property has adequate drainage and flood prevention measures.


Description: Incidentals cover miscellaneous costs incurred during the conveyancing process.

Example: During the purchase of a holiday home in Queenstown, Ben's conveyancing invoice includes a line for incidental expenses, covering unforeseen minor costs that arose during the transaction.

Informed Consent

Description: Informed Consent requires agents to ensure their clients fully understand and agree to any actions or agreements made on their behalf.

Example: Before listing a property, an agent in Tauranga ensures the homeowner provides informed consent, fully understanding the terms of the listing agreement.


Description: Interest is the cost of borrowing money, typically expressed as a yearly percentage of the loan amount.

Example: Sam takes out a NZ$400,000 mortgage with a 4% annual interest rate, meaning he'll pay NZ$16,000 in interest per year for that tranche in year one.

Interest-only Loan

Description: An interest-only loan is a mortgage where the borrower pays only the interest for a set period. The principal amount remains unchanged during this period and is usually paid at the end of the loan term or refinanced.

Example: Liam, purchasing a home in Auckland, opts for an interest-only loan. For the first five years, his payments cover only the interest on the NZ$300,000 loan. This approach lowers his initial payments, with plans to refinance or pay the principal at the end of this period.

Investment Property

Description: An investment property is real estate not occupied by the owner but used to generate income, typically through renting or leasing.

Example: Sophie buys a flat in Wellington, which she doesn’t live in but rents out. The rent she collects from tenants provides her with a steady income, making the flat an investment property.

Joint Tenancy

Description: Joint tenancy is a form of property co-ownership where each tenant has equal shares and rights, including the right of survivorship.

Example: Married couple Mark and Anna own a house in Christchurch as joint tenants. If one of them passes away, the surviving spouse automatically inherits the deceased’s share of the property.

Land Survey Reports

Description: Land survey reports provide precise measurements and boundaries of a property, crucial for legal, building, and development purposes.

Example: The Taylors, planning to fence their rural property near Rotorua, commission a land survey report. The report clarifies their property boundaries, ensuring their new fence respects neighbouring land limits.


Description: In a leasehold arrangement, one owns the buildings on the land but leases the land itself for a specific period, paying rent to the landowner.

Example: Tara buys a home in Napier on leasehold land. She owns the house but pays annual rent for the land to the landowner or lessor.


Description: A lender is an individual or entity that provides funds to a borrower under an agreement that the funds will be repaid, typically with interest.

Example: BNZ, a bank in New Zealand, acts as a lender when it approves a mortgage for Sarah to buy her first home.


Description: A lessee is an individual or entity that leases or rents a property from its owner.

Example: Jack, renting an apartment in Dunedin, is the lessee, while the apartment owner is the lessor.


Description: The lessor is the owner of a property who leases it out to another party, known as the lessee.

Example: Emily, who owns a retail space in Hamilton, leases it to a local business. In this arrangement, Emily is the lessor.

Licensed Real Estate Agent

Description: A Licensed Real Estate Agent is a professional who has fulfilled the necessary requirements and obtained a license from the Real Estate Authority (REA) to legally practice real estate in New Zealand.

Example: Sarah, after completing her training and passing the required exams, receives her license from the REA, allowing her to operate as a licensed real estate agent in Auckland, where she helps clients buy and sell properties.

Life Estate

Description: A life estate is a property interest that lasts for the life of the holder. Upon their death, the property passes to another designated person or reverts to the original owner.

Example: George inherits a life estate in a family beach house in Bay of Plenty. He can use the property for his lifetime, after which it will pass to his niece.

LIM (Land Information Memorandum)

Description: A LIM is a comprehensive report from the local council containing important information about a property, including any known issues or compliance matters.

Example: Before buying a property in Gisborne, Mia requests a LIM report to check for any drainage problems or outstanding council consents.

Listing Agreement

Description: A listing agreement is a contract between a property seller and a real estate agent, authorising the agent to represent the seller and sell the property.

