Lodge a Caveat

Lodge a caveat

A caveat is one of the most fundamental mechanisms of property law, and it can be a very powerful tool for protecting your legal interest in a property.

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Protecting your property

Understanding how caveats work, and how they are used, can be crucial in saving time and costs in a legal proceeding.

It is important that you receive competent and experienced advice in caveat matters, particularly because property disputes often involve substantial amounts of money. That’s why you should seek legal advice from an experienced property lawyer.

Contact Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers today for advice on caveat lodgement and court proceedings.

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What our clients say

…turned our crazy situation into positive new beginnings… We would highly recommend their services to anyone who is in need of professional property lawyers who have your best interests at heart. Thank you Mitchell and Melany!

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During the first phone call with Spencer I knew immediately that I was in competent hands. Spencer and his troops moved into position akin to military action… I would strongly recommend contacting Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers…

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Caveat Lawyers

What is a caveat?

A caveat is a type of statutory injunction that prevents the registration of particular dealings with a property. It serves as a warning that someone other than the owner has an interest in the property.

When a caveat is lodged with a state’s official government property registration system, the property owner is prevented from dealing with their property in certain ways, such as selling it or taking out a mortgage against it.

In Queensland, caveats are governed by the Land Title Act 1994 (Qld).

A caveat lasts until it lapses or is cancelled, rejected, removed or withdrawn.

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Property Protection

Who can lodge a caveat?

A party is entitled to lodge a caveat over a property if they have a legal or equitable estate or interest in the property. Such an interest may be, for example:

  • a mortgage;
  • an easement;
  • a life estate;
  • a transfer;
  • a contractual right;
  • being a buyer under a sale agreement; or
  • being a lessee under an unregistered lease.

The party lodging the caveat may be, for example:

  • a person who has an interest in the property;
  • a state’s titles registrar;
  • the registered owner of the property;
  • a person to whom a court has ordered that an interest in the property be transferred; or
  • a person who benefits from a court order that restrains a registered owner from dealing with the property.

A caveat may be used in situations such as when a builder is owed money for a project built on a property, or a party in divorce proceedings has an interest in a property but is not listed on the title deed.

How do I lodge a caveat?

A caveat must be lodged with the state’s land registry (Titles Queensland) and must be in the approved form.

The caveat application must contain details including:

  • the name and address of the applicant;
  • the name and address of the registered proprietor of the property;
  • the registered interest affected by the caveat;
  • the interest claimed by the applicant; and
  • the grounds on which the interest is claimed.

How do I remove a caveat?

There are various ways to remove a caveat on a title. These include by:

  • lapsing;
  • court order;
  • cancellation by the state’s title registry;
  • withdrawal; and
  • consent from the caveator.
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Your team

Our caveat lodgment team

Melany Dowse


Rebekka Hallberg

Mitchell Caldwell

Litigation solicitor

Mitchell Caldwell

Special CounSEL

Melany Dowse

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Why us

Why choose Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers

Few law firms specialise in litigation, and fewer still have the skill and understanding needed to litigate caveat disputes. At Gibbs Wright, we practise exclusively in litigation and dispute resolution, and we want our clients to feel confident that they will receive unparalleled service and dedication.

Our firm represents plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of litigation and dispute matters. No case is too small, too big or too complex for our lawyers to take up the fight. Each and every client receives the same level of attention and dedication, whether they are an individual or one of the nation’s biggest companies.

When it comes to caveats, look to Gibbs Wright’s experience to help take the stress, emotion and cost out of your dispute.

  • Commercially viable outcomes
  • Dedicated litigation firm
  • Outstanding client satisfaction
  • High success rate
  • Direct contact with your lawyer
  • Brisbane-based litigation team
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a caveat?

A caveat is a legal document providing notice to other parties that you have a legal interest in a property to prevent the registration of other dealings on the property without your consent.

A caveat is effectively a notice to a state’s land registry office that you have a legal claim to the property, and no further interests in or dealings on the property should be claimed or lodged by another party until the caveat is either cancelled, withdrawn, removed by court order or lapses. It ensures that your legal interests are preserved.

What is the primary purpose of a caveat?

The primary purpose of a caveat is to prevent another party from dealing with property in a way that may adversely affect someone else’s interest in the property.

A caveat may:
    •    prevent the sale or disposition of the land without the consent of a party with an interest in the property;
    •    allow further time for a party with an interest in the property to apply to the court to enforce or determine an interest in the land; or
    •    allow time for a party with an interest in the property to alert a third party about their legal claim to the property.

When can I lodge a caveat over someone else’s property?

To be eligible to lodge a caveat, you must have a legal or equitable interest in the property.

It is important to note that you will not have sufficient rights to lodge a caveat over a property merely because someone owes you money.

It is important to avoid the improper lodgement of a caveat on title as the consequences of doing so may be significant.

When is a caveat removed?

There are many different reasons for why a caveat may be removed. The most common reasons for removing a caveat involve situations where the caveator’s interest in the land has been settled, withdrawn, lapsed, ceased, abandoned or otherwise satisfied.

Do I have to engage a lawyer if I’m involved in a caveat dispute?

A lawyer is not necessarily required to handle a caveat matter, but it is highly recommended. One reason is that only a party with an eligible interest in the land may record a caveat — if a caveat is lodged without reasonable cause, the lodging party may be liable to pay compensation to any party that suffers financial loss. Another reason is that property disputes often involve significant amounts of money.

What can a caveat lawyer do?

A caveat lawyer can offer advice on a range of caveat matters, such as when a caveat is necessary, how to lodge one, how to remove one, and how to object to one. Having an experienced lawyer in your corner providing you with practical advice can help you achieve a resolution quicker, and reduce the stress and costs involved.

Will I need to go to court for my caveat matter?

Court proceedings can be costly, time-consuming and stressful, so our lawyers at Gibbs Wright will always attempt to negotiate a resolution before recommending your matter be litigated in court.

What is the Gibbs Wright process?

At Gibbs Wright, we work closely with you to determine the best plan for your particular circumstances, taking into account your finances and expectations.

We will walk you through the steps of the journey, which begins with a free initial discussion to assess the strength of your case and your legal options.

We will request key documents such as a land title, loan documents or emails to assess this. If we determine that we can help you, we will provide an estimate of fees, considering the expected cost and complexity of the matter. If you agree with our proposed strategy, we will vigorously pursue or defend a claim on your behalf.

Where can we help you?

We are well versed in Queensland’s caveat legislation, and we have an office conveniently located in Brisbane. If you’re looking for a litigation lawyer, you can call us today to let us handle your matter.

We can help resolve your caveat lodgments
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How we help

Who and where we can help?

Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers can handle caveat disputes for any party involved.

We have experience in caveat matters in Queensland, with an office conveniently located in Brisbane.

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