Caveatable interest?

Is there a caveatable interest?

There must be ‘an estate or interest in land’ and a caveat which will temporarily forbid dealings with the relevant land must be lodged in an ‘approved form’. You need to properly describe the interest claimed. For example, is it a constructive or resulting trust or an equitable charge?

You also need to be prepared to defend the caveat application.


Case study

A woman is asked by her adult children to move out of the house she has helped to pay for – no money to relocate

Norma, a 71-year-old woman, was pressured by her son and daughter-in-law to provide them with $100,000 to enable them to buy a new house, on the understanding that Norma could live with them into her old age. Norma was asked to move out after only six months of this arrangement because relationships had broken down and Norma was frequently at the receiving end of verbal abuse. Norma had no money to move.


  • Does Norma have an equitable and caveatable interest in the property?
  • Was it a gift or a loan?

When an older person passes property or other assets to their children the presumption of advancement may arise – where the voluntary transfer of assets to children is presumed to be a gift. (See Equity.)

Centrelink gifting rules may also be relevant. (See Centrelink issues.)