SOMEONE OWES ME MONEY! CAN I LODGE A CAVEAT OVER THEIR PROPERTY?
The above is an all too common question us lawyers get from clients. Can you lodge a caveat over someone’s property if they owe you money? The answer? Only if you have a caveatable interest.
So what exactly is a caveat? A caveat acts as a warning or a notice to the public to say that the person who lodged the caveat has an interest in the land or the property. A caveat serves as a type of injunction by preventing any further dealing with the land or property until the caveator or a Court has removed it.
What is a caveatable interest? A caveatable interest arises when you have a legal or equitable interest in the land.
A legal interest arises where you have an enforceable right over the land or the property. Examples include:
Loan contract, where a clause is included into the contract as security for the repayment of monies from the borrower, the lender is entitled to lodge a caveat over the borrower’s property;
Purchasers of a property under a Contract of Sale
An equitable interest on the other hand, arises where you have a right to an interest in the land. Examples include:
A property which you purchased, but is not under your name
It is important that only a person with a caveatable interest can lodge a caveat. Unfortunately, you cannot simply lodge a caveat just because someone owes you money. Lodging a caveat without having any interest has serious consequences. Therefore, before lodging a caveat it is important that you obtain legal advice to ensure that you have a caveatable interest.
This article is intended only to provide a summary of the subject matter covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to render legal advice. No reader should act on the basis of any matter contained in this article without first obtaining specific professional advice.
DISCLAIMER: We accept no responsibility for any action taken after reading this article. It is intended as a guide only and is not a substitute for the expert legal advice you can get from De Marco Lawyers and other relevant experts.