Government of JamaicaGovernment of Jamaica
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A Caveat is a form of injunction that is provided for under the Registration of Titles Act. It means that someone is claiming an estate or interest in the land and serves as notice of such interest to anyone dealing with that particular property. When a Caveat is lodged it prevents any dealings with the Title. For example, a transfer or mortgage will not be registered if there is a Caveat on the Title.

To lodge a caveat the following is required:

a. Caveat in the form set out in the Schedule to the Registration of Titles Act completed in duplicate.

The Caveat should contain: 

  • The name, address and occupation of the person lodging the Caveat,
  • The description of the land,
  • The specific estate or interest being claimed,
  • The value of the interest being claimed and
  • An address for service of notices and proceedings. Under the Act, the address provided must be within the City of Kingston only. (not St. Andrew). 

b. Copies of the relevant documents evidencing the interest being claimed, for example, a letter of charge or agreement for sale.

c. Statutory Declaration setting out the circumstances under which the claim arises. (In cases where there are no documents to sustain the claim).

d. Appropriate Registration fees.

The Registrar of Titles may request additional information or proof depending on the facts of each case.

YOU DO NOT NEED THE DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE OF TITLE TO LODGE A CAVEAT. A CAVEAT IS NOTED ON THE ORGINAL CERTIFICATE OF TITLE ONLY.

This Caveat remains in place until:-

i. The Caveat is withdrawn:

The Caveator (person lodging the Caveat) or his agent and attorney-at-law must sign a withdrawal of caveat authorizing the Registrar to withdraw the Caveat. The signature must be duly witnessed. The withdrawal of caveat should contain the name of the caveator, the caveat number and the Volume and Folio number of the Title. The withdrawal of Caveat must be lodged and the requisite fees paid. If the withdrawal of caveat is in order then the caveat will be removed from the Title.

ii. The Caveat lapses:

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/she intends to register. Unless a restraining Order or injunction from a Judge is obtained and served on the Registrar of Titles within the prescribed time (that is, fourteen (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.

Note that a warning cannot be done unless an instrument is submitted simultaneously therewith for registration.

Registration fee is payable on the application to warn the caveat

iii. The Caveat is removed by an order of the Court:

Dealings may be registered subject to the Caveat where:

The caveator consents in writing to the registration of the dealing:

In this case a notation is made on the Title that the Caveator has consented to the Registration of the particular dealing. The Consent document should:- 

  • State the full name of the Caveator,
  • State the Caveat Number and the Volume and Folio number of the Title.
  • State the type of dealing and the name of the person(s) to which the consent refers and
  • Expressly state whether the instrument is to be registered subject to or in priority to the Caveat
  • Be signed by the Caveator or anyone authorized to sign on his or her behalf.

A caveat can be lodged by anyone who claims an equitable estate or interest in registered land. A person who lodges a caveat without reasonable cause is liable to pay compensation to the registered owner if he or she suffers monetary loss as a result of the caveat being noted against the Title. It is therefore advisable that an attorney-at-law be consulted before lodging the caveat.

When a Caveat is accepted the Registrar will send notice of the caveat to the registered owner statingthe interest claimed. This makes the owner aware of the caveat and gives him the opportunity to take steps where necessary to have the caveat removed if the caveat was lodged without cause. The Registrar can refuse to accept a caveat if it does not comply with statutory and procedural requirements, for example, if the address for service provided is not within the city limits of Kingston or the caveator has failed to establish proprietary interest as required by law. If you object to the caveat being placed on your title that is a matter for the Supreme Court.

You may make an application to a judge in the Supreme Court if you are satisfied that the caveat was lodge without reasonable cause and the Court may order the removal of the caveat if it so finds.

If you have any queries our staff will be happy to assist you but we cannot give you legal advice and will not be able to comment on your interest in the registered property unless we have received a caveat and accompanying documents.

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