Ad valorem

According to value. The phrase is used in relation to duties levied according to the value of the subject matter.


To transfer an interest in property.


A document transferring ownership or giving the right to transfer ownership.

At arms length

Not connected in such a way as to bring into question the ability of one to act independently of the other (relates to parties to a transaction).

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Beneficial interest

The interest in a trust property of the beneficiary of a trust (that is, an equitable interest, by way of contrast with the legal or nominal interest of the trustee). A beneficial interest includes a potential beneficial interest for stamp duty purposes.


1. A person for whose benefit trust property is held; or
2. A person designated in a will as the recipient of a bequest.

Bona fide

In good faith, honestly (for example, bona fide transaction).

Business of primary production

Means the business of agriculture, pasturage, horticulture, viticulture, apiculture, poultry farming, dairy farming, forestry or any other business consisting of the cultivation of soils, the gathering of crops, the rearing of livestock or the propagation and harvesting of fish or other aquatic organisms.

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Capital value

The capital value includes the land and all improvements such as buildings, sheds, wells, dams and commercial planting of trees. It is the total value of the land and all things fixed to it, and is determined by qualified Valuers from the Valuer General's Office.


A record on the Certificate of Title held at the Land Services SA. A caveat prevents any dealing with the land inconsistent with the interest claimed by the person lodging the caveat. The existence of a caveat is noted on the Title but unlike registration of an interest this noting does not in itself confer any interest. The existence of an interest depends on the contract or other dealing involved. In some ways a caveat is a notice of the existence of unregistered interests, if no caveat is noted, another person might infer that no unregistered interests exist.

Certificate of Title

A document issued by Land Services SA showing the registered proprietor of the land under the Torrens System. It is equivalent to title deeds under the old system.

Certificate of stamp duty

A certificate evidencing that a document has either been assessed with stamp duty or is exempt from stamp duty.

The Certificate of Stamp Duty was introduced on 1 July 2019. Prior to this date a document was stamped to evidence that it had been assessed with stamp duty or was exempt from stamp duty.


Any kind of personal property as opposed to real property (land). A distinction is drawn between chattels real, that is, interests related to real estate but not classified as real property interests, notably leases, and chattels personal, comprising all other types of personal property.


An agreement between 2 or more persons which creates an obligation to do, or not to do, a particular thing. A contract creates a legal relationship between the parties to the contract.


The amount of money paid by the transferee to the transferor for the property.


1. The formal transfer of property; or
2. The instrument by means of which such a transfer is effected.

For a complete list refer to the definition in Section 60 of the Stamp Duties Act 1923.

Conveyance by direction

Where the purchaser named in a contract for sale and purchase of land directs the vendor to transfer the land to another party. Refer to Revenue Ruling SDA009 - Conveyance by Direction for further information.


Curtilage is a term to define the land immediately surrounding a house or a dwelling, including any closely associated buildings and structures, but excluding any associated 'open fields beyond'.

It defines the boundary within which a home owner can have a reasonable expectation of privacy and where 'intimate home activities' take place.

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Direct interest

The person or group holds a share or unit in a land holding entity


Where a purchaser under a Contract directs the vendor to transfer the land at settlement to any person or entity the purchaser desires. This common law right exists irrespective of whether the purchaser has executed the Contract “and/or nominee” or not.

De facto partners

A person is in a de facto relationship with another person if:

  1. the persons are not legally married to each other; and
  2. the persons are not related by family; and
  3. having regard to all the circumstances of their relationship;

they have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis.

Working out if persons have a relationship as a couple

Those circumstances may include any or all of the following:

  1. the duration of the relationship;
  2. the nature and extent of their common residence;
  3. whether a sexual relationship exists;
  4. the degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support, between them;
  5. the ownership, use and acquisition of their property;
  6. the degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;
  7. whether the relationship is or was registered under a prescribed law of a State or Territory as a prescribed kind of relationship;
  8. the care and support of children;
  9. the reputation and public aspects of the relationship.

Domestic partners

A person is, on a certain date, the domestic partner of another if:

  1. the person is, on that date, in a registered relationship with the other; or
  2. the person is, on that date, living with the other in a close personal relationship; and:
    1. the person:
      i) has so lived with the other continuously for the period of 3 years immediately preceding that date; or

      ii) has during the period of 4 years immediately preceding that date so lived with the other for periods aggregating not less than 3 years; or

    2. a child, of whom the 2 persons are the parents, has been born (whether or not the child is still living at that date).

