Property and Real Estate Law: Deed Plan, Caveat and Caution

This is a signed plan by the Director of Surveys showing the precise particulars of a surveyed piece of land. It shows the details such as the shape of the plot, the distances and bearings all-round the plot, scale of plotting, Deed plan number, land reference number, size of the plot in hectares, signature of the Director of Surveys, the date of authentication by the Director of Surveys and above all, it shows if the plot is a New Grant or an extension of lease.
This in practice is under the provisions of Registration of Titles Act (RTA). The Deed Plan once duly prepared is attached to a certificate defining the current owner and any endorsements by the relevant Registrar in the event the property has changed hands or there are encumbrances therein whatsoever relating to the plot.

What is a Caveat?

The word Caveat means warning or proviso (something said as a warning, caution, or qualification).
The lodging of a caveat over a property is a way telling anyone who wants to deal with the property to be aware of the fact that someone else’s interest already has priority.

What is a Caution?

A Caution is a notice in the form of a register to the effect that no action of a specified nature in relation to the land in respect of which the notice has been entered may be taken without first informing the person who gave the notice.

Placing and Removal of a Caveat or a Caution on Property, Land or Real Estate

a) Notice and Effect of Caution

The registrar shall give notice in writing of a caution to the proprietor whose land, lease or charge is affected. So long as the caution remains registered, no disposition which is inconsistent with it shall be registered, except with the consent of the cautioner or by order of the caution,
  • A caution can be removed by the person lodging the same, or by order or the court, or by the Registrar if such person fails to remove it after being served with a notice to do so by the Registrar.
  • The registrar may, on the application of another person interested, serve notice on the cautioner warning him that his caution will be removed at the expiration of the time stated in the notice.
  • If at the expiration of the time stated the cautioner has not objected, the registrar may remove the caution.

b) Second Caution in Respect to the Same Matter

The registrar may refuse to accept a further caution by the same person or anyone on his behalf in relation to the same matter as a previous caution.

c) Wrongful Caution

Any person who lodges or maintains a caution wrongfully and without reasonable cause shall be liable, in an action for damaged at the suit of any person who has sustained damage, to pay compensation to such person.

Who Can Lodge a Caution to Caveat on Land?

Any person who is claiming a contractual or other rights over land amounting to a defined interest capable of creation by a registable instrument, e.g. a lease, may lodge a caution with the Registrar against any dealing which is inconsistent with his interest.
Entry of a transaction, with respect to such land, may not then be made unless the cautioner has received notice. Lodging of a caveat or caution without reasonable cause can lead to a remedy in damages.

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