Example: Harriet signs a listing agreement with a real estate agent in Blenheim, giving them the exclusive right to market and sell her vineyard.


Description: A loan is a sum of money borrowed, typically from a bank or financial institution, which is to be repaid with interest.

Example: Neil borrows NZ$200,000 as a loan from his local bank to renovate his home in New Plymouth.

Local Bylaws Adherence

Description: Local bylaws vary by region and can include regulations on property maintenance, noise control, and other community standards. Real estate transactions must consider these bylaws for compliance.

Example: A developer in Queenstown checks the local bylaws before starting a new apartment project, ensuring the development adheres to the specific regulations and community standards of the area.

LVR (Loan to Value Ratio)

Description: LVR is the ratio of the amount borrowed against the value of the property, expressed as a percentage.

Example: Rebecca wants to purchase a house valued at NZ$500,000. She needs to borrow NZ$400,000, making her LVR 80%.


Description: Mediation is a conflict resolution process often used in real estate disputes where a neutral third party assists the involved parties to reach a mutually agreeable solution. This approach is encouraged under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 to resolve disputes efficiently and amicably.

Example: A dispute arises between a buyer and a seller in Hamilton over property defects post-sale. They agree to engage in mediation, where a neutral mediator helps them discuss their issues and find a satisfactory resolution without resorting to litigation.


Description: A mortgage is a legal agreement where a borrower pledges a property to the lender as security for a loan.

Example: Ben takes out a mortgage with a bank to buy a house in Timaru, using the house as collateral for the loan.

Mortgage Adviser

Description: A mortgage adviseris a professional who helps borrowers find the best loan options and deals, usually earning a commission from the lender.

Example: Emma consults a mortgage adviser to find the most favourable mortgage terms for buying an apartment


Description: The mortgagee is the lender in a mortgage agreement, typically a bank or financial institution that provides the loan secured by the property.

Example: In Sarah’s home purchase in Wellington, the ANZ Bank is the mortgagee, providing her with the loan to buy the property.


Description: The mortgagor is the borrower in a mortgage agreement, the individual or entity that takes out a loan secured by a property.

Example: Jack, buying a house in Auckland, is the mortgagor. He secures a mortgage from a bank, using the house as collateral for the loan.

Multi-offer Process

Description: The multi-offer process is a sales method where multiple buyers submit their best offers for a property, and the seller chooses the most attractive one. It's essential that there are genuinely multiple offers.

Example: A home in Queenstown receives several offers after being listed. The seller, through their agent, uses the multi-offer process to evaluate and select the best offer.


Description: A nominee in real estate acts on behalf of another, particularly in sales agreements where they may take over the buyer's right to purchase the property.

Example: During a property transaction in Napier, the buyer designates a family member as their nominee to complete the purchase on their behalf.

Non-Disturbance Agreement

Description: A Non-Disturbance Agreement is used in lease situations, especially in commercial real estate. It's an agreement between a tenant and the landlord's lender to ensure the tenant's lease remains valid even if the property is foreclosed.

Example: A company leasing office space in Christchurch signs a Non-Disturbance Agreement with the property owner's bank. This ensures that in case of foreclosure, the company's lease remains intact, protecting their business operations.

Off the Plan

Description: Purchasing a property off the plan means buying it before it's built, based only on the architectural plans.

Example: Hannah buys an apartment in a new development in Christchurch off the plan, making her decision based on the project's blueprints and specifications.


Description: An offer in real estate is a formal proposal to purchase a property, often subject to certain conditions like securing financing or a satisfactory building report.

Example: Mike submits an offer to buy a home in Dunedin, subject to the condition that he obtains adequate financing.

Overseas Investment Compliance

Description: Compliance with the Overseas Investment Act 2005 is required when foreign individuals or entities intend to buy sensitive land in New Zealand. This act ensures that such investments benefit the country.

