This page provides information and links to online resources for the lapsing of caveats (under section 143 Land Transfer Act 2017).
A caveat may be lapsed under section 143 Land Transfer Act 2017 (LTA) by:
a person who wishes to register an instrument affecting the estate or interest protected by the caveat (section 143(1)(a), or
- the registered owner or a person acting for or on behalf of the registered owner of the estate or interest affected by the caveat (section 143(1)(b).
Once the statutory process has begun , the caveat will lapse by operation of law unless the caveator takes action to sustain the caveat within the prescribed timeframes.
The key LINZ resource for lapsing caveats is the Caveats and Other Stops on Registration Guideline 2018 - LINZG20773 (the Caveats Guideline).
Making an application to lapse a caveat
There is no prescribed form for an application under section 143 LTA although the Caveats Guideline includes a suggested form at Schedule 4. A letter from the registered owner containing the relevant details may also be lodged.
The instrument code is A143.
Notice periods (prescribed timeframes)
Timeframes for action are prescribed by section 143(3) LTA.
Upon receipt of an application to lapse a caveat, LINZ must notify the caveator. This notice will generally be given within 5 working days of receipt and may be given by post, fax, email or other means as set out in section 221 LTA. The caveator has 10 working days (plus deemed delivery period of two working days if LINZ gave notice to the caveator by post) to give notice to the Registrar-General of Land (RGL) that the caveator has made an application to the High Court that the caveat not lapse. There is no requirement for the caveator to give the RGL a copy of the application made, all that is needed is a notice that an application has been made. The application must be received by the RGL within this period, else the caveat lapses by operation of law.
From the date that the caveator gave notice to the RGL of the caveator’s application that the caveat not lapse the caveator has a further 20 working days to obtain from the High Court :
(a) an order that the caveat not lapse
(b) an interim order that the caveat not lapse, or
(c) an order adjourning the application.
See the Caveat Guideline for more detail about the process and the relevant timeframes.
Caveat lapsing over the Christmas and New Year period
If you or your client receives a notice of lapse of caveat or notice of claim in the lead-up to Christmas and New Year holiday break, you will need to act quickly to avoid the caveat or notice of claim lapsing.
The definition of working day in the LTA excludes days in the period commencing on 25 December and ending on 2 January in the following year. When 1 January falls on a Friday, the following Monday is excluded. When 1 January falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday and Tuesday will also be excluded.
However, as provided in section 35(6) of the Interpretation Act 1999, if the last day of either the 10 working day or 20 working day period falls on a day that is not a working day, the time period extends to the next working day.
Please note the RGL has no authority to alter the timeframes set in section 143(3) or extend lapsing dates to account for LINZ offices or courts being closed on public holidays.
Giving notice to the RGL
If you or your client receives a notice of lapse, you can avoid the caveat or notice of claim lapsing by giving the relevant notice to us or serving a Court order on LINZ within the prescribed time periods.
The caveator’s notice of his or her application to the High Court for an order to sustain the caveat may be given to the RGL:
- via Request in your Landonline workspace - use the Request type: Application to Sustain Caveat (upload a copy of the notice to LINZ)
- by email to email@example.com, or
- by post to one of the following offices of Land Information New Zealand:
Hamilton office: Private Bag 3028, Waikato Mail Centre, Hamilton 3240 or DX GX 10069, Hamilton
Christchurch office: Private Bag 4721, Christchurch 8140
Any subsequent Court order sustaining the caveat should also be sent to LINZ using the same methods. There is no recommended form - a letter from the caveator setting out sufficient details to identify the caveat and a sealed duplicate copy of the Court Order will suffice. A copy can be emailed or sent via the Landonline workspace, but the sealed duplicate Order must follow by post.
Given the short timeframes involved, it is recommended that both notices are given by email or through the Landonline workspace.
See section 223 LTA to determine when a notice (or Court Order) is taken to be delivered.
Withdrawing an application to lapse a caveat
It is only possible to withdraw an application to lapse a caveat in certain circumstances:
- if the RGL has not given notice of the application to the caveator, or
- if the RGL has given notice, but the caveator has not yet applied to the High Court for an order that the caveat not lapse.
If the caveator has already applied to the High Court for an order that the caveat not lapse then the application can only be withdrawn with leave of the Court.