Close personal relationship means the relationship between 2 adult persons (whether or not related by family and irrespective of their sex or gender identity) who live together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis, but does not include:

  1. the relationship between a legally married couple; or
  2. a relationship where one of the persons provides the other with domestic support or personal care (or both) for fee or reward, or on behalf of some other person or an organisation of whatever kind.

Note: Two persons may live together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis whether or not a sexual relationship exists, or has ever existed, between them.

Registered relationship means a relationship that is registered under the Relationships Register Act 2016, and includes a corresponding law registered relationship under that Act.

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Family group

A group of persons connected by an unbroken series of relationships of consanguinity (related by blood) or affinity (related by marriage).

Fractional transfer

A transfer of an interest less than a full interest.

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Indirect interest

A person or group has an indirect interest in a private company or private unit trust scheme (entity B) if the person or group has a direct interest in a private company or private unit trust scheme (entity A) which is a related entity to entity B

Inter vivos

Amongst or between living persons.


The situation arising upon the death of a person who has not left a valid will, or who has failed to dispose entirely of his/her assets (partial intestacy).


To die without having left a valid will or having left a will which does not dispose entirely of the deceased’s assets.

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Joint Tenants

Upon the death of a joint tenant that person’s interest in the property passes to the other joint tenants. For example, A, B & C on the title. C dies so their 1/3 interest passes to A & B who now hold a 50/50 interest.

Joint tenants always hold interests equally (often husband and wife owned property).

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Land holding entity

An entity that holds local land assets.

Land Services SA

Land Services SA manages the Property Title Registry and Valuation Roll on behalf of the South Australian Government. The Land Services SA website address is www.landservices.sa.gov.au.

Laws of intestacy

The “laws of intestacy” are set out in the Administration and Probate Act 1919. This Act states that if a person dies intestate, then the property should be distributed in the manner set out in that Act.


The person to whom a lease is granted (the tenant).


The person who grants a lease (the landlord) to another person.

Letter of Agency

Letter whereby a purchaser appoints another party to enter into and execute a contract on their behalf (that is, act as their agent).

Life estate

A freehold interest or estate subsisting as long as the grantee, or some other person, might live.

Local land assets

Is a non-qualifying land asset consisting of an interest in land in South Australia

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Market value

The price which a willing but not anxious vendor could reasonably expect to obtain and a hypothetical willing but not anxious purchaser could reasonably expect to have to pay.

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Non-qualifying land

Land that is being used for residential purposes or for primary production.

Notional value

A notional value is a concessional property valuation available to primary producers and others under certain circumstances. Notional values are aimed at encouraging the retention of primary production uses on land where there is pressure to alter the use away from primary production.

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Peppercorn rent

A nominal rent.

Potential beneficial interest

The rights, expectancies or possibilities of an object of a discretionary trust in, or in relation to, property subject to the discretionary trust. Object is a person on whom the trustee can vest any trust property.

Prescribed interest

In relation to a private company or private unit trust scheme – a proportionate interest in the entity of 50% or more; and in relation to a listed company or a public unit trust scheme – a proportionate interest of 90% or more

Proportionate interest

A proportionate interest in a relevant entity (a private company, private unit trust scheme, listed company or a public unit trust scheme) means:

  • for a person or group that has a direct interest or an indirect interest in the entity – the percentage representing the extent of that interest; or
  • for a person or group that has both a direct interest and an indirect interest in the entity – an aggregate percentage representing the extent of both those interests.


Person or entity purchasing a property.

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Qualifying land

Qualifying land means land that is being used other than for residential purposes or for primary production as defined the Stamp Duties Act 1923.

The Commissioner will generally rely on land use codes to determine whether he considers land to be residential or primary production land. The land use codes within the following Land Use Code (LUC) headings will be taken to be qualifying land:

  • Commercial (LUC 2000-2990)
  • Industrial (LUC 3100-3909)
  • Vacant Land* (with some exceptions) (LUC 4110-4600)
  • Institutions (LUC 5100-5990)
  • Public Utilities (LUC 6100-6990)
  • Recreation (LUC 7100-7900)
  • Mining and Quarrying (LUC 8100-8409)

The following residential Land Use Codes will also be taken to be qualifying land:

  • Hotel (LUC 1810);
  • Motel (LUC 1820); and
  • Hotel/Motel Community (LUC 1831).

