11, Oct 2023
Caveat Removal in Victoria
As property solicitors, we regularly assist our clients with caveat removal. While the process is often straightforward, it can sometimes prove challenging, especially when a caveat has been incorrectly lodged or the caveator refuses to withdraw it.
Who can put a caveat on a property in Victoria?
The Transfer of Land Act 1958 empowers any person to lodge a caveat in relation to the title of a registered proprietor’s land. The caveat removal in Victoria indicates the person’s claim to an equitable estate or interest in the land. The person lodging the caveat must complete an approved form. Traditionally, caveats were lodged by paper, but have now transitioned to electronic filing through Australia’s electronic property platform, Property Exchange Australia (PEXA).
A caveat prevents any dealings being registered on the Title until the person who lodged the caveat either consents to the dealing, or applies to the Supreme Court for the caveat to be removed. The Supreme Court may grant an order removing the caveat if it is satisfied the balance of convenience favours a caveat removal.
When applying for the removal of a caveat, it is important to provide sufficient detail about the person’s claim to an equitable estate and/or interest in the land. In the recent case of Strathmore Views P/L and anor v Dobrijevic (SCI 2017 03587), I appeared for the plaintiff in seeking the removal of a caveat lodged in breach of section 91(4). Justice Gobbo granted the application and ordered the caveator to pay the plaintiff’s costs on an indemnity basis.