What's a caveat?
What's a caveat?
Q Can you explain what a caveat is, who can use them and for what reasons they can be applied?
A A caveat is basically a 'freeze' on the title. It's a weapon often used in the arsenal of disgruntled buyers where they believe the seller of a property might not honour their obligations to sell the property. To lodge a caveat you must have an interest in the property over which you lodge it and the best example of that is a buyer's right under a contract of sale. Lodging a caveat over a property by a buyer freezes the title and effectively stops the seller from selling the property and transferring the title to someone else, or even mortgaging it. All dealings with the property, for example sales and mortgages, are stopped by the lodgement of the caveat. Caveats are sometimes used by buyers of property where the settlement is a long way off (eg. more than three months away). The lodgement of the caveat gives the ultimate security to the buyer that despite the fact that settlement is a long way off, the seller can't deal with the property in any way contrary to the buyer's rights. Rob Balanda
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Meet the panel
Rob Balanda, partner, MBA Lawyers, www.mba-lawyers.com.au