Removing a caveat

Caveats can be removed from a title by withdrawal, removal, or lapse. Different requirements apply to each process.

Withdrawing a caveat by e-dealing

A caveat may be withdrawn by a caveator or their agent (under written authority) under s144 Land Transfer Act 2017 (LTA).  The instrument code is ‘WX’. 

Authority can be in the form of:

  • a signed A&I form, or
  • if the caveator is a “public corporate” or “institutional chargeholder” (as defined in the Authority and Identity Requirements for E-Dealing Guideline 2018), a signed letter of instruction or paper withdrawal of caveat.

Section 144(2) LTA allows a practitioner to withdraw a caveat without holding written authority from the caveator (such as an A&I form), if they are lodging an instrument giving effect to the interest the caveat was protecting in the same dealing as the withdrawal of caveat instrument.

It is important to ensure both instruments are lodged within the same dealing as if they are lodged in separate dealings, it is possible that:

  • the withdrawal of caveat could be registered and the dealing with the substantive instrument could be rejected, or
  • another dealing and interest could be lodged between the two dealings (e.g. after the dealing withdrawing the caveat and before the dealing with the substantive instrument). This new interest would not be prevented by the caveat (i.e. caveat has been withdrawn) and would have priority over the original interest protected by the caveat.

The practitioner must keep a file note evidencing the authority they had from their client to withdraw the caveat. An A&I form or other authority is required for the other instrument in the usual way.

Removing a caveat by Court Order

If the High Court orders that a caveat against dealings is removed under s142 LTA, the sealed duplicate order may be lodged for registration as an electronic instrument using the ‘CO’ instrument code. 

The order must include sufficient detail to allow us to identify the caveat and/or the titles affected, such as instrument number and title references.

The practitioner must retain the original sealed duplicate order on file as evidence of their certifications.

Lapsing a caveat under s143 LTA 2017

Detailed information on applying to lapse a caveat, the notice periods, giving notice to the Registrar, withdrawing an application to lapse, and caveat lapsing over the Christmas and New Year period can be found on the lapsing a caveat page.

Lapsing a caveat