The word 'caveat' is a classic example of legalese. What does it mean is the first thing a client often asks me? It' a Latin word, basically meaning 'warning'. If you've ever had any experience with consumer law, you may have heard the expression 'caveat emptor'. You probably know the expression means 'buyer beware'. So a caveat basically acts as a warning sign to buyers or any other persons dealing with the property. When they see that a caveat has been lodged against the property, it means that someone else claims to have a legal interest in the property.
If you have taken the time to read this legal blog, then you are likely to be either an owner (or a joint owner) of a property. Someone may have lodged a caveat against your title. On the other hand, you might be a person who is owed money as a creditor. Or you might have some other form of legal claim against an owner of a property. If so, you may want to enforce that claim by lodging a caveat against their property.
So we are clear from the outset, the caveats we are discussing in this blog are caveats that can be lodged against real property i.e. land and buildings. It could be a property at 10 Weaponness Road, Wembley Downs, or even a vacant block in Falcon (near Mandurah), or a house near Cable Beach in Broome. It also applies to the residential property you own. A real property includes any form of ownership interest in lands, such as a green title property, or a strata title. All of these examples have one thing in common, they are types of real property. They are different from other forms of personal property, such as shares, furniture or motor vehicles.
In my next blog, I will discuss 'Getting a title search' (to lodge or remove a caveat).
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