Example: An American investor seeking to purchase farmland in New Zealand consults with a real estate attorney to navigate the Overseas Investment Act, ensuring their investment meets the necessary criteria and receives approval.

Possession Date

Description: The possession date in real estate transactions is the day when the buyer can take legal possession of the property. This is typically the settlement date when the final payment is made, as outlined in the sale and purchase agreement.

Example: Emily buys a house in Nelson, and the sale and purchase agreement states that the possession date is June 1st. On this day, after the settlement is completed, Emily receives the keys and can move into her new home.

Professional Conduct and Client Care Rules

Description: These rules set the standard for professional behaviour and client care that real estate agents must follow.

Example: An agent in Hamilton ensures all interactions and transactions with clients adhere to the Professional Conduct and Client Care Rules to maintain high ethical standards.

Professional Fees

Description: Professional fees cover the conveyancer's or solicitor's time and expertise in managing the legal aspects of a property transaction. These fees can vary based on the complexity and type of transaction.

Example: The Andersons, buying a new home in Auckland, engage a solicitor for conveyancing. The invoice includes professional fees for the solicitor’s services, encompassing legal advice, preparation of documents, and handling the transfer process.

Privacy Protection

Description: Under the Privacy Act 2020, real estate professionals must protect personal information collected from clients, ensuring it is used and stored responsibly and in accordance with privacy principles.

Example: A real estate agent in Auckland implements strict data protection measures to safeguard client information, adhering to the guidelines of the Privacy Act 2020.

Property Manager

Description: A property manager is a person or company employed to oversee and manage a property, particularly rental properties. They handle day-to-day management tasks and ensure compliance with relevant laws, including the Residential Tenancies Act.

Example: Jack hires a property management firm in Dunedin to take care of his rental properties. The firm handles tenant screening, maintenance, rent collection, and ensures compliance with tenancy laws.

Public Works Acquisition

Description: Under the Public Works Act 1981, the government can acquire private land for public works, compensating the landowner. This is relevant in transactions where there is potential government interest in the land for public projects.

Example: A farmer in Rotorua is approached by the government to acquire a portion of his land under the Public Works Act for a new highway project, with discussions focusing on fair compensation.

Residential Tenancies Compliance

Description: Compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 is crucial for landlords and property managers. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, including aspects like bond handling, notice periods, and maintenance obligations.

Example: A property management company in Napier ensures all rental agreements and practices comply with the Residential Tenancies Act, providing clear guidelines and protections for both landlords and tenants.

RV (Rateable Value)

Description: Rateable value (RV) is used to calculate local body rates and is different from the market value. It may not reflect recent market changes or property upgrades.

Example: Jenny’s home in Tauranga has an RV of NZ$550,000, which is used to calculate her local council rates.

Real Estate Agency

Description: A real estate agency is a business that conducts real estate work through licensed agents, branch managers, and salespersons.

Example: Barfoot & Thompson, operating in Auckland, is a real estate agency that assists clients in buying, selling, and leasing properties.

Real Estate Agent

Description: A real estate agent, licensed under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008, facilitates the sale or lease of real estate on behalf of property owners.

Example: Lisa, a licensed real estate agent in Hamilton, helps homeowners sell their properties by marketing them and negotiating with potential buyers.

Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal

Description: The Tribunal is responsible for hearing and determining disciplinary cases involving real estate agents under the Act.

Example: The Tribunal convenes to hear a case against an agent in Napier accused of breaching professional standards.

Real Estate Agents Act 2008 (REAA 2008)

Description: The Real Estate Agents Act 2008 regulates New Zealand’s real estate industry, setting professional standards and practices.

Example: When dealing with a dispute over a property sale in Rotorua, the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 provides the legal framework for resolving the issue.

Real Estate Authority (REA)

Description: The Real Estate Authority is the New Zealand government body that regulates the real estate industry.

Example: A homeowner in Invercargill contacts the REA for guidance on the professional conduct of their real estate agent.

Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal (READT)

Description: The READT is responsible for hearing and determining disciplinary and licensing cases involving real estate licensees in New Zealand.

Example: An agent in Blenheim faces a hearing before the READT for alleged misconduct in a property transaction.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ)

Description: REINZ is a membership organisation representing real estate agents across New Zealand, providing advocacy and industry standards.

Example: A real estate agent in Taupo joins REINZ to access professional development resources and industry updates.


Description: Refinancing involves replacing an existing loan with a new one, often to secure better interest rates or different loan terms.

Example: Tom decides to refinance his mortgage to take advantage of lower interest rates, reducing his monthly payments on his Palmerston North home.

Registration Fees

Description: Registration fees are associated with legally registering the change of property ownership and other necessary documents with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).

Example: When Sam sells his property in Christchurch, his conveyancing invoice includes registration fees for recording the sale and transferring ownership with LINZ.

Requisitions on Title

Description: This process involves the buyer requesting additional information about a property's title from the seller to clarify any issues or encumbrances.

Example: Before finalising a property purchase in Greymouth, the buyer makes requisitions on the title to ensure there are no undisclosed easements or liens.


Description: The reserve in an auction is the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for their property.

Example: At an auction in Nelson, the seller sets a reserve price of NZ$600,000, below which the property will not be sold.

Resource Consents

Description: Resource consents are required for activities or developments on a property that are not permitted under the local district or regional plans.

Example: A developer in Gore applies for resource consent to build a new housing subdivision that requires deviation from the local district plan.

Right of First Refusal

Description: This right gives a party the first opportunity to buy or lease a property before it is offered to others.

Example: The tenants of a commercial building in New Plymouth have the right of first refusal to purchase the property if the owner decides to sell.

Right of Way

Description: A right of way is a legal right to access or cross another person’s property via a specific route.

Example: Sue has a right of way to use her neighbour's driveway in Gore to access her garage.

Sale and Purchase Agreement

Description: This legally binding contract outlines the terms and conditions agreed upon by the buyer and seller for the sale and purchase of a property.

Example: After negotiating the terms, both parties in a Whangarei property transaction sign a sale and purchase agreement, formalising the sale.

Sale and Purchase Agreement Approved Guide

Description: This guide provides essential information about sale and purchase agreements in real estate transactions.

Example: Before signing the agreement for a house in Levin, the real estate agent provides the buyer with the approved guide to understand the contract's implications fully.


Description: A salesperson in real estate is licensed to perform agency work on behalf of an agent.

Example: Molly, a licensed salesperson in Oamaru, works for a real estate agency, assisting clients with buying and selling properties.

Search Fees

Description: Search fees are charges for various property-related searches necessary in the conveyancing process, such as title searches, local council searches, and LIM reports.

Example: Emily, purchasing a property in Wellington, incurs search fees on her conveyancing invoice. These cover the cost of a title search to confirm ownership details and a LIM report to identify any local council issues.

Second Mortgage

Description: A second mortgage is a loan taken out on a property that already has a mortgage, subordinate to the first mortgage.

Example: To fund home renovations in Te Anau, Brian takes out a second mortgage on his property, which will be repaid after the first mortgage.

Seismic Risk Assessments

Description: Seismic risk assessments evaluate a property's vulnerability to earthquakes. In seismically active areas like New Zealand, these assessments are critical for building safety and insurance purposes.

Example: A commercial building owner in Wellington invests in a seismic risk assessment. The results lead to necessary structural enhancements, improving the building's earthquake resilience.


Description: Semi-detached refers to a type of construction where two buildings share a common wall.

Example: In a new development in Kerikeri, several semi-detached homes are built, each sharing one wall with its neighbour.

Septic Tank

Description: A septic tank is an essential component of a private sewage treatment system, especially in areas without centralised sewer services. It processes and separates wastewater from homes, with solid waste settling at the bottom for decomposition, and liquid effluent dispersing into a drain field.

