Course Title: Property law

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2015

Course Code: LAW5185

Course Title: Property law

School: 650T Vocational Business Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6106 - Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice

Course Contact : Doug Gourlay

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5944

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Joanne Mackay
SAB Building 80, Level 5,
445 Swanston St, Melbourne, 3000

Nominal Hours: 51

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Pre-requisites:  VU20111 Legal Process

Course Description

The purpose of this module is to provide detailed knowledge of property law as might be relevant to a person working in a legal office, conveyancing office, financial institution or lending mortgage department, government department, or other allied area requiring thorough knowledge of Property Law concepts and applications, including analysis of estates and interests, mortgages, easements, and covenants, tenancies, and adverse possession.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20109 Property law

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

Learning Outcome 1 - Determine and define the concept of property and the basis of land holding and transfer.
Assessment criteria
1.1 Define the meaning of property, examine and analyse the following:
• the feudal origin of concepts of land law
• the doctrine of tenure
• the doctrine of estates
• personal property
• real property
• fixtures and chattels
1.2 Define the term ‘convey’ and outline the features in the context of property law and conveyancing procedures.
1.3 Apply the concept ’convey’ to a relevant case study and examine the relevant evidence of transfer and conveyance.
1.4 Apply the tests to distinguish, fixtures and chattels (goods) to various case studies and analyse relevant case law.

Learning Outcome 2 - Analyse the various holdings in real estate and assess the implications for the holder of any of the various interests.
Assessment criteria
2.1 Outline the concept of the holding of land in fee simple. .
2.2 Examine the nature of estates other than a fee simple vested in possession.
2.3 Examine the nature of equitable estates and interests.
2.4 Analyse and differentiate between joint tenancy and tenancy in common.
2.5 Evaluate the effect of the rules of co-ownership by application of case studies, and relate the findings to various fact situations.

Learning Outcome 3 - Analyse and assess the various methods by which a person may prove that they possess a particular interest in land.
Assessment criteria
3.1 Examine the nature and proof of a common law title.
3.2 Outline the concept of Torrens title holding.
3.3 Examine the reasons for title investigation analysis.
3.4 Analyse different title examples in relation to 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3.

Learning Outcome 4 - Determine and assess the main features of the Torrens title system in relation to the transfer and proof of ownership of an interest in land.
Assessment criteria
4.1 Trace the development and provisions of the Transfer of Land Act, and analyse the following features:
• historical background to the Torrens system
• the aims and general features of the system
• the compensation scheme
• the registry of Land Victoria
• how land comes under the operation of the scheme including conversion of common law holdings
• the single document as proof of title
• the centrality of registration to the scheme
• distinction between title examples and styles
4.2 Outline the registration of interests other than freehold. Examine the relevant provisions of The Transfer of Land Act with reference to mortgages, caveats, easements, restrictive covenants and the process of registration.
4.3 Analyse the legislative provisions and case law in relation to:
• the conclusiveness of the register
• the estate of the registered proprietor being paramount and the exceptions
• the concept of indefeasibility and the controversy over whether it is immediate or deferred
• the meaning of "fraud" in the context of indefeasibility and its effect.
• in personam rights
• case example analysis and comparison
4.4 Specify the relevant procedures at the registry of Land Victoria.

Learning Outcome 5 - Examine the nature of a possessory title.
Assessment criteria
5.1 Analyse the meaning of adverse possession.
5.2 Examine the relevant provisions of Limitation of Actions Act.
5.3 Assess the procedures for obtaining a Certificate of Title based on adverse possession with reference to the Transfer of Land Act provisions, the Land Victoria guidelines and the analysis of case examples.

Learning Outcome 6 - Examine the nature of estates which are less than freehold and which may encumber freehold estates.
Assessment criteria
6.1 Examine the aspects of tenancies.
6.2 Examine the main provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act.
6.3 Assess the operation of the Retail Leases Act.

Learning Outcome 7 - Establish the nature and the function of a mortgage at common law and within the operation of the Transfer of Land.
Assessment criteria
7.1 Determine the nature of a mortgage.
7.2 Analyse the nature of a mortgage under the common law, and specify the following features:
• the mortgage as a conveyance
• the equity of redemption and the rights of mortgagor
• the concepts of postponing and ‘clogging’ the equity of redemption
7.3 Examine the nature of a mortgage under the Transfer of Land Act.

Learning Outcome 8 - Analyse and assess the basic nature and function of an easement and covenant.
Assessment criteria
8.1 Specify the essential elements, the nature and the function of an easement.
8.2 Determine and assess the basic nature and function of a restrictive covenant.
8.3 Analyse the features of an easement and covenant in relation to:
• a case study
• various case examples
• title examples

Details of Learning Activities

A range of learning experiences are planned for this course including class and online activities, group problem solving and group discussions.Classes of 3 hours per week for 16 weeks as per the teaching schedule. The nominal hours associated with this are a guide only and represent the total teaching time and student effort required to successfully complete the course. This may include not only scheduled classes but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities. The week by week classes as per the teaching schedule below and assessments, including due dates, are subject to variation. Class teachers will to keep as close as practicable to that set out in this Part B Statement.

Teaching Schedule



Week Beginning

TopicLearning Outcome/assessment critetriaAssessment
 1 6 July

 Introduction to the Course including:
• Course requirements
• Course support documents
• Course Blackboard access
• Accuracy of enrolment
• Assessment requirements/Cover Sheets
• Plagiarism
• Appeals
• Submission requirements
• Extensions/Resubmissions
• Feedback in this course
• Getting help

Intro to Property Law Concepts

 Learning Outcome 1All semester in class activities 10%
 2 13 July Fixtures and Chattels Learning Outcome 1 
 3 20 July

 Fixtures and Chattels


 Learning Outcome 1&2Discuss title search presentation assessment
 4 27 JulyCo-ownership Learning Outcome 2 
 5 3 August Old Law system Intro and Torrens system Learning Outcome 3 
 6 10 August Torrens system Learning Outcome 4Title search activity and presentations15%
 7 17 August Adverse Possession Learning outcome 4&5 
 8 24 August Test Learning outcome 1- 5 In class open book test -  25 %
 9 7 Sept Mortgages Learning Outcome 7 
 10 14 Sept Mortgages Learning outcome 7 
 11 21 Sept

 Leases and tenancies

 Learning Outcome 6 
 12 28 Sept Leases and tenancies/ easements and covenants Learning Outcome 6 
 13 5 October Easements and covenants Learning Outcome 8 
 14 12 October Revision Learning outcome 8 
 15 19 October

Final Test week 15

(or week 16 depending on overall test schedule)

 all learning outcomes In class open book final test - 50%
 16 26 Octoberreview/resits all learning outcomes 

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Students must access Blackboard notes and other readings for each topic in the course.

Davies, Chris Property Law Guidebook, Oxford Uni Press



• Rohan Price and Lynden Griggs, Property Law in Principle, 2nd edition, 2008, Thomson Reuters.
• B Jackman, K Werren Property Law•  Study Guide, 2011, Lexis Nexis.
• Simon Libbis, Conveyancing Victoria The ultimate Guide 2015, Hybrid Press.  

S. Hepburn, Real Property Law, Thomson Reuters Law Book Co 2012

Other Resources

The blackboard provides exercises, extra readings, relevant documents and certificates of titles, in addition to prescribed notes for each topic.

Students should read and comprehend all extra materials in each topic folder on the Blackboard.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment methods have been designed to measure achievement of the requirements in a flexible manner over a range of assessment tasks and may include:

• case study analysis
• short answers questions
• written assignments/reports
• tests/examination
• oral presentations
• projects

Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant module standards are being met.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: TITLE ACTIVITY (15%)
You will be allocated a Certificate of Title and be asked to examine the title. You can choose to work individually, in pairs or in a group of three. You will need to  complete a written report and a powerpoint presentation based on the instructions given to you by your teacher. You will need to demonstrate an understanding of the process of searching a title at the Land Registry, be able to identify registered proprietors and type of registration, identify and explain the land description and details on the plan, understand and explain any encumbrances on the title and other features.
This task will incorporate learning outcomes 1-8.

Due date: Week 6
Submission Procedure: In class presentation. Report to be submitted on blackboard through Turnitin and handed to teacher.

Assessment Task 2: TEST (OPEN BOOK) (25%)
This task will comprise of a 1.5 hour test. You will need to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of property law concepts, fixtures and chattels, co-ownership principles and definitions, General Law Title, Torrens Title and adverse possession.
This task will incorporate  learning outcomes 1-5.

Due date: Week 8
Submission Procedure: In class supervised open book test (1.5 hr)

Assessment Task 3: FINAL TEST (OPEN BOOK) (50%)
This assessment will comprise of a two hour examination. You will have to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of all learning outcomes, especially adverse possession, mortgages, leases and tenancies, easements and covenants.
This task will incorporate learning outcomes 1-8.

 Due date: Week 15
Submission Procedure: In class supervised open book test (2 hr)

Assessment Task 4: Class participation exercises and activities, (10%)
In class activities are conducted for each topic. You are expected to attend classes, ask questions, and generally engage in class exercises activities in relation to all learning outcomes as described above. Marks will be allocated according to the degree of participation in these activities by the student.

Due Date:  Weekly commencing as from week 1
Submission procedure: In class discussion of students answers to the weekly exercises and activities.

Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions. You are encouraged to ask and answer questions during class time and online sessions so that you can obtain feedback on your understanding of the concepts and issues being discussed. Finally, you can email or arrange an appointment with your teacher to gain more feedback on your progress.

You should take note of all feedback received and use this information to improve your learning outcomes and final performance in the course.

Assessment Matrix

Marking Guide (Grading)

Grades received throughout semester are only indicative of your performance. These grades will only contribute to your final grade if you complete all assessments to an acceptable industry standard. If students cannot demonstrate competency across all learning outcomes or elements of the course the maximum grade they can achieve is NN or NYC. If students fail to submit one or more pieces of assessment, the maximum grade available is DNS.


Final Grades table:

80-100HDHigh Distinction
DNSDNSDid Not Submit for  assessment


Further information regarding the application of the grading criteria will be provided by your teacher.

Other Information

Submission Requirements
You should:
Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date
Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks (hard copy and soft copy).
When you submit work for assessment at RMIT University you need to use a cover sheet that includes a declaration and statement of authorship. You must complete, sign and submit a cover sheet with all work you submit for assessment, whether individual or group work. On the cover sheet you declare that the work you are presenting for assessment is your own work. An assignment cover sheet for submission of work for assessment is available on Blackboard.
Each page of your assessment should include a footer with your name, student number, the title of the assessment unit code and title and page numbers.

Late Submission Procedures
If you are prevented from submitting an assessment on time, by circumstances outside your control, you must apply in advance for an extension to the due date of up to seven calendar days.
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Where an extension of greater than seven days is needed, you must apply for special consideration. Applications for special consideration must be submitted no later than two working days after the assessment task deadline or scheduled examination.
More Information:;ID=g43abm17hc9w
Form to use:

Students who achieve an indicative grade of greater than 50%, yet have not demonstrated competency across all learning outcomes will be given the opportunity to undertake an oral questioning with the assessor in which they will be required to demonstrate competence in the elements or learning outcomes not yet demonstrated. If students cannot demonstrate competency across all learning outcomes or elements of the course the maximum grade they can achieve is NN or Not Yet Competent.

Adjustments to Assessment
In certain circumstances students may be eligible for an assessment adjustment. For more information about the circumstances under which the assessment arrangements might be granted please access the following website:
More Information:;ID=kehn9bz22r41

Plagiarism is defined as stealing somebody’s intellectual property (IP) by presenting their work, thoughts or ideas as though they are your own. It is a serious academic offence and can lead to expulsion from RMIT. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited.

Examples of plagiarism include:
• Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation.
• Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
• Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
• Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
• Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
• Copying a whole or any part of another student’s work;
• Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you; and
• Enabling plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work.

Further information on academic integrity:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview