ABOUT THIS SERVICE
Caveats affect many property settlements each year, but the processes involved in removing a caveat remain poorly understood by some sellers and agents.
A caveat is an interest in land that’s lodged to protect the caveator’s interest. Absolute caveats prevent the Registrar of Titles from registering any “instruments”. Since a Transfer of Land is one such instrument, most caveats must be removed for a property to settle.
When caveats exist on the title, the seller’s settlement agent will take steps to have it removed. The simplest way to remove a caveat is for the caveator to lodge a Withdrawal of Caveat, so the seller’s settlement agent will send the caveator a letter asking them to do so.
If the caveator refuses to remove the caveat, the settlement agent will lodge a 21-day-notice with Landgate, and one of two things will happen:
- If the caveator doesn’t take the matter to court within the 21 days, the caveat is removed.
- If the caveator takes legal action and a court junction is issued, Landgate puts the Title into a Registrars Packet and moves it into Complex Dealings, so the caveat remains. Depending on the course of the legal proceedings, the property may not settle for a long time.