CAVEAT: Let him beware
A caveat is a form of injunction that is provided for under section 139 of the Registration of Titles Act. A caveat acts as a warning or formal notice to tell the public that there is an interest on the land or property for a particular reason. The party who lodges a caveat is known as a caveator. There are different types of caveats, however, today I am focused on shedding light on the most popular form, which is caveats against dealings.
In order to lodge a caveat, you must have what is known as a "caveatable interest" in the land. A caveatable interest means that you have a legal or equitable interest in land, a personal loan is not deemed to be a caveatable interest. What a caveat essentially does is that it grants the caveator the opportunity to object to any dealing affecting ownership in relation to the title such as preventing transfers or mortgages.
The caveat takes the format of an application form and is generally supported by a declaration along with any other supporting documents. The said form must include the caveator's name, address and occupation, as a means of properly identifying the said caveator. The form also provides for the property description of the land, the specific interest claimed in the property as well as the value of the interest. The value of the interest is rather very important as the caveator will be required to pay 0.5 per cent of the value of the interest upon lodging the caveat.
When a caveat is lodged and the registered proprietor attempts to register a dealing, the registrar of title is required to serve upon that caveator a notice of the said dealing. In light of this a caveator must provide an address within the city of Kingston so that any notice can be served at a specific address within the city limits and also in a very timely manner.
The caveator may also support his application with documents that speaks to his interest. These may include receipts of payments towards the property or a birth certificate if he is a beneficiary.
As for the registered proprietor, when the caveat is accepted by the registrar, a notice of the caveat will be sent to the owner. This will give the registered proprietor the opportunity to take steps to have the caveat removed if the caveator did not in fact have such interest.
A caveat, however, can be withdrawn. For this to take place, the caveator, or his attorney-at-law, must sign a withdrawal of caveat authorising the registrar to withdraw the caveat. A withdrawal of caveat form can be found on the website of the National Land Agency.
In the meantime, a caveat will lapse where on the request of the registered proprietor, the Registrar of Titles sends a notice to the caveator of an impending dealing lodged for registration, which he intends to register. Unless a restraining order or injunction from a judge is obtained and served on the Registrar of Titles within 14 days from service of the notice preventing the registration of the dealing, the caveat will lapse and the registration of the dealing proceeded with.
Odane Marston is an attorney-at-law who specialises in conveyancing, administration, probate, recovery of possession, criminal litigation and divorce. He may be contacted via email Odanemarston@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.