Example: John and Rita, residing in a rural area outside Tauranga, use a septic tank for their home's sewage needs. Regular maintenance and inspections of their septic system are vital for them, ensuring environmental safety and proper functioning of the system, as well as avoiding expensive repairs.


Description: Settlement is the final stage in a property transaction where ownership is transferred, and payments are completed.

Example: The settlement of a house sale in Feilding involves the buyer paying the remaining balance, and the seller transferring the property title.

Settlement Date

Description: The settlement date in a real estate transaction is the day when the sale is finalised, the buyer pays the balance of the purchase price, and the ownership is transferred.

Example: In a property sale in Queenstown, the settlement date is agreed upon as March 15th. On this date, the buyer completes payment, and the seller transfers the property title, completing the sale process.

Settlement Statement

Description: A settlement statement itemises the payments involved in a property transaction, prepared by a lawyer or conveyancer.

Example: For a property sale in Kaitaia, the conveyancer prepares a settlement statement detailing the deposit, commission, outstanding rates, and loan payments.

Soil Contamination Reports

Description: These reports identify any contamination in the soil, such as heavy metals or chemicals, which is vital for health, safety, and environmental reasons.

Example: Before purchasing an industrial site in Christchurch, Lisa obtains a soil contamination report. The report uncovers minor contamination from past uses, guiding her decision to proceed with remediation before development.

Sole or Exclusive Agency

Description: This type of agency agreement allows only one agent to work on selling a property, though other agents may approach if they have interested clients.

Example: Julia signs a sole agency agreement with a real estate firm in Alexandra, giving them exclusive rights to sell her property.

Stationery and Photocopying

Description: These are minor charges for stationery and photocopying services used in the preparation and management of property transaction documents.

Example: For the Johnsons' property sale in Hamilton, their conveyancer includes a small charge for photocopying and stationery used to produce multiple copies of legal documents.


Description: Subdivision involves dividing a tract of land into individual lots for development.

Example: A large piece of land in Ashburton is subdivided into residential lots for a new housing estate.

Survey Plan

Description: A survey plan shows the precise legal boundaries of a property, including its improvements, easements, and other physical features.

Example: Before purchasing land in Matamata, Greg reviews the survey plan to understand the property's exact boundaries and rights of way.

Tenancy Agreement

Description: A tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract between a landlord and a tenant, outlining the terms and conditions of the rental arrangement. This agreement must comply with the Residential Tenancies Act.

Example: Sarah rents out her apartment in Napier and signs a tenancy agreement with the new tenant, Mike. The agreement includes details like rent amount, payment frequency, and maintenance responsibilities, ensuring clear expectations and legal compliance.

Tenants in Common

Description: This type of joint property ownership allows two or more people to own property in specified shares independently.

Example: Linda and Peter buy a holiday home in Raglan as tenants in common, each owning 50% of the property.


Description: Tender is a sale method where buyers submit confidential offers by a specified deadline. There's usually no set minimum price, though properties may be listed with a 'Buyer Enquiry Over' (BEO) or 'Buyer Budget Over' (BBO) price. The seller can choose the most suitable offer based on price and conditions. After the tender closes, the seller can negotiate with one or more of the tenderers.

Example: A property in Napier is listed for sale by tender with a BEO of NZ$600,000. Prospective buyers submit their offers confidentially by the deadline. The seller reviews all offers and chooses the one that best meets their needs, which includes a favourable price and minimal conditions.


Description: A title is a legal document that contains details about a property's ownership, boundaries, and access rights. This information is managed and stored by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).

Example: When purchasing a property in Hamilton, the buyer reviews the title to confirm ownership details, understand the property's boundaries, and identify any easements or rights of way.


Description: A townhouse is a multi-floor dwelling unit that shares one or more walls with adjacent units. It is a popular form of housing in urban areas.

Example: In Wellington, Sarah buys a two-storey townhouse in a new development. Her home shares a wall with the neighbouring unit, typical of townhouse construction.

Trust Account

Description: A trust account is a special bank account used by law firms or real estate agencies to hold money on behalf of others, such as deposits for property transactions.

Example: James, buying a home in Christchurch, pays his deposit into the real estate agent's trust account. The funds are securely held there until the sale becomes unconditional.


Description: A trustee is a person or entity responsible for managing property or assets for the benefit of someone else, often as part of a trust.

Example: Helen acts as a trustee for her nephew's inheritance, managing the assets, including property, until he reaches adulthood.

Unconditional Agreement

Description: An unconditional agreement in property sales is when both buyer and seller commit to the transaction without any conditions attached.

Example: After thorough due diligence, Brian enters into an unconditional agreement to buy a house in Blenheim, meaning the sale is guaranteed to proceed.

Unconditional Offer

Description: An unconditional offer is a firm commitment to purchase a property without any conditions attached, such as finance approval or a building inspection.

Example: Emma makes an unconditional offer on a property in Dunedin, indicating she is ready to proceed with the purchase without any further requirements.

Undisclosed Principal

Description: An undisclosed principal in real estate refers to a situation where an agent acts on behalf of a principal (seller or buyer) whose identity is not revealed to the other party in the transaction. This practice is subject to specific rules under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008.

Example: In a property deal in Wellington, real estate agent Sarah acts on behalf of an undisclosed principal. She negotiates the sale of a property without revealing the identity of her client, the buyer, to the seller. This arrangement is carefully managed to ensure compliance with the legal obligations under the Act.

Unimproved Value

Description: Unimproved value refers to the value of the land without considering any buildings, improvements, or other developments on it. It's often used for calculating property taxes and can be found in council valuation reports.

Example: The unimproved value of a plot of land in Gore is assessed at NZ$200,000. This figure is used to calculate local council rates, independent of the value added by the house and other structures on the property.

Unit Title (Stratum Estate)

Description: A unit title, in a stratum estate, refers to the ownership of a unit within a complex, like a townhouse or apartment, including a share of common property.

Example: Kyle buys an apartment in Auckland with a unit title, giving him ownership of his apartment and a share in the common areas of the building.

Unit Titles Management

Description: Under the Unit Titles Act 2010, the management of unit title properties, such as apartments and townhouses, involves specific responsibilities for body corporates, including maintenance, insurance, and governance.

Example: The body corporate of an apartment complex in Christchurch manages the common areas, sets the annual budget, and ensures compliance with the Unit Titles Act, balancing the interests of all unit owners.


Description: Utilities are essential services such as electricity, gas, water, sewerage, and telephone, provided as part of property development.

Example: In a new housing development in Tauranga, developers ensure all utilities are connected and functional for future residents.

Valuation Report

Description: A valuation report is an assessment of a property's market value, conducted by a registered valuer.

Example: Before putting her house on the market, Zoe obtains a valuation report to understand its current market value in the evolving Auckland property market.


Description: A valuer is a professionally trained and qualified individual who assesses the value of properties.

Example: To determine the worth of his commercial property in Rotorua, Mark hires a valuer with expertise in the local real estate market.


Description: The vendor is the individual or entity selling a property.

Example: In a property transaction in Queenstown, the vendor is the party listing their holiday home for sale.

Vendor Disclosure

Description: Vendor disclosure is the legal requirement for sellers to provide pertinent information about a property to potential buyers, ensuring transparency and informed decision-making. This is aligned with the principles outlined in the Property Law Act 2007.

Example: When selling his house in Taupo, John provides a comprehensive vendor disclosure to potential buyers. This includes details about the property's condition, any defects known, and relevant legal issues, enabling buyers to make informed decisions.


Description: Zoning refers to the local council's regulations dictating how land can be used, affecting things like building types and land use.

Example: A developer checks the zoning regulations in Palmerston North to ensure their planned office building conforms to local land use policies.

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