Lodging of caveats is usually done voluntarily by property purchasers through their lawyers, but any person or buyer with an interest in a specific land or property should always lodge a caveat.
A caveat is a legal document lodged with the Singapore Land Authority.
A property buyer or property investor has to protect his own personal interest before going ahead to exercise the Option To Purchase (OTP) or after a Sales & Purchase (S&P) Agreement is signed.
Risks of not lodging a caveat
Lodging a caveat is to prevent any encumbrances with the property from being registered. An encumbrance is a claim against a property by a party that is not the owner. If there is an encumbrance on the subject property, it will affect the transaction and transferability of the sale. The restriction of its free use until all encumbrances are lifted.
Basically you do not want to find out during the course of the completion process that your seller or owner is actually in financial trouble.
Your conveyancing lawyers should perform their due diligence and do a title search for you to ensure that there are no pre-existing caveats or encumbrances to the property.
A good conveyancing lawyer would do a title search and advise you with details such as – Property title and tenure, Encumbrances if any, Name of registered proprietor(s), Manner of ownership holding and if the seller has “good root of title”.
Anyone who claims an interest in land or property may lodge a caveat. It is always in buyer’s best interest to lodge a caveat. Your lawyers may charge a bit more fees, but it will be worth it.