Caveats and Registration

The Land Transfer Act 1952 in New Zealand provide for 5 types of caveats.

A caveat is a warning to anyone to be aware. A Caveat is a notice which is registered against a title for any party to be aware that a claim is being made and sought. Caveats do not create new rights, they are used to protect existing ones. The person lodging a caveat must have reasonable grounds to register a Caveat. If they don’t then they may be liable to compensate anyone who suffers a loss as a result of the registration.

The different types of Caveats are:

1. A caveat against bring land under the Act.

2. A caveat against dealing with land.

3. A caveat against an application for prescriptive title.

4. A caveat as notice of interest in respect of compulsory registration of title.

5. A caveat to forbid issue of an ordinary certificate of title to replace a certificate limited by parcels.

Other types of Caveats can be registered by other statutes. As an example Section 42 Property Relationship Act 1976, where a spouse is claiming an interest in the other spouse’s property.


Section 6 of the Joint Family Homes Act 1964 which allows a creditor to possibly lodge a Caveat claiming an interest in the land due to debt.

The most common caveat we come across is the caveat against dealings. Generally a caveat is used by a person who wishes to protect an interest in land by preventing the registered proprietor from disposing of the land or dealing with it in a way that would affect the caveators rights and interests.

Caveats can be registered to protect a Purchaser under a long term Agreement for Sale and Purchase, or the Caveator is a lessee under an Agreement to Lease, or the Caveator is a mortgage under an agreement or unregistered mortgage, or the Caveator holds an option to purchase, or if the Caveator is a beneficiary under a Trust.

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Registration requirements under the Land Transfer Regulations 2002 require;

– The Caveat are signed by the Caveator, attorney for Caveator or the Agent.

– Confirms sufficient certainty the nature of the estate or interest being claimed.

– States the land subject to the claim.

– Appoints an address for service.

If the Caveat is against dealing is must also show the state or interest claimed from the proprietor and whether it is intended to forbid registration of any instruments.