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I’m trying to sell but someone’s lodged a caveat on my property!

By Kiren Narayan - 17 Feb 2022

Caveats are a useful tool for protecting your interest in a property. Once you register a caveat on a property, it prevents the property owner from selling and notifies the public that there is another interest in the land.

You could, for example, register a caveat if you have a charge or an unregistered mortgage over the property. It could also be the case where the owner of the property has agreed to sell you that property, and it appears that the agreement will not be honoured.

But what do you do when someone has misused the process, or you disagree that that person has an interest in your property? You can't sell while the caveat appears on the title. This is an increasingly common issue, particularly for developers with more housing developments being built to combat the housing crisis.

If you are looking to sell a property but are prevented from doing so because of a caveat which you believe shouldn't be there, you can apply to the Land Transfer Registrar to have it lapse. It will then be removed in 10 working days unless the caveator applies to the Court for it to remain.

The timeframes however, are very tight - the caveator will also have to get an interim order from the Court that the caveat not lapse within 20 working days after that application. Even if an interim order is made, the Court will move to determine the final application as expeditiously as possible generally without witness examination determined just on the documents filed and legal submissions.

If you're trying to sell a property but are prevented by a caveat, or if you believe you have an interest in a property and you wish to protect that interest, contact our Litigation team to get the ball rolling.


Tony Johnson

Kiren Narayan


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