*unless the land is within a zone established by a Development Plan under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 that envisages the use, or potential use, of the land as non-residential and non-primary production

Stamp duty on transfers of residential and primary production land will remain unchanged. Vacant land will be considered to be used for primary production or residential purposes in certain circumstances. The conveying document must be submitted to the Commissioner advising the LUC, the actual use of the land as at the date of the conveyance and any other details to evidence whether the land should be regarded as Qualifying Land.

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Recognised stock exchange

Means the Australian Stock Exchange Limited or a stock exchange classified by regulation as a recognised stock exchange.

Related parties

Includes persons who are connected by blood or marriage and also includes “related persons” as defined in Section 60A(6) of the Stamp Duties Act 1923, which includes:

  • natural persons who are either members of a partnership or who are related as spouses or as a parent and a child;
  • related companies for Corporations Act 2001 purposes;
  • trustees who have a common beneficiary in relation to their individual trusts;
  • natural person and a company, where the natural person is a major shareholder, director, secretary of the company or in another related company;
  • natural person beneficiary and the trustee of the trust; or a
  • company and a trustee under certain circumstances (refer Section 60A(6)(f) of the Stamp Duties Act 1923).

Remainder interest

An interest in land, vesting in possession on the determination of a prior particular estate in the same land: to A for life, remainder to B in fee simple. A contingent remainder is for a future interest which will only arise (that is, vest in interest) on the happening of some contingency, and if it does not arise, will vest in possession on the determination of the prior particular estate: to A for life with remainder to B in fee simple if B attains the age of 21.

Remainder person

A person entitled to a remainder.


Payment to the lessor by the lessee for the right to exclusive possession of premises for a period.

Residential land

The following are examples of the main property types which should be classified as ‘residential’. These classifications apply irrespective of whether the property being conveyed is established or newly constructed, and irrespective of whether it is purchased for owner occupation, investment (rental) or business use.

  • houses;
  • flats;
  • units;
  • apartments;
  • holiday homes;
  • vacant land zoned as residential use (if known);
  • permanent houseboat moorings;
  • permanent caravan park sites; or
  • farms and other primary production land - only if predominantly for residential use.

There will be instances where a conveyance of real property has mixed uses – for example, a shop with a house/flat attached. In such instances the predominant use of the property should determine whether it is classified as residential or non-residential. Indicators of the predominant use may include which potential uses are most active currently, the respective floor area of the actual uses (if able to be determined) or the separate valuation of each of the respective uses.

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SD Act

This is a reference to the South Australian Stamp Duties Act 1923.

Site value

The site value is the value of a piece of land excluding any value added by buildings or other improvements. It is the value of just the land, as if it were vacant. It is determined by qualified Valuers from the Valuer General's Office.


The surrenderor is the registered lessee that gives up their rights to a Crown Lease, in effect, they surrender the Crown Lease.

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Tenants in Common

If property is owned by tenants in common, on the death of one of the tenants in common, the deceased person’s fractional share is distributed according to their will. If there is no will, the fractional share is distributed according to the rules that apply upon intestacy. For example, A B & C on the title. A dies and wills his interest to X, so the owners are now B, C and X.

A tenant in common can hold an uneven interest share, for example, A as to 50%, B as to 30% and C as to 20%.


See definition for ‘Conveyance’.


Person or entity from which property is transferred or conveyed (property transfers from the transferor to the transferee).


Person or entity who makes a transfer or conveyance of property (property transfers from the transferor to the transferee).

Trust instrument

An instrument creating and setting out the terms of a trust.


One who holds property for another under trust.

Trustee in bankruptcy

One authorised to act as trustee of a bankrupt’s estate.

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Value declared

Pursuant to Section 71 of the Stamp Duties Act 1923, the value of the property conveyed by any conveyance operating as a voluntary disposition must be declared in the conveyance. This is the value of the property being conveyed.


Person selling a property.

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