Lapsing caveats – Recent improvements to the process in NSW

  • TurkAlert
  • Published 17.09.2020

Key Takeaways

Land owners and registered interest holders in land will be pleased to know that NSW Land Registry Services (“LRS”) has now simplified and expedited the process around lapsing caveats and the issue of lapsing notices. Caveators will need to understand these changes and respond faster to secure their caveats.

Brief Facts 

What are lapsing notices?

Under s74J of the Real Property Act 1900, a registered proprietor of an estate or an interest affected by a caveat may apply to the Registrar General for the preparation of a lapsing notice to be served on the caveator. 

The lapsing notice requires the caveator to obtain a Supreme Court order extending the operation of their caveat within 21 days of service. If the caveator fails to obtain an order, the caveat will lapse. 

The LRS lapsing notice process

An applicant must complete and lodge an Application for Preparation of Lapsing Notice with LRS. Once lodged, LRS will prepare a notice to the caveator of proposed lapsing of the caveat and post it to the applicant.

The applicant is then required to serve the original lapsing notice on the caveator either personally, by registered post or DX. 

A Statutory Declaration evidencing service must be lodged by the applicant within four weeks of the notice being issued by LRS. If the declaration is not provided within this time, the caveat will not lapse and the application may be rejected.

Improvements to the process

LRS has simplified the process and created greater efficiency for applicants by way of the following recent updates:  

1.    Electronic notices

  • From 1 September 2020, LRS will email all lapsing notices to applicants rather than issuing them by post.
  • This will eliminate potential postal delays and risks in receiving the notices, and will allow applicants to serve caveators within an expedited time frame.
  • The change also assists applicants in meeting the four week deadline in providing a completed Statutory Declaration to LRS.

2.    Standardised Statutory Declaration

  • A standardised template Statutory Declaration will now also be provided to all applicants with the lapsing notices.
  • The declaration is a simple one page document in which applicants are required to insert prescribed details including the particulars of service.  
  • The standardised Statutory Declaration will aid in avoiding unnecessary delay and expenses associated with requisitioned Statutory Declarations as a result of insufficient or incorrect information being provided to LRS.
  • The change also allows for greater consistency in the form of declarations and information supplied to LRS. 

Implications

What does this all mean? 

For Landholders and registered interest holders, caveats will lapse quicker as the administrative process is more streamlined.

Caveators should also be aware of the changes and ensure that if they do not wish for their caveats to lapse, they will have to act fast(er) – especially where a caveator is precluding from registering another caveator in respect of the same interest.

This TurkAlert was written by Ratnadeep Hor and Marija Hristovska. 

Ratnadeep Hor

Partner

P: 02 8257 5710

Email Ratnadeep