Land caveats

It is highly recommended that you get legal advice before preparing a caveat. 

Staff at the Land Titles Office can't give legal advice or help you prepare a caveat.

The strength of a caveat depends on its claim. If the claim is badly worded, the caveat may not provide the protection sought by the person lodging it.

Applicants should be aware of the effect of a caveat and its repercussions before it is prepared and lodged.

If a person lodges a caveat without reasonable cause, then that person may be liable to pay compensation to someone who has sustained a loss or damages as a result of the caveat.

There are two types of caveats, non-lapsing caveats and lapsing caveats.

For more information, caveats can be found at sections 137 to 147 of the Land Title Act.

Who can lodge a caveat

A caveat may be lodged by any of the following:

  • a person claiming an interest in a lot
  • the Registrar-General under section 18 of the Land Title Act
  • the registered owner of the lot
  • a person to whom an Australian court has ordered that an interest in a lot be transferred
  • and a person who has the benefit of a subsisting order of an Australian court in restraining a registered proprietor from dealing with a lot.

Non-lapsing caveats

A caveat will not lapse if:

  • it is lodged by the registered owner
  • consent from the registered owner is included with the caveat when it is lodged
  • an office copy of a court order is lodged, either ordering that an interest in a lot be transferred or a registered proprietor is restrained from dealing with a lot
  • it is lodged by the Registrar-General under section 18 of the Land Title Act
  • or it is lodged other than under Part 7 Division 2 of the Land Title Act.

Lapsing caveat

You can lodge a lapsing caveat form if a caveat does not meet the requirements of a non-lapsing caveat.

A lapsing caveat will expire after three months from the date of lodgement if no further action is taken.

The registered owner(s) burdened by a caveat (the caveatee) can commence proceedings to remove the caveat.

A lapsing caveat will not expire if the applicant who lodged the caveat (the caveator) notifies the Registrar-General that he or she has started proceedings. 

A Form 82 Notice of Commencement of Proceedings by the Caveator must be lodged. The Registrar-General will await the outcome of proceedings.

A notice can also be served on the applicant who lodged the caveat requiring them to start proceedings. The registered owner(s) burdened by the caveat must notify the Registrar-General within 14 days of the notice served by lodging a Form 80 Proof of Service of Notice on Caveator. If a notice has been served on the caveator by the caveatee the following may occur:

  • the caveator notifies the Registrar-General that he or she has started proceedings by lodging a Form 82 Notice of Commencement of Proceedings by the Caveator. The Registrar-General will await the outcome of proceedings.
  • the caveator notifies the Registrar-General that he or she will start proceedings by lodging a Form 81 Notice of Intention to Commence Proceedings by Caveator.
    • if proceedings do commence a caveat will not lapse only if a Form 82 Notice of Commencement of Proceedings by the Caveator is lodged and the Registrar-General will await the outcome of proceedings.
    • if proceedings do not commence or the Form 82 is not lodged then the caveat will expire within 3 months from the date of service of Notice.
  • if proceedings have not commenced or no notice is lodged, then the caveat will expire after 14 days from the date of service of Notice.

Notice to registered owners

The Registrar-General must send a notice in writing that a caveat has been lodged on title to each person affected by the caveat. 

The notice is sent by registered mail to the address shown on title or to any other address the Registrar-General has knowledge of.

Contact

For more information contact a Land Titles Office or email agd.registrargeneral@nt.gov.au

Last updated: 27 June 2017