What is a caveat?
A caveat is a legal notice that prevents the registration of new dealings and plans on the title. This means that any further dealings in relation to the land cannot take place without first removing the caveat or obtaining the caveator’s written consent.
A caveat recorded on the title is a warning or notice to the world that there is someone, whether it be a person or an entity, claiming an interest in the property for a particular reason.
Do you have a caveatable interest?
Caveats are lodged to protect a person or entity’s interest in the land. To do so, you must have a caveatable interest.
A caveatable interest means having a legal or equitable interest in land. For example, a caveatable interest can be created where:
- an agreement for the sale of services creates a security or a charge over the buyer’s property in favor of the seller; or
- a person or an entity enters into a contract for sale to purchase a property and the contract has been exchanged between the parties.
How do you lodge a caveat in New South Wales?
The caveat must be lodged in a specific form, detailing the following details:
- the title reference for the land,
- the full name of the registered proprietor(s) of the land,
- details of your caveatable interest, and
- the facts on which the caveator’s claim is based, such as a fully executed contract for sale or a written agreement.
If any details within the form are incorrect or the interest is not adequately described, the Land Registry Services can reject the caveat lodgement.
What happens to the caveat?
A caveat remains on title until the following occurs:
- a court orders a removal of caveat;
- the caveator formally withdraws the caveat;
- the interest in the caveat is satisfied by the registration of a subsequent dealing or plan; or
- the caveat lapses.
It is important to seek legal advice before lodging a caveat. Lodging a caveat without a reasonable cause can make the caveator liable to pay compensation to any person who suffers a financial loss.
W Legal Group can help!
If you are seeking advice on caveats on your property, contact the team at W Legal Group and we would be happy to assist you.