is this legal - caveat

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by rob9999, 16th Feb, 2020.

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  1. rob9999

    rob9999 Active Member

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    hello,
    i had a dispute with a utility, for around a 5k dispute.
    a default had been made in the magistrates court without my knowledge, for those costs.
    when i became aware, an application for revocation was lodged to dispute the default.
    in this time the utility placed a caveat on my property and charged me the costs to do so.

    the outstanding total was paid, yet the caveat was not removed. (not part of the settlement)
    the utility is asking me to pay almost $400 to have this caveat removed, which they placed.

    from my understanding the caveat no longer has grounds to be in place, but i am not sure how approach as they refuse to remove it unless i pay.

    TRANSFER OF LAND ACT 1958 - SECT (search caveat)

    any advise would be much appreciated. thank you
     
  2. ellejay

    ellejay Well-Known Member

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    You need legal advice but it would be cheaper to just pay the $400. Anyone you owe money to, who hadn't been able to get you to repay in the usual way (ie phone calls, letters of demand) will do this to recover their money. Treat it as an expensive lesson and always pay your bills before it gets to this stage.
     
  3. Terry_w

    Terry_w Lawyer, Tax Adviser and Mortgage broker in Sydney Business Plus Member

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    You will need to set aside the judgment to be able to remove the caveat
     
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  4. Paul@PFI

    [email protected] Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Plus Member

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    If they incur legal costs for the caveat to be removed it may be their policy YOU pre-pay to have it removed. Its like a mortgage. You can pay the loan off but the bank may apply a fee for the discharge to be effected.
     
  5. Terry_w

    Terry_w Lawyer, Tax Adviser and Mortgage broker in Sydney Business Plus Member

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    Generally a caveat cannot be lodged if someone merely owes money. But with utility companies I think legislation makes debts charged over the land and it is this that allows the caveat.

    By not turning up at court there would have been a default judgment awarded. You will need to go back to court to try to have this overturned and will need a good reason for not turning up, and also a good reason why you could potentially win the case. Will prob cost you a few thousand.
     
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  6. rob9999

    rob9999 Active Member

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    hello, as already explained. the debt judgment has been paid. but the caveat was not removed and its cost to do so was not part of the judgement.

    from my reading of the TRANSFER OF LAND ACT 1958 - SECT a caveat must have grounds to be in place which in this case i do not believe there are any grounds for it to remain as no money is owing.

    how can a caveat remain that has no grounds to be in place?
     
  7. Terry_w

    Terry_w Lawyer, Tax Adviser and Mortgage broker in Sydney Business Plus Member

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    It is still there because no one has removed it. You should get the lodger to remove it or take steps to remove it.
     
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  8. rob9999

    rob9999 Active Member

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    thanks for the reply, yes i have asked that. they want almost $400 to remove it.
    i was told buy others it should only cost around $40 to lodge the removal.

    i did not place the caveat, i dont think i should be paying to remove something i did not do and is no longer relevant.
     
  9. Terry_w

    Terry_w Lawyer, Tax Adviser and Mortgage broker in Sydney Business Plus Member

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    The land titles office fees would be relatively low, but someone has to process it.
     
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  10. Paul@PFI

    [email protected] Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Plus Member

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    Fee to lodge $40. Fee for a lawyer to open the file and agree it can be removed is the other $360. Thats probably reflecting 30+mins work to be honest. They have a process. If they lock your meterbox for unpaid power there is a fee to have it removed.
     
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  11. rob9999

    rob9999 Active Member

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    i am not sure people are understanding?
    there is no valid reason for the caveat to be in place anymore
    why would it be at my cost to remove? i did not place it or have any requirement to pay for removal.

    30mins + to fill out a form or sign it? $400? get real.

    also... they do not charge $400 to "unlock your meter box" or this is anything like that. so stick to the topic ey.
     
  12. Terry_w

    Terry_w Lawyer, Tax Adviser and Mortgage broker in Sydney Business Plus Member

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    You caused it to be place there. The creditor will incur costs to have the caveat to be removed. When negotiating payment you could have said you would pay them $x on the discharge of caveat.
     
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  13. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Short story, you failed to pay a bill and had a judgement placed against you. Supplier whacked on a caveat to prevent you dealing with the property without their consent.

    You then paid the outstanding charges which were proven in court.

    Caveat is still in place until you pay for them to confirm that it can be removed and that you have satisfied the debt owed to them.

    What has @Terry_w missed?

    You could always leave the caveat in place and get the caveator's consent every time you need to deal with the property.
     
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  14. Trainee

    Trainee Well-Known Member

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    Did they charge you when they put on the caveat? Whats your reason for missing the court date?
     
    Last edited: 17th Feb, 2020
  15. Terry_w

    Terry_w Lawyer, Tax Adviser and Mortgage broker in Sydney Business Plus Member

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    perhaps there is a land titles form you can fill in to have the caveat removed. The caveat may lapse and be able to be removed if there is no response from the other side.
     
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  16. lixas4

    lixas4 Well-Known Member

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    Info on how to do it yourself should be somewhere on here:

    Caveat forms
     
  17. rob9999

    rob9999 Active Member

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    again.... its already been paid. they have confirmed its been paid. there is no debt. there is no reason for the caveat to be in place.... how many times do i have to repeat it.

    again, i was not aware of the judgement or was able to defend it. and that has nothing to do with it now anyway...
     
  18. rob9999

    rob9999 Active Member

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    caveat on a million dollar property for 5k debt? seems a little vindictive
     
  19. rob9999

    rob9999 Active Member

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    that costs $200 and needs a letter from my lawyer. they then have 30days to prove its legit or its removed.. cost the same end of the day
     
  20. rob9999

    rob9999 Active Member

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    it cant be done myself .
    i need them to sign off on the letter or take legal action in court or by lawyer... all cost at least $300-400

    seems its a gray area in law what happens now without